A Rose Family Holiday
ARS National Convention, San Diego, CA – May 8-12, 2014
By Robert B. Martin, Jr., Program Chair
The San Diego Rose Society, Southern California’s oldest and largest rose society, cordially invites you to take “A Rose Family Holiday” in America’s Finest City on Mother’s Day weekend, May 2014.
The climate in San Diego is always tempered by the Pacific Ocean. May is a peak time for roses with sunshine and little rain. With an average high temperature of 68°F and an average low temperature of 59°F., roses in May are in full bloom
The heart of the Convention is the Town and Country Resort Hotel, just minutes from Downtown San Diego, beautiful Mission Valley, and San Diego’s beaches and attractions. A resort renowned for its legendary service and country feel, the Town and Country Resort Hotel is a family-owned resort with a heritage of hospitality spanning more than five decades. Set among towering palms the hotel grounds are covered with hundreds of rose bushes.
There will be roses in abundance. Saturday features the opening of the huge national rose show. The show schedule offers 13 national challenge classes, 17 Pacific Southwest District Challenge Classes, 14 open challenge classes, and 41 horticultural classes. Arrangers will compete in 41 classes and photographers are invited to submit photographs for a full-scale photography show. The San Diego Rose Society is home to many of the best-known exhibitors in Southern California, and the May date is expected to attract many top national exhibitors from the more temperate climates.
There will be gardens of roses. Responding to requests for more garden tours, the convention will feature three distinct tours. Saturday’s tour will feature the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden in Balboa Park, recently named to the Huntington Library’s GROW Hall of Fame. The Rose Garden displays approximately 1,600 roses of nearly 200 varieties on a three-acre site. The tour concludes with a visit to the Cabrillo National Monument, located at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego, California. It commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542.
Sunday’s garden tour heads to the private East County rose gardens of Convention Chair, Ruth Tiffany, Rose Show Chair, Linda Clark, and longtime members, Dick & Sue Streeper. On Monday, the garden tour goes north to the private rose gardens of the well-known Escondido exhibitors, Bob & Dona Martin, and Gary Bulman. Bob Martin, national editor of Horizon Roses, will be leading tours of his garden and providing educational comment on the newest exhibition roses.
Education is in fact a primary focus of the convention. Bob Martin, program chairman, has assembled a national group of distinguished rosarians to present educational programs. And, in order to permit attendance of as many as possible, none of the programs conflict with others or the tours. Friday features two photography seminars to permit you to improve your rose photography skills. Saturday features a full range of educational programs, including a program by Connie Vierbecky of Sarasota, Florida on “The English Rose Family” following which the “Bugman”, Baldo Villegas will entertain kids and adults alike with his “Good Bugs/Bad Bugs” program. Dr. Gary Rankin and Dr. Monica Valentovic of Lavalette, West Virgina will then entertain rosarians and spouses alike with a “Tool Talk” and “Cliff of the Desert”, Cliff Orent, will discuss the unusual roses he imported for his Euro-Desert collection, now offered by Heirloom Roses. Saturday will also feature a Consulting Rosarian meeting open to all and the educational events will conclude with the Klima Lecture by the newest Klima medalist.
After the garden tour on Sunday, Mother’s Day, ARS President Jolene Adams will host an ARS President’s Tea & Fashion Show honoring mothers, new ARS Members and convention first timers. The guest speaker will be ARS Vice-President, Pat Shanley, speaking on the “The ARS Family”. Immediately following, Dr. Tommy Cairns, ARS Gold Medalist and former ARS and WFRS President will present a stirring multimedia tribute to “A Century of Roses”.
The Monday educational events focus on exhibitors and new roses. Suzanne Horn will present a program on “Showing the Shrub Family”, followed by Richard Anthony of Brighton, Tennessee, speaking on minifloras, including the newest varieties to be introduced by For Love of Roses. Thereafter, Dr. Satish Prabhu of Columbia, South Carolina, who is expected to fly many roses to the convention, will present a program entitled, “Are We There Yet? - Flying With Roses”. Jim Sproul, general director of the Rose Hybridizers Association will then conduct an open meeting at which he will make a presentation on his hybridizing program. Concluding the educational offerings, radio personality, hybridizer and international rosarian John Bagnasco will be the keynote speaker at Monday’s Awards Banquet.
But wait, there’s more! This is A Rose Family Holiday and there will be fun and games for all the family. Kids are welcome, in fact encouraged with special activities and projects. “Hello San Diego”, a San Diego city tour on the red trolley is leaving anytime, all day on Friday. Saturday night features a dinner cruise on San Diego Harbor, considered to be one of the best natural harbors on the west coast of North America and home to four U.S. Naval bases. Sunday night brings a “Come as A Rose” buffet dinner honoring rose families and featuring the Music & Comedy Show of Lee Fugal, whose performance credits include three years at Disneyland, and four years as a special events entertainer at Knott's Berry Farm. Lee’s clever concoction of wonderful piano music (including some rose song requests from the crowd), his hilarious musical “inventions” (all played expertly), playing multiple instruments at once, audience participation (very clean and in good taste!), and his impersonations of musical legends such as Louis Armstrong will all add up to a delicious recipe for music, laughter, and family memories!
Remember what rose conventions used to be like? The San Diego Rose Society was the successful host to the American Rose Society Convention in 1984, 1994 and 2004. Remember what they used to cost? As far as pricing concerned, this may as well be 2004. The full convention rate in 2004 with registration, garden tour, district lunch, two dinners and Mother's day tea cost the participant $257. In 2014 the attendee will pay only $303 for three garden tours, district lunch, two dinners and Mother's Day tea. The room rates at the Town & Country Resort Hotel are also very close to 2004 with a double going for $119 in 2014.
San Diego is such a wonderful place that convention-goers may want to come early, stay later or never go home at all. For those who would linger, there is a post-convention boat tour to romantic Catalina Island – 26 miles across the sea – which is also a great deal. And, nearby there are the many family-oriented San Diego attractions, including the world famous San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, also home to more museums than any park in America. Other world-class attractions within easy reach include the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Sea World and Legoland.
America’s Finest City awaits you and your family so plan to take them on A Rose Family Holiday. For more information and to register see http://www.arosefamilyholiday.com/ .