ARS National Convention and Rose Show in San Diego

by Mary Ann Hext, Consulting Rosarian

On Wednesday, October, 24, we took our dogs, Annie and Lindy, for another boarding experience at Greystone and drove to the airport to fly to San Diego for my last ARS Board of Directors meeting as our Tenarky District Director. The three years in this position have flown by and have kept me very very busy with rose events, activities, meetings, local society visits, district and national conventions, ARS committee work, and lots of traveling, but I have enjoyed the experience and made many many new rose friends from across the country.

Marty Reich and Gerry Miller, NRS members, Gary Hext, and Mary Ann Hext, Tenarky District Director

I have now attended eight ARS rose shows and conventions and have entered a few roses and got ribbons on all of them, even one mini gold certificate All of the conventions have been so much fun with beautiful rose shows, garden tours and great speakers. If you ever have the opportunity to attend a national show, you should go! It is so nice to meet rosarians from other parts of the country and see the different varieties of roses they grow and to see some of the same roses we grow and how they vary according to the location they are grown. Next fall you will have the opportunity to attend the 2019 ARS National Miniature Conference and Rose Show in Nashville which is hosted by the Tipton County Rose Friends, a society in the Tenarky District. Save the date as it will be the first national in our district in many years.

The San Diego Rose Society was the host for the 2018 Fall Show and convention and they did a fabulous job! On Wednesday night, I attended the ARS Finance Committee meeting and then my final Board meeting was on Thursday. I will be including information from it in the next issue of our district newsletter. On Friday, Gary and I took the train to downtown San Diego to visit the harbor. We spent several hours at the Maritime Museum touring the world’s oldest active sailing ship, the ship the America’s Cup is named for, A US and a Soviet submarine, a galleon which has been used in several pirate movies and commercials, along with PCF Swift boat, a steam ferry, and several others. We took a harbor cruise on a Pilot boat built in 1914. We got back to the convention center in time to attend a photography seminar and a fiesta welcome event.

Ann Morrow Lindbergh rose from Bob Martin’s garden, the mother plant for his hybridizing
Saturday was the rose show which was amazing! I judged in the photography show and there were over 150 entries. The size of the blooms on roses grown in California made the blooms in my rose garden look like miniatures. I did take a dried arrangement in my carry-on luggage but was required to check it, so when I arrived in San Diego it had some “unfixable” damage and I got a red dot on it. I hope to attend future national rose shows and enter again when I don’t have to be there three days before the show!

I heard several excellent speakers on Saturday including Connie Hilker, who will be the new ARS Chair of the Rose Preservation Committee. Some of you heard her speak at our 2017 Tenarky Winter Workshop. I also attended the ARS members meeting. Saturday evening was a fiesta dinner celebrating ARS President Pat Shanley’s term. We were able to sit at the table with John and Kaye Rodgers from the Tennessee Rose Society who were horticulture judges at the rose show, along with several new rose friends from across the country.

Tiffany Garden
On Sunday, I attended the ARS Patron’s Breakfast, the Consulting Rosarian Meeting with the new ARS CR chairs, and the Save the Roses auction. I also attended a meeting for horticulture and arrangement judges and met our new national chairs. The evening banquet included an excellent speaker followed by the installation of the 2018-2021 ARS President, Bob Martin, and Vice President, Diane Sommers along with the District and Regional Directors. We sat with Marty Reich and Gerry Miller from the Nashville Rose Society and several California rosarians.

2018-10-29-ARS-large-roseMonday, we toured rose gardens of the convention chairs. They were both spectacular with each having over 800 roses. Again the large blooms were amazing. A ‘Tammy Clemmons’ bush was taller than me. Both of these gardens only had a small patch of grass as every inch of the yards was planted with roses.

Roses at the home of Bob Martin, ARS President
On Sunday afternoon, we went to the President’s reception at the home of our new ARS President Bob Martin and his wife, Dona, who live about 45 minutes north of San Diego. Some of you met them when they attended our 2017 winter workshop. They also have over 800 roses of all types in their garden and it was beautiful. They had a taco wagon and we ate some great Mexican food and visited with over 250 other rosarians from across the US.

Our dogs were very happy to see us when we got home, especially since they were recently boarded for the 16 days while we were in the UK and a week for this trip.