Exhibiting Roses – Fragrant Roses and Beautiful Roses
The general cultural routine already described will apply togrown for exhibition, but it is usually necessary to adopt a more drastic system of shoot thinning and debudding than is required for garden display. The finest blooms are often obtained from one-year-old trees and so really keen exhibitors sometimes bud their own stocks annually so as to have a constant supply of young rose bushes.
Every known means of encouraging the development of bigger and yet more perfect blooms must be adopted, but bear in mind that no amount of attention immediately prior to a show can make up for a bad start earlier in the year. Pruning and thinning must be intelligently carried out from the outset.
Debudding will demand constant attention from May to September, each cluster of buds being eventually thinned to the centre bud only, but for a start it is well to leave one side bud in case the central one should be damaged.
Protecting Roses and Selecting Roses
Flower shades will prove useful, for they serve a dual purpose, to keep off excessive sun and to provide shelter from heavy rain. Many of the brighter reds and delicate pink shades only show their most pleasing tints when partially shaded.
Look over the plants carefully in the early morning and evening prior to the day of the show and decide whether each bloom will be just right or too forward by next day. If a particularly fine young bloom seems likely to get too forward, tie up its centre with a smooth piece of white wool, not in a knot, but just a double turn pulled so that it grips the centre of the flower, yet can easily be slackened and removed at the proper moment. Should the show be within easy distance, the blooms are best cut in the morning, very early, before the sun is on them.
Have some receptacle filled with water, so that the blooms, as cut, can go straight into it.
Rose Varieties / Rose Types
It is as well to label each flower before it is taken from the plant, otherwise varieties can sometimes get mixed or misnamed. It is also a point of strength to have as many spare varieties as possible in reserve.
Exhibition blooms in boxes should be presented to the judges in ‘the most perfect phase of their possible beauty’ – that is, briefly, the blooms should possess form, freshness of colour and size. Always try to aim at quality rather than over-size. A very large flower, if it has a split or muddled centre, or is dull in colour, will not carry as many points as a medium-sized bloom, well finished and bright in colour.
Even with boxes of specimen blooms effort should be taken to contrast the colours of the different varieties as pleasingly as possible. Arrange thein alternate dark and light colours with the larger and heavier blooms at the back, but keep all as even in size as possible. Even with boxes of specimen blooms you should try to contrast the colours of the different varieties as pleasingly as possible. Arrange the flowers in alternate dark and light colours with the larger and heavier blooms at the back, but keep all as even in size as possible.
As a rule, regulation boxes made in sizes to display 6, 9, 12, 18 or 24 blooms must be used. These can be purchased from any rose specialist. The boxes have holes to take metal tubes which are filled with water and in which the flower stems are placed, one bloom to a tube.
Dressing Your Roses
Most blooms will require a little dressing if they are to be shown in really perfect condition. It is a practice which is sometimes condemned, but not to do so is surely a mistake. Faking in any form is certainly malpractice, but merely blowing open a slow-opening flower or pressing the petals lightly back with a camel-hair brush is only assisting a natural process.
Different Classes of Rose
Besides the exhibition blooms shown in boxes there are also classes for vases, baskets and bowls of roses. The chief thing I look for in these classes, in addition to quality and freshness, is lightness of arrangement. Avoid cramming in too many flowers or sprays of flowers as the case may be.
Sprays should be trimmed with a pair of sharp-pointed scissors, cutting out all blooms that have gone off colour or are overblown. This will lighten them considerably and give them a clean, bright appearance.