Let's Try Exhibiting--It's an Adventure!
by John Godwin
(From The Charleston Rose, August/September 1999)
In his ongoing series "Rose Growing 101," John Godwin presents the case for plunging into the wonderful world of exhibiting. He divulges some of his secrets for success, targeting novice rosarians. Experienced rosarians will also benefit from his teachings.
What's a Winning Rose?
Before talking about growing roses for show, we need to know what a show rose should look like. A hybrid tea prepared for show should have the following characteristics:
- A pointed or tightly wound center when you look down and into the bloom. The petals opening around this center should be symmetrical and give the bloom a good balance. See center illustration below.
- The outer or first row of petals should be down in a horizontal position but not drooping down. The inside rows should show separation and work inward toward the tightly spiraled center. See left illustration below.
- The stem should be as straight as possible. The length of stem needs to be in balance with the size of the bloom. For example, a large bloom like Uncle Joe would need a stem 18 to 20 inches measured from the top of the vase. There can be no side growth or other buds on the stem.
- The foliage needs to be clean with a pleasing dark green color. Damaged or mottled foliage will detract from an otherwise beautiful bloom. I always polish the foliage with a soft cotton cloth to bring out the natural luster of the leaves.
- The bloom must be free of damage and look freshly cut. The stamens should look fresh on open blooms.
- Other classes of roses will have different guidelines, and these rules can be found in the show schedule issued by the society sponsoring the show.
- "Guidelines for Judging Roses," a publication of the American Rose Society, is the official handbook which explains the rules for judging roses. It is available from ARS at minimal cost.
- Regardless of class, I know that fresh and clean are keys for winning entries.