Rose growers and enthusiasts are in for a treat when the Augusta Rose Society holds its 70th annual rose show this month.
The free show, which takes place Sept. 29 and 30 at Augusta Mall, features hundreds of entries in a variety of classes.
“The American Rose Society identifies three main groups of roses and 36 classifications of roses within these groups,” said Jane Burckhalter, president of the 75-member Augusta Rose Society. “While we may not have all classifications represented, we have a large majority.”
All rose growers are invited to exhibit in the show and do not have to be a member of a rose society to enter.
The rose show, Burckhalter said, is an opportunity to fulfill the objectives of the Augusta Rose Society.
“Our first goal is to promote the growing of roses and rose activities in the Augusta area,” she said. “We have an information booth with rose society members available to answer questions people may have.”
Each year, the Augusta Rose Society uses the rose show as a platform to highlight a community project. Last year, the show promoted the Lydia Project. This year’s focus is the environmental horticulture program at Augusta Technical College.
Roses have long been considered a difficult plant to grow and maintain. However, Burckhalter said, the rose market over the past 10 to 15 years has changed dramatically.
“Consumers wanted roses that were low maintenance and required little care,” she said. “The introduction of the Knock Out roses in 2000 made an impact on the rose industry.
‘‘Since then, more low-maintenance roses have been hybridized and introduced, making rose growing more convenient and easier for the individual who wants the color of the rose, but not the work of spraying, fertilizing, etc.’’
For more information about rose growing or the upcoming rose show, visit the Augusta Rose Society’s Web site at www.theaugustarosesociety.org.