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Every rose has its admirer

With so many breathtaking varieties, like “Blush Veranda” shown here, it’s easy to see why gardeners love roses. (Susan Mulvihill)
With so many breathtaking varieties, like “Blush Veranda” shown here, it’s easy to see why gardeners love roses. (Susan Mulvihill)

If there’s one plant most of us have in our gardens, it has to be the rose. With its beautiful blossoms and glorious fragrances, it’s easy to see why gardeners have had a love affair with the rose for centuries.

If you are an admirer of roses, there is an event coming up that should not be missed. The Spokane Rose Society’s 63rd annual Rose Show will be held Saturday at the West Central Community Center (see box at left for details).

This show, which is free to the public, will give you the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful roses up close. And if you are one of the many folks who lost their roses this winter, it just might help you decide which varieties need to be added to your garden this year.

Four years ago, the rose show provided plenty of inspiration for Greg Mee and his wife, who had just moved to Spokane.

“We saw a notice about the rose show and decided to go,” says Mee, now the webmaster for the Spokane Rose Society.

“We had no idea there were so many roses,” he says. “We asked a lot of questions, joined the club and are now growing about a hundred roses.”

If you are interested in showing your own roses, there are no entry fees involved.

“We always have people at the show who have time to help those wanting to enter their roses,” says membership chair and treasurer Lynn Schafer. “If they are not Rose Society members, there is a section of the show for that, too.”

Entries can be submitted between 7:30 and 10 a.m. Saturday, and judging takes place between 10 a.m. and noon. The general public can view the exhibits between noon and 4 p.m.

Those attending the show will see beautiful blooms within the many classes of the horticulture division. These include hybrid teas, floribundas, old garden roses, shrub roses and miniature roses. Within the nonmember division, those who are awarded blue ribbons will receive a one-year membership in the Spokane Rose Society.

Arrangements in which roses are the predominant element can be entered into the artistic division and there will be a rose photography competition as well.

In keeping with the educational mission of the Spokane Rose Society, “there will be people at the show who can talk about growing roses, showing roses, where to find certain roses and so on,” Schafer says.

“People need to know that roses are really quite easy to grow – no more work than most other perennials – yet they give you blooms from June to October.”

Susan Mulvihill can be reached via e-mail at