Dilip's 2006 Garden Journal

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The rose show was today and we did well! With my wife's help, we first put together the miniature arrangement. It was quite simple, but took some time to select the roses and get them in place. We were very pleased with the arrangement, but it took a close 2nd prize next to one of my friend Sue Illg's always-lovely arrangements. My big arrangement took a blue ribbon and American Rose society Artist Award! This is I think the third time I have won the blue ribbon and an Artist Award.

I did okay, but not great in horticulture. The show was tiring - we went to bed around 11p and set the alarm for 4:40. We ended up at the show just a few minutes after 7a, and had till 10:30a. The arrangements took us till around 9:30 or 9:40, and we went right to 10:30 with the roses we wanted to enter into the horticulture contest. I hope to add pictures!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

See today's post in my events blog. For some reason, this blog isn't accepting uploaded pictures for a few days now.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The roses are looking very nice! I fertilized them yesterday (with Eden Rich from Gardens Alive!, coffee grounds, and cotton compost) and watered them yesterday and today. For my miniature arrangement, I'm of course planning on using always prolific Gourmet Popcorn, as it's a good choice and the only other miniature that I grow, Doris Morgan, has never done well for me and currently only has 2 or 3 blooms. I hope that Chrysler Imperial will have three lovely red blooms of varying stages of bloom for the large arrangement; Veteran's Honor is another possible red one, but she has disease on her leaves. Big Purple may have one or two blooms barely ready for the arrangement. Multi-colored Granada will have three ready blooms, but they are small and have some insect damage.

My wife had a great idea though this morning - why not take the just gorgeous and perfectly open trio of Big Purple blooms that I cut from the garden yesterday, as well as the single and also just-right Veteran's Honor (or was it Chrysler Imperial?), and arrest their opening by refrigerating them? I have never done that - but why not? My friends in the Raleigh Rose Society who have done this have recommended using an empty refrigerator or at least one that doesn't have fruits and vegetables (the methylene[?] expelled in ripening hurts the roses?). My refrigerator is always packed, but I found some space including the meat drawer where I store soy products, and lightly wrapped each bloom in foil and/or plastic. In an American Rose Society article on storing and transporting roses to a rose show, this advise is given:

If one uses a frost-free refrigerator, it is advisable to place a baggy over each bloom. Air is forcefully circulated to remove water vapor in a
frost-free refrigerator. The baggy limits the drying effect this moving air has
on the bloom. The ideal temperature to store roses is 34° to 37°F. It is wise
to run several tests with roses in the refrigerator to ensure that the temperature control is reliable before attempting to store blooms intended for exhibition in this degree range. If the temperature drops below 32°, the bloom will suffer frost bite. Often this damage is not visible until several hours after the bloom is removed from the refrigerator and is placed on the exhibition table.

With a little luck, I'll have these gorgeous specimens to exhibit!

I spray painted black the "sculpture" for my large arrangement, after adding drainage stones to the bottom to give it bottom weight/stability. Twice while drying outside, due to a decent breeze, the sculpture tipped over! My wife is fairly confident that won't happen at the show indoors, even with the weight of added roses, but I'm a little nervous. The sculpture looks great, and the flat black hides the imperfections of bending.

The great news is that with my wife's help, I have a good design for the miniature arrangement!! I was inspired by some mesh-like paper I have in the kit I collect for arrangements. We were browsing at Michael's arts and crafts store, and found a plastic mesh in different colors - black becomes a modern arrangement, and that's what we took. We shaped it tentatively into a cone and are planning on hot gluing an "oasis" reservoir inside, to let a spray of Gourmet Popcorn tower over the landscape from this perch reminiscent of the triangular Transamerica building. We'll have a single Gourmet Popcorn bloom (the blooms have been huge 2" ones this year, which seem bigger than in the past) or possibly another spray at the bottom "on the ground", as if it were looking up. That seems to fill the niche well! We found these little maybe 3/4" or 1" gold hearts at Michael's, and I was thinking of hanging one or a few, but my wife pointed out that it wasn't necessary and really was an extraneous design element. With a background color of violet, the arrangement I think has a lot of potential of being clean, elegant, and nicely bringing out the theme, Vertigo.

I think we're in great shape for the show. The sculpture is sitting in the garage after a second coat of black and tomorrow I hope to do a trial run of putting vials of water with roses in three places, and seeing how the sculpture holds up. The miniature design requires little work tomorrow, such as spray painting little holders of oasis, and should then be set!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I'm preparing to enter a modern large-flowered arrangement and a modern miniature rose arrangement in this Saturday's rose show. You can see pictures of the nascent arrangements (and, eventually, the finished ones, as well as of the other entries).

Here is the arrangement schedule with the two categories I am interested in bolded:

Division 3 - Arrangement Classes
The Silver Screen
Arrangement Schedule by Sue Illg

This is an ARS interpretive Rose Arrangement Show. This year’s theme is to honor memorable motion pictures. All arrangements are to be the exhibitor's interpretation of the class title.
If an exhibitor chooses, a 3"x5" card may accompany each arrangement to assist
observers in their interpretation of the design. Please read and conform to Arrangement Show Rules.

Section A: Eligible for ARS Royalty Award
Class 1-- A Night to Remember (1954)- A ship’s officer sees disaster as the Titanic hits an iceberg and slowly sinks on its 1912 maiden voyage.

A traditional arrangement (line, line-mass, or mass - must note on entry card). Fresh roses and fresh and/or dried plant material.
Staged in a niche 40" high by 32" wide by 18" deep.

Section B:
Eligible for ARS Artist Award
Class 2-- The Three Faces of Eve (1957)- A psychiatrist treats a southern housewife with three personalities.

A modern or abstract arrangement. Fresh rose(s) with fresh, dried, or treated plant material. Staged in a niche 40" high by 32" wide by 18" deep.

Section C: Eligible for ARS Miniature Royalty Award
Class 3--Sense and Sensibility (1995)- Suitors romance, then abandon sisters left destitute by their wealthy father’s death in late 1800’s England.

A traditional arrangement, (line, line-mass, or mass - must note on entry card). Fresh roses and fresh and/or dried plant material. Staged in a niche 9" high by 9" wide by 6" deep.

Section D: Eligible for ARS Miniature Artist Award
Class 4--Vertigo (1958)-A former San Francisco detective who dreads heights falls for a woman he is hired to protect.

A modern or abstract arrangement.
Fresh rose(s) with fresh, dried, or treated plant material.
Staged in a niche 9" high by 9" wide by 6" deep.

Section E:
Eligible for ARS Oriental Manner Award
Class 5—The Good Earth (1937)—Set in pre-revolutionary China, a simple peasant farmer rises, with the help of his faithful wife to become a prosperous lord. Tragedy follows along the way as he betrays his family and neglects the earth he had worshipped.

One entry large arrangement. Designer's choice Traditional or Modern/Abstract-must note on entry card. Staged in a niche 40"high by 32" wide by 18" deep.

Section F: Eligible for ARS Miniature Oriental Manner Award
Class 6—Sayonara (1957)—An American jet ace has a poignant affair with the star performer of a famed Japanese acting company.

One entry mini arrangement. Designer's choice Traditional or Modern/Abstract-must note on entry tag. Staged in a niche 9" high by 9" wide by 6" deep

For the large arrangement, I walked around Home Depot and came up with an idea - flexible ductwork. The 4" wide duct is around 3' long but can be stretched to 6'. I attached it today to a rubber endcap that cinches onto it via a screwdown. I put some pepples down into the duct to settle in the cap and give it weight to counterbalance the "sculpture". Once I have a design I like, hopefully tomorrow, I'll spraypaint the duct black. I plan on hot glueing 3 water vials with roses to three different places on the duct.

I am thinking of doing some sort of hanging design for the miniature rose category. You can see more about my roses on my rose page, including past rose shows.