Jim and I put on our sun hats and our best garden party attire and headed to Washington Park in the hills above Portland...
to participate in this annual event, where "official" judges (including us!) and the general public vote to select...
Portland's best rose.
The caveats: This is not a real, official, rosamundo judging but rather a fun event.
There were two different ballots, the official one which we had and one for the general public.
I brought along my "cheat sheet" out of the Oregonian which had pictures of winners from the last few years. This had beautiful pictures but proved to be less than useful.
Last year's winner was a floribunda called "Day Breaker" which was pink and peachy with yellow. NOT the one pictured below which alas due to the covered up name tags I don't know what it is, but it was beautiful!
Good p.r. for the rose breeding industry - which creates new roses for the garden. Interesting for me, because I want to see what people are looking at, and liking, for 2006.
Jim and I each had an official ballot which had room for 42 roses and our ranking from 1 to 10. We also voted overall for the best rose, and the best smelling rose. This to me points out the ever-increasing popularity of scent in roses, a scarce commodity in commercially grown roses including most of ours.
The 42 roses were planted in the garden and were roses introduced in the last five years. The labels were covered up so we couldn't cheat and know what they were, although some of my fellow judges are very knowlegeable and of course they knew.
For the final awards, the roses were given prizes in categories, including overall best rose, most fragrant, best hybrid tea, best grandiflora, best floribunda, and best shrub rose.
While we were racing through the garden trying to get our best guesses in on all 42, then turn in our ballot in time to get tabulated before lunch, the rose festival court arrived, escorted of course by the Royal Rosarians.
We ran into Tom Carruth of Weeks' Roses and discussed briefly the fact that all the cut flower roses are now being hybridized by the Europeans because of the collapse in the American cut flower industry.
That true but depressing fact didn't get us down however as we toured through the garden, which was looking magnificent. I made Jim pose next to this lamp pole which was covered with a gorgeous climber.
Finally, we were done!!!! We walked back to the amphitheater and turned in our ballots, and then enjoyed a wonderful lunch courtesy of the Portland Rose Society.
So who won????? The best rose - Love and Peace, hybridized by Ping Lim of Bailey's Roses. It is yellow with a red tip, as you can see in the background.
The best hybrid tea and best smelling rose was Firefighter, hybridized by Phil Edmunds of Edmunds Roses. It's red, of course:
Other winners were "Wild Blue Yonder" by Tom Carruth of Weeks Roses for best grandiflora, "Monticello", best shrub roses, by Paulson Roses, and "Bolero" by Conard Pyle, a Meilland variety. Bolero was my personal favorite because it looks great and smells wonderful. This is a floribunda.
Does a contest like this mean anything? I think so. It's a good way to sense the zeitgeist of the rose world - what is making waves right now. But it's also subject to the weather and peoples' moods of the day. My feeling was - it was a super day for rose lovers like me!
I'm still pumped up from the First Thursday last week. Here are some more gorgeous art works from that event:
Lindsay's Flowers, which is the mother and daughter team of Joyce and Jocelyn Lindsay, displayed a lovely glowing tree which they transformed into "The Dream Tree." Joyce said this was a tree that had gotten root-bound in Jocelyn's yard and had to go, so it went out in a glorious golden blaze.
Shannon Cantrell of Old Town Florist designed "Hanging by a Thread" which made the most of the Floral Design Institute's big wonderful space - this design was suspended from the ceiling! A good example of how this First Thursday opportunity offers a chance to get out of the daily grind of work and really show what you can do.
Quinn Anne Kyle of Quinn in the city created "Lily" which reminded me of Cinderella in her ball gown. Was she inspired by the upcoming Rose Festival Queen selection?????? It was life size!
"It's All Yarrow to Him" made maximum use of open space with an airy design of thorny stalks and roses. This was by Anny Sears who works at Northwest Best Fred Meyer.
Meanwhile there was a lot of schmoozing going on!
My husband Jim and I made the scene and there was everyone sipping champagne and munching goodies - but the real feast was for the eyes.
Arancione/h20 by Erik Witcraft of City Flowers featured Spicy and Naranja roses from Peterkort Roses:
Bladeuwedd-Flower Face by Leanne Tabrum-Lovie of La Petite Fleur reminded me of a Venetian glass millefiore design. She carved the torso. The name is from a Norse legend; a woman created from flowers.
Today's last picture is Impressions in Water by Kristin Kolberg-Crucchiola of Flora Luna Designs. This shot is just of the water part inside the container. There was a lot more to this design than my picture shows!
Went out to the farm driving through a warm spring rainstorm which was soothing to my migraine-stressed and caffeine-addled self. I had intended to plant some seedlings in the veg garden but that was clearly out of the picture but there is always something to do out there.
Checked on the flowers of the two garden roses I had bought to test in the greenhouse. Both look like washouts - the red one was really wimpy and blew open too fast, the other turned out to be more pink than red, and not a good stem on it. Okay, time to rip out their feeding tubes, but they are plants so they can go out to the garden and be happy there. Sometimes it's just too warm out in the greenhouse for garden roses.
Tonight we're going to the "Floral Design as Art" exhibit at the Floral Design Institute. See you there!!!!! (See my previous blog on this in the May archives!)