Rose growers and enthusiasts will come together for the 71st annual Augusta Rose Show the weekend of Sept. 28, 29 at the Augusta Mall.
The free show is expected to draw 500 horticultural entries and about 50 design entries. Show organizers expect 50 to 60 exhibitors from Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.
“The rainfall this summer has been great for roses, except for those which are prone to fungus disease,” said Paul Blankenship, first vice president of the Augusta Rose Society, the event’s sponsor. “Those more-susceptible varieties defoliated from the increased fungus pressure, primarily blackspot. Of course, they are recovering now, but that period of stress may mean they produce less and smaller blooms this fall.”
According to Blankenship, the rose show is comprised of two divisions – horticulture and design, or arrangements. In the past, there were fewer horticulture classes than there are today and only a few arrangements were submitted by local growers.
“Current shows, this is the 71st, have many more classes,” explained Blankenship. “Some were added for new types of roses as they were introduced over the years and others were added as more novel ways of showing roses were discovered; floating on water, for instance. We have also occasionally added classes in memory or honor of a particular member.
“In recent years the design portion of our show has grown tremendously in size and popularity as (show co-chairwoman) Linda Boland has reached out to folks interested in design and encouraged them to participate.”
“I will be more than happy to talk with anyone interested in participating in the arrangements portion of the show,” said Boland, adding that the deadline for signing up for arrangement entries is Sept. 23.
Entries for the show will be accepted from 6-9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, in the center court at the Augusta Mall. Entry tags, vases and niches are furnished and there is no fee.
“There are classes for folks who have never entered or won an award in one of our shows,” said Blankenship. “Information about growing roses will be available from experienced growers and handouts will also be available. The show will be in place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-29, during mall hours.”
The Augusta Rose Soci-ety’s regular club meeting will be held at First Baptist Church at 7 p.m. on Sept. 17. Blankenship and Boland will talk with people who want to be in the show. Show schedules will also be available.