Annual rose show Saturday in Richland

By Loretto J. Hulse Tri-City HeraldJune 5, 2014 

Tom Miles Roses

Tom Miles, Tri-City Rose Society member, sticks out his tounge in concentration Tuesday as he works on trimming buds at the rose garden at Lawrence Scott Park in Kennewick. The society is holding their 66th annual rose show on Saturday June 7, 2014 at the Richland Community Center. The show is open for public viewing from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

SARAH GORDON — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

A Richland man has pampered Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe.

Tom Miles also is on close terms with Betty Boop of cartoon fame and is fond of a Playboy too.

They're all roses growing in the garden at Lawrence Scott Park in Kennewick. For more than 14 years, Miles, with help from other members of the Tri-City Rose Society, has pruned, weeded and maintained the almost 400 roses in the park.

The land is owned by the city of Kennewick, which also provides the irrigation water and workers to mow the lawn between the beds.

Care of the roses is the responsibility of the Rose Society, which planted the first bushes in 1985.

This year, Miles turned his rose garden chairman's pruners over to another member of the Rose Society and has taken charge of just one of the 14 rose beds.

"I'm 84; it's time I retired," Miles joked. "I'm taking care of flower bed No. 3 this year. It has the climbers and some of the floribundas."

Retired or not, Saturday you'll find Miles lending a hand at the Rose Society's 66th annual show. It's at the Richland Community Center, 500 Amon Park Drive.

Public viewing of the judged blooms is from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

If you grow roses, consider entering them in the show. You don't need to be a member of the Rose Society. There's no entry fee and no need to register.

All ages are welcome. There are separate categories for ages 17 and younger. The roses must be from bushes entrants cared for themselves.

Entries will be accepted from 7:30 to 10 a.m. the day of the show. Simply take your roses in a bucket of water to the Richland Community Center.

Don't worry about rounding up vases. Those are supplied.

It helps to know the name of your roses, but if not, take them anyway. There's sure to be an experienced member of the group available who can help identify them for you and help fill out the entry forms. Take your entries in early; don't wait until minutes before 10 a.m. to arrive.

Even if you don't grow roses, you can enter one of the classes for dried roses and rose photographs.

Here are some tips from Miles on selecting entries that might earn you best in show:

-- Cut your roses the day before and keep them cool or get up early on the day of the show to get fresh blooms.

-- Before heading to the garden, fill a bucket or pitcher with water. Immediately after cutting, plunge the stem of the bloom into the water. "When you cut the stem of a rose it reacts like a human being and kind of gasps. If it's in water that's what it sucks up. If not, it sucks in air which creates a blockage in the stem preventing it from taking up water," Miles said.

-- Cut the stems as long as possible, at least 12 inches for hybrid tea roses and floribundas and six inches for mini-roses.

-- Trim off any blemishes on the leaves with a pair of sharp scissors.

-- Use an old pair of nylon pantyhose dipped in cool water to wipe dust off the leaves.

-- Try to leave any critters that might be lurking between the petals at home.

For more information on the Tri-City Rose Society or the show, go to www.owt.com/rosesociety.

-- Loretto J. Hulse: 509-582-1513; lhulse@tricityherald.com

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