The 2013 Miniature National Rose Show and Convention was hosted by the Winston-Salem Rose Society at the Holiday Inn Select in Winston-Salem, NC. I was unable to attend Friday’s activities or exhibit at Saturday’s rose show but enjoyed meeting up with friends and fellow rose lovers. Typically the Miniature Rose Show and Convention are held in the middle of the summer so this years later September date was ideal for higher quality roses. Some parts of the country did suffer from prolonged hot temperatures and lack of rain, however, with the potential higher quality roses I really anticipated this year’s rose show.
We left after work Friday and didn’t get into Winston-Salem until 1 AM Saturday morning. After a short “nap” I headed down to the prep room around 6 AM, where I was kindly greeted in the lobby by Satish Prabhu. Upon entering the prep room I saw many of the country’s top exhibitors, which included: Sandy and Bob Lundberg, Tommy Carins and Luis Desamero, David and Tammy Clemons, Paul and Charlotte Blankenship, Don and Mary Myers, Richard Anthony and of course Satish Prabhu to name a few. While every exhibitor’s table may not have been loaded as much as they would have liked there were an endless amount of high quality blooms. The prep room unfortunately was not the coolest one I have been in, but it was not hot either. I was not in the room more than 5 minutes when Satish kindly asked if I could help him as unfortunately his wife Vijaya could not make the trip. Being a top level exhibitor Satish had a table full of high quality miniatures and minifloras so I was lucky I got to work with high quality blooms and a knowledgable exhibitor. Most importantly I got to know Satish and frankly I think we both learned a little bit about showing roses from one another.
All of the top exhibitors seek winning the national challenge class trophies. The Miniature National Rose Show has two national challenge trophies: the Top Gun National Miniflora Trophy and the F. Harmon Saville National Challenge Bowl. For those not familiar, the national challenge trophies exceed the prestige of the Queen of the Shown as it is more difficult to win these trophies due to the fact it takes many high quality roses to win these trophies. Exhibitors typically use their best roses in their attempt to win national trophies. It is an all or nothing type mentality as one bad roses, bad staging, bad color combination or poor presentation can cost the exhibitor winning the collection and therefore the loss of many excellent roses that would have been strong contenders as single entries. That said, it does not diminish the fine accomplishment of winning Queen of Show.
The Top Gun National trophy is a collection of 9 different minifloras. There were 6 Top Gun entries and were shown by James Richardson, Sandy Lundberg, Elton Smith, Tommy Cairns and Luis Desamero, Satish Prabhu and Richard Anthony. Satish Prabhu from Columbia, SC took home the Top Gun Award with a stunning entry that was very closely matched in size and was the best overall presented collection. Foolish Pleasure’, ‘Tammy Clemons’, ‘Butter Cream’, ‘Dr. Troy Garrett’, ‘Whirlaway’, ‘Ambiance’, ‘Louisville Lady’, ‘Power Point’, ‘Abby’s Angel’ were the roses used in Satish’s winning entry. Richard Anthony and Sandy and Bob Lundberg also had very nice Top Gun entries.
For good measure Satish Prabhu won the F. Harmon Saville Memorial Challenge Bowl, which is a collection of 18 miniature roses of 6 or more varieties displayed in a low container that must not exceed 4-inches. There were many strong entries. this year. The roses used in the winning collection were ‘Doris Morgan’, ‘Ty’, ‘Renegade’, ‘Arcanum’, ‘Soroptimist International’ and ‘Bee’s Knees’. This was Satish 59th national trophy won and ties Tommy Cairns / Luis Desamero for most ever.
The Miniature Queen of Show was awarded to Rafiq and Suni Bolar’s from Hillsborough, NJ entry of ‘Fairhope’. This was the couple’s first National Queen of Show. Don and Mary Myers of Wake Forest, NC took home the Miniature King with a nice ‘Nancy Jean’. The Miniature Princess was ‘Arcanum’ shown by Satish Prabhu. ‘Renegade’ by Judy and Bob Arthofer, ‘Joy’ shown by John and Diana Fleek and ‘Ginny’ shown by Sandy and Bob Lundberg rounded out the miniature court. There was some grumblings amongst spectators that the ‘Renegade’ and ‘Joy’ should have placed higher. Upon closer examination both varieties had very good blooms but were shown on stems that may have been a tad long thus potentially hurting the balance and proportion of the entires.
David and Tammy Clemons of Grant, Alabama took home the Miniflora Queen of Show with their own creation ‘Unbridled’. Their ‘Unbridled’ was on a significant stem clothed with beautiful foliage and a large bloom that had a solid “fat” bud with a pin point center. This may have not have been the most colorful ‘Unbridled’ but this variety’s pink and coral edge can vary depending on climate conditions. David showed me this rose in the morning and went with this particular ‘Unbridled’ over a smaller one with more intense color due to the stateliness and “Queen” power. A wise decision indeed. This was the 12th National Miniature or Miniflora Queen of Show hybridized by David and first for ‘Unbridled’.
Perhaps the rose that drew the most attention on either court was Sandy and Bob Lundberg’s ‘Crystal Palace’ which was awarded the Miniflora King of Show. The bloom was perfectly round from the top and was large. Throughout the day the bloom just seemed to get better opening to another center. ‘Crystal Palace’ is a newer white rose with a hint of pink at the corp of the bloom and was hybridized by Fred Wright. The hybrid teas ‘White Success’ crossed with ‘Signature’ was used to create ‘Crystal Palace’. A very nice ‘Power Point’ shown by Gary Rankin of Lavalette, WV was the Miniflora Princess of Show. ‘Mikayla Danielle’ shown by Mike and Sally Wrightstone, ‘Flawless’ by Elton Smith and ‘Dr. Troy Garret’ by Suni and Rafiq Bolar rounded out the Miniflora Court of Honor.
I noticed some of David Clemons’ own entries and many of the roses he hybridized were on the head table. One of the nicer exhibits of the show was the Basket Challenge winning entry by Richard Anthony of Brighton, TN with the miniature rose ‘Joy’. Jim Speas won the Judges Class with a nice entry of ‘Foolish Pleasure’. Ken Schmidt, Winterville, NC won the best miniature spray with ‘Joy’. David Clemons aside from winning the Miniflora Queen of Show won with a pretty Miniflora English Box of 6 ‘Tammy Clemons’, the Hi-Lo with ‘Lady Eowyn’ and ‘Joy’, and the Hybridizer’s Mini/Miniflora Challenge with ‘Foolish Pleasure’, ‘Unbridled’ and ‘Tammy Clemons’ .
For those who love the miniature and miniflora singles there were some very nice winning entries. Gary Rankin and Monica Valentovic won the best Miniflora Single with ‘Sunglow’ while Paul and Charlotte Blankenship was awarded the best miniature single with ‘Cajun Dancer. The artist’s palettes were to be shown as open blooms as opposed to at exhibition stage which is a bit different than normal. Richard Anthony won the Miniature Artist’s Palette and Cindy Dale of Peachtree, GA took home the best Miniflora Artist’s Palette. Don and Mary Myers won the Best Seedling with a light pink rose which was the result of crossing ‘Ty’ with ‘Veteran’s Honor’.
Saturday capped off with the dinner and awards presentation. American Rose Society President Jolene Adams presented Luis Desamero with the American Rose Society Gold Medal for the spirit of sharing , educating, promoting the rose and service to his local society and district. Jolene additionally gave the presidential citation to Marily Williams Doug Craver Steve Lawson Sheree Wright and Andrea Jackson. Tom Carruth’s mauve grandiflora ‘Wild Blue Yonder’ was awarded the prestigious James Alexander Gamble Fragrance award. Ernest Earman of Alexandria, VA received the Furstenberg Award for his wonderful red hyrbid tea ‘Let Freedom Ring’.
Dr. Herring announced Benson “Gene” King’s red blend with bright yellow stamens miniature single ‘Peggy T’, Dee Bennett’s yellow single ‘My Sunshine’ and F. Harmon Saville’s mauve miniature ‘Winsome’ were inducted into the Miniature Rose Hall of Fame. To be eligible for nomination to the Hall of Fame, a miniature rose must have been, and continue to be, in commerce for 20 or more years.
David Clemons of Grant, Alabama red miniflora ‘Tammy Clemons’ received the Award of Excellence for 2014. To be awarded the AOE a rose must undergo evaluation at various test gardens around the country for 2 years evaluation and are judged on novelty, bud form, flower form, opening color, finishing color, substance, habit, quantity of flowers, vigor/renewal, foliage, and disease and insect resistance.
I really enjoyed talking and meeting up with many rose friends and even perhaps made a few new friends while I was there. The Winston-Salem Rose Society put together a fantastic Miniature National that was run smoothly and had great hospitality. For those who have never attended or showed at a national rose show, you should seriously consider going. It is both fun and a learning experience, but most importantly you will meet people with a common passion and maybe make a friend or two.