By: Ted W. Mills, ARS Consulting Rosarian and Judge
The famous ball at Times Square has fallen and a New Year is with us. Let us resolve that when we make our resolutions for 2005, these will be kept with a sense of permanence. All too often the opposite result falls our lot. At the top of the list of most who make New Year’s resolutions is the resolve to lose weight. Of course we all know that obesity is still rampant in this country; perhaps more than any area on the planet. To achieve our goal in any endeavor requires dedicated commitment. It is that caliber of resolve that we rosarians want to demonstrate when we involve our rose-growing hobby. After all, rosarians best reflect sincerity and stability. It is for that reason that I offer a few suggestions to ensure rose success for 2005.
First and foremost, RESOLVE to maximize your love for roses so strongly that nothing will keep you from growing the best specimens available. If your heart is sincerely in it, the endeavor will not fail.
As we view what is best for roses, our thoughts and actions must deal with the home of the rose bush. If the soil is “tired” and depleted of organic material, resolve to correct it. Include checking the pH factor of the soil and its drainage ability. Also, resolve to furnish adequate nutrition for the upcoming season. These factors will go a long way toward plant health.
Next, RESOLVE to guard against disease and insect invasion. The plant loves to look its loveliest and the rosarian must commit the necessary time for protecting the bush and flower. Haphazard spraying will not “cut it”, but regularity will provide the protective insurance that is vitally needed.
One of the most enjoyable benefits of rose society activity involves the opportunity to compete with other rosarians in rose shows. Of course, this is the avenue that leads to making new friends. There is something exciting about having your rose declared a trophy winner. Everyone loves achievement and recognition. It is in rose shows that we have the opportunity to showcase our skills. Far too many rosarians fail to take advantage of this opportunity. RESOLVE to dismiss your timidity and exhibit your roses at the shows. Blue ribbons have a way of “hooking” a person in this hobby. It’s like receiving a diploma after many hours of strenuous class work.
The year 2005 involves exciting plans for all rosarians. It is an opportunity to see the membership rolls of The American Rose Society grow. April 30th has been declared Rose Day in America. Lowes, a national home improvement chain has agreed to participate with ARS in promoting the rose in their stores across the USA. It is an opportune time to highlight the rose. In doing so, the membership ranks of ARS should expand significantly — only if every dedicated rosarian “pitches in” and helps. This is where an important resolution should be made by everyone who loves the rose. RESOLVE immediately to answer the call of ARS and contribute time and expertise to Rose Day activity. It will be successful only with energetic participation of interested rosarians, particularly Consulting Rosarians. ARS is expecting all local rose societies to participate and will furnish instructional data to its 20,000 plus members.
The American Rose Society is sorely dependent on its body of members. It is only through individual participation on the part of everyone that ARS projects can succeed. You have read many times where I have emphasized the need for all who grow roses to become members of the parent body, ARS. Right now is the time for joining. The benefits are numerous and far outweigh the cost of membership. ARS needs membership growth as it has struggled to keep the ship afloat financially. In increased membership lies the answer to the dilema. That being the case, RESOLVE to join ARS and your joy of growing roses will increase because you are then a “complete” member of the team. This will be your finest resolution for 2005.
Finally, if you have never shared your roses with others, especially the sick and shut in, RESOLVE to do so in the New Year. It will provide the warmest feeling of all.