Would you like to spend a day in the country, surrounded by beautiful, fragrant roses? If we add in some live jazz, beautiful formal gardens and arts and crafts vendors, that’s a recipe for a very pleasant day indeed.
On Saturday, it’s all possible if you attend the Spokane Rose Society’s 66th annual rose show and Northland Rosarium’s “A Day in the Garden” event.
Both events take place at the Rosarium, which is located at 9405 S. Williams Lane in southwest Spokane County, and both are free to the public.
The rose show starts with exhibitors preparing their rose entries early Saturday morning. Judging is from 10 a.m. to noon. From noon to 4 p.m., the show opens to the public where visitors will be treated to sights of stunning arrangements, single flowers, sprays and miniature roses.
“This is a great time to see which roses do well here in Spokane because all of the entries will be from people’s yards,” said Northland Rosarium owner Carol Newcomb.
There will be two classes beginning at 1 p.m. Sharon Askelson will speak about rose arranging and Ed Odegaard will discuss rose hybridizing.
Northland Rosarium’s “A Day in the Garden” event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., features rose sales and self-guided tours of their display gardens, where visitors will see roses, clematis and perennials. Vendors will have jewelry, mosaic artwork, pottery, furniture and ornamental grasses. There will be a food vendor as well. Spokane’s jazz vocalist and pianist Mary Chavez will provide music to enhance the experience from noon to 4 p.m.
Both Guinevere Mee and her husband, Greg, who is the rose show chairman, encourage the public to consider entering their own roses in the show. They said it’s far easier than one might think and you don’t have to be a member of the Spokane Rose Society.
“All you have to do is go out to your garden the night before or the morning of the show, and see what you have,” Guinevere said. “Snip it, stick it in a bucket of water, make sure you know the name of the rose and bring the material to the Rosarium’s Kew greenhouse between 8 and 9:30 a.m. Members of Spokane Rose Society will help them put their display together.”
“The first time we showed roses, we asked a member what to do. She showed us and Guinevere ended up getting ‘Queen of the Show’ for one of the roses,” Greg Mee added. “So novices do win prizes.”
This year’s prizes include gardening tools, gloves, pots and gift certificates for Northland Rosarium.
To learn about rose show rules or for more information about the show, go to www.spokanerose society.org. The Spokane Rose Society meets once a month. Its annual dues include garden and nursery tours and a monthly newsletter.
“Come to the meetings and learn which roses are the easiest to grow here,” Guinevere Mee suggested. “Whether it’s for fragrance or cut flowers for the house, our members can give you good advice on which roses will fill your desires.”