TOUCHDOWNS AND BLUE RIBBONS
By Ted Mills (RoseDoc), ARS Master Rosarian & Judge
There is a distinct correlation between touchdowns and blue ribbons. Good performance of duty produces both. A definite analogy exists between football fans and the growing of blue-ribbon roses. Let’s talk about it.
Sometimes judging from the performance of last season there is much room for improvement on the sidelines as well as the playing field. What looks like a promising season at the outset turns into a disaster as touchdowns and victories become a rare occurrence. Offensive plays just do not produce the yardage necessary to reach the goal line. The season becomes a scenario of missed tackles, dropped passes and short runs that spell defeat. The touchdown express operates at a snail’s pace. Just maybe it was in the coaching that poor performance resulted on the field. All in all it produces a non-winning season. For the past few years the same degree of sub-par performance happened in some rose gardens. Blue ribbons escaped the coffers of several qualified rosarians.
Not all of the poor performance can be traced to the rosarian. Some seasons were substandard because Mother Nature did not cooperate. Incessant rainfall made it impossible to maintain a satisfactory spray program.
Blackspot, botrytis, and mildew ran rampant as rosarians struggled to produce blue-ribbon roses. Spray was applied but the rains still came and the roses suffered. Insect invasion as well as diseases wrought havoc on the bushes that struggled to survive.
This year has produced the most severe attack of botrytis in RoseDoc’s rose garden. The blooms simply could not endure the excessive rainfall that spring brought. In spite of all this bad experience the roses recovered and are now sporting good blooms. That is an indication of just how much rose bushes can overcome. Of course we cannot allow ourselves to become discouraged.
Keep up the vigilant campaign to overcome and protect our cherished hobby. Now that RoseDoc has sounded the “horn of gloom” it would be well to offer advice and counsel. We love our football team and one season does not a team effort make. A faithful football fan is in it for the “long haul.” They will definitely come back and the “touchdown express” will keep filling the stadium. And to the rosarian, who has coped with unfortunate experience, keep plugging and blue ribbons will come your way. Let’s pledge to double our efforts and ward off the forces that attack our prized bushes. Complacency breeds failure but persistence in our rose culture chores will reap the recognition that the show table affords. Loyal fans cannot desert their football team. Neither can we surrender to the adversity that has struck our rose gardens in the past.
A program that returns football and rose growing to its lofty past deserves our faithful support. Pledge that support for your team will not wane and that your action in the rose garden will include consistency in spraying, irrigating, feeding, deadheading, and all the other chores that produce blue ribbon roses. Seek the help of Consulting Rosarians with regularity. The American Rose Society has lost thousands of members. We as a successful society must never fall into the trap of “dropouts” simply because one growing season produced faulty results. Football coaches should maximize their efforts to produce champions that score touchdowns galore. Rose society leadership should pledge to do the same in the art of growing roses. Blue ribbons will follow close by.