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redsox_gw

Do most forum members belong to the ARS?

redsox_gw
15 years ago

I wondered if most here belong to the ARS. It seems expensive, but is it a value? I was thinking of asking for membership for a gift from my Husband. I belonged to the American Orchid Society for a while, but it was not all that worthwhile.

Comments (74)

  • dublinbay z6 (KS)
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    No, I am not a member of any rose group/society. If there were a local one available, I might join it, but the nearest rose society is a 2.5 hour drive to Kansas City. I do belong to a local garden club--mainly because my gardening neighbor wanted me to join--and it is all right--nice people there--but almost no interest in roses and they get into a lot of things that don't interest me (such as making Xmas wreaths, etc.).

    For now, this forum answers to my needs. Maybe someday I'll decide a membership in a national rose society would be helpful, but so far, I have not felt the inclination.

    Kate

  • Molineux
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    ARS member for about six years. Considered going for the Consulting Rosarian program but decided in the end that it wasn't for me. The future of the ARS? My feeling is that the ARS despirately needs reinvention. At this point ANY change would be benefical. They really should have had an interactive forum like this one ten years ago. Heck, when Gardenweb went up for sale they should have bought it or negotiated the sale of just the THE ROSARIAN and its forums. If it meant not having a rose show for five years or not building that fancy new garden then it would have been money well spent. Frankly I think the ARS is doomed, but for the moment it isn't dead yet and miracles do happen.

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  • jerijen
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, Pore ARS. They cain't help it . . .
    Many within ARS, I think, would have loved to have fielded a forum such as this one.
    The problem is, to do it, someone has to manage the blamed thing.
    Anyone who has done it will tell you that managing Lists is a time-consuming (often thankless) task.

    Yes. It would have been (and still would be, I think) a saving grace for ARS,
    but there's never been anyone who had the time to do it on a volunteer basis.
    And no money anywhere to pay for the work.

    And as for where they spend money, the problem is not that they have no money.
    It's that much of what they have is legally tied up in specific bequests or projects.

    Now, if someone wants to donate or bequeath enough $$$ to put it together --
    Or if someone is able to take the task on for the good of roses and mankind --
    well, we will all think kindly of you.

    All that said, I do agree. Internet forums in one incarnation or another
    ARE probably the best future for garden clubs.
    The times, they are a changing.

    Jeri

  • sandy808
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have been an ARS member for several years, but I don't much care for the huge dues increase either. The magazine is nice, but it is too biased towards those that want to grow hybrid teas and exhibit. I have nothing against hybrid teas or those that love exhibiting. The point I'm making is that there are many more types of roses and rose interests than the hybrid teas. The ARS has continued to ignore that fact.

    It is impossible to grow healthy modern hybrid teas in Florida without a spray program. I do not want to do a "spray program". Therefore, I am growing only those roses that are adapted to my climate, which is mostly teas and chinas. I love to gobble up any and all information about these wonderful roses that grow so well in Florida. And let us not forget the others either; the hybrid musks, polyanthas, noisettes, and all the wonderful roses that only the northern folks can grow because they hate the heat down here. They haven't listened.

    I, too, would love to see gardening and landscaping ideas and pictures in the magazine (detailed enough to be of some use). More information on cultivating the soil, growth habits of various roses, little quirks about them, DETAILS about them etc. would be much more helpful to me than constantly reading "feed, water, spray, spray spray"..... THEN the extra dues would be worth it, to me.

    I'm not sure I am going to renew. However, to their credit, there was an article in the most recent magazine about someone that is using natural ingredients (vinegar, aspirin, etc. mixture) to spray with, and have been sucessful. However, I am not sure that recipe would work in the humid southeast.

    ARS, you need to take the blinders off. Not everyone wants to grow hybrid teas. Pretty as they are, they are not ideal for all climates.

    I can't see paying expensive dues to an organization that refuses to promote and encourage ALL roses, not just one category of roses. After all, they are supposed to be the American ROSE Society.

    Sandy

  • phil_schorr
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am a life member, a consulting rosarian, chair of two ARS committees (RIR and Registration), and co-editor of Modern Roses 12. I hope all that doesn't automatically disqualify me from expressing my opinion. :o)

    I truly don't understand all the comments that claim the ARS is fixated on hybrid teas. If you look at the Roses in Review, you will find only about 1/3 of the roses reported there are hybrid teas (or grandifloras). Cluster flowered varieties (shrubs and floribundas) are just as large in numbers as hybrid teas, as are miniatures and mini-floras.

    Four years ago the ARS started a new program called the Members Choice Award, which honors one of the top rated roses in Roses in Review each year. In only one of these first four years was the winner a hybrid tea (Gemini). The first year was a shrub (Knock Out), the third a miniature (Bees Knees) and the most recent a floribunda (Hot Cocoa).

    The current President of the ARS is Steve Jones. Those of you that know Steve know that his passion is Old Garden Roses. He has written innumerable articles about OGRs for the ARS magazine and the newsletters of the local rose societies in his area.

    For those of you who feel there is still too much attention paid to exhibiting in the magazine, I can tell you I receive many complaints from exhibitors saying the ARS has forgotten exhibitors and doesn't even honor the winners of the national shows in the magazine anymore. I guess it all depends upon your point of view.

    Modern Roses 12, which will come out in September, will list information on over 30,000 varieties of roses - an increase of 5,000 over MR XI. While a significant share of that 5,000 are modern roses (since they are continually introduced), over half the increase represents OGRs. Hybrid teas are not a substantial portion of the total. In addition to adding so many OGRs, we also have corrected information on more - in part due to the help of experts like Jeri Jennings.

    From where I stand, the ARS has come a long way from the old days and is not any longer all about hybrid teas. Every type of rose is celebrated and appreciated. Maybe I'm just blind, but that is my experience.

  • cactusjoe1
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    You are probably correct, Phil, since you do have the inside scoop. But can't you see that the ARS is doing a poor job of advertising those changes you described? Otherwise, you won't see a majority of posters on this thread still thinking that the ARS is dominated by an interest in HT's.

    I really wish that the ARS magazine will break out beyond it's restricted confines of publishing articles on roses to the exclusion of other gardening aspects that make roses a part of our life. What about articles on soil management and improvement? Companion plantings? What about a section on great gardens (oh, rose gardens) of the world? You could have many variations along the theme of landscaping with roses. What about articles that take us inside of the workings of major/renowned rose hybridisers, and rose houses? What about articles on the science of fragrance, colour perception, etc? I do enjoy the ARS magazine, but the narrow scope of it's materials is rather frustrating.

  • jim_w_ny
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm not a member nor even thinking about joining.

    Seems like they are way behind the parade.

    Even this site is becoming for me too narrow.

    Much to much emphasis on popular faddy roses. I mean I've found over the years the superiority of roses from Europe where there is some emphasis on hardy roses. Particulary roses from Kordes and Tantau. All you hear is Austins, Austins over and over again.

    I feel like I live on another planet rose wise!

  • roseman
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    After reading some of the comments after I had posted, I noted that many said one had to be a member of ARS to show your roses. THAT IS NOT SO! If there is a rose show in your area and you have some blooms you would like to enter, you may, and the people who are "showing" will help you prepare your roses to enter. I never cease to be amazed at the number of misunderstandings there are about, not only local societies, but also practices of the ARS. It matters not if you are a member or not, grow two or two hundred roses, you can enter any show, if you desire, member of ARS or not. Shows are also free to the public BTW, so unlike most garden clubs, we never charge admission. Another thing, as President of a local society, and member of several more, we never pressure anyone to do anything they don't wish to do. If you don't want to show your roses, you certainly don't have to. I think it's about time all the misinformation stopped, because the name of the game is really growing good roses.

  • jerijen
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Someone told me long ago that the restaurant business was a tough one.
    That, once a restaurant got a bad reputation, it was stuck with it -- even if management, theme, & EVERYTHING changed.

    ARS is sort of in that position.
    I think a genuine attempt IS being made to change the organization.
    I think some, at least, are trying to make it more in tune with current ideas and trends.
    Still, no matter how hard they try to change, no one's noticing.
    They need to be able to get that message of inclusivity out there where people will see it.

    I regret the size of the dues increase, though.
    I think that's going to cost them memberships in the long haul.

    Jeri

  • sandy808
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I think cactus joe said it well. The scope of the magazine has been too narrow, without enough in depth information on the various aspects of rose growing. We need some inspiration, and lots of practical advice on cultivating the soil, and how to blend roses into the landscape. We need more information like where a certain rose grows well, where it is a disease disaster, whether the thorns are nasty or not, how pretty the foliage is, how large or small it stays depending on where grown. I'm hoping you get the idea.

    I know the ARS is not going to please everone, all of the time. However, they need to understand that many of us are seeing the literature as being very narrow in scope, and some of the articles, though nice, are sometimes too "generalized" to be of much help.

    I don't mind a magazine that spans two months worth, as long as it has many pages packed with lots of info. I don't mind a dues increase, if the magazine information warrants the price increase. There are other rose publications that I have not renewed because they always had show ratings and rose reviews that only gave a number (not WHY they got the rated number), some generic "be sure to fertilize and spray" instructions, and not much else. Boring.

    Perhaps the ARS magazine could have an exhibitor section, and organic rose growing section (what really works, and what doesn't, and why, and in which areas), a landscaping with roses section, etc. from various climate zones around the U.S. What works in New York is vastly different from what works in Florida, or California. People who grow roses need detailed information, and lots of inspiration to feed the passion.

    I can be patient for things to evolve. However, I am still feeling as though those that are "in charge" of things are being defensive and still saying they have addressed these concerns, when in reality, little change has been brought about so far. I don't feel the minds have opened up much from the closed stage. Just my opinion. It may be that I am too impatient and expecting things to change a little more quickly. I just think it is sad when a gardening magazine from the supermarket features a more in depth article about roses than the ARS is.

    Sandy

  • Maryl (Okla. Zone 7a)
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I read what Phil wrote and I certainly have seen the changes he talks about in the magazine. However, when you try to be all inclusive of everyones interest in (now) 80 pages of a magazine you may end up satisfying no one. And by the way, there is nothing wrong with Hybrid Teas. I grow all types of roses, but get real tired of people disparaging the HT. It is the type of rose that 99% of people think of when they send an expensive bouquet of flowers. Let's not bash the one rose that is universally regarded with awe by the uninitiated. It might just be what sparks them to grow some type of rose (maybe even your type) later on.

  • petaloid
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I love getting a magazine that is all about roses, and from my point of view, the content is more varied and interesting in recent times.

    As far as the organization itself, it looks like the current leadership is doing its best to make major improvements, and I hope they succeed.

  • trospero
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Redsox,
    If you found your membership with the AOS to be unsatisfying, you sure aren't going to do any better with the ARS! The American Rose magazine doesn't even come close to the quality of the AOS publications. If all you have to judge the ARS on is the magazine, then you are likely to be disappointed. And then there is the nearly $50 a year membership fee!!! Ouch. No thanks.

    That being said, if you find a local Rose Society that has a mixed membership with a broad range of interests, then you are likely to have a very good time with that group. Its up to YOU to evaluate the worthiness of your local branch.

  • sandy808
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Jeri Jennings made a suggestion on the Antique Rose Forum that is excellent. There are many of us that have areas of expertise in rose growing. Submit some articles. maybe we should all be part of the solution.

    I have nothing against hybrid teas. Most are extremely beautiful. They just are not very easy roses to grow in some areas. Some people don't mind spray schedules, but I can't handle it in heat indexes that are well over 100 degrees every day.....for weeks on end.

    Sandy

  • sherryocala
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I joined the ARS & my local society in March, 2007. Was quite disappointed that it seemed like most in the local were into HTs. That's what the presentations were about. The magazine is pretty and has been informative though short. Nor'east discontinued giving a free miniature rose to new ARS members before I could get mine. Didn't answer my email at any rate.

    Unfortunately, for Floridians no gardening magazine is going to be very useful. (Not even Florida Gardening since I don't live in the more tropical part of the state.) The perennials they write about can't be grown here unless you're a Fall/Winter gardener, and I lived here 27 years before I knew that was the way to do it. So it's not unreasonable that a national group would seem to be ignoring our needs - we ARE really different from the rest of the country. It would be a nice touch if they printed a disclaimer column (perhaps "Welcome Newbies") for the coastal areas of the southeast that most HTs and Floribundas will be unsuccessful for them without a dedicated spray program AND in western coastal areas certain roses will mostly fail due to powdery mildew AND in the northern reaches choose only cold hardy roses AND everybody should try not buying from Lowe's & Home Depot until they have a better handle on rose growing and until those stores start carrying roses that will actually survive in their area AND better choices for beginners in this and that area would be _____ for these reasons... If they want to cultivate a new generation of rose growers they need to write for beginners at least a little bit. Thankfully, I found the GW rose forums and organic gardening forum. But maybe the ARS doesn't want to go there. But if a new rose gardener bothers to join & pay the dues, there ought to be a dedicated column to their needs.
    I don't know yet about renewing.

  • karl_bapst_rosenut
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Maryl,
    "It might just be what sparks them to grow some type of rose later on."

    My experience with the uninitiated is hybrid teas are what turns them off on roses. Because they are most often tender in cold growing zones, often very disease prone, requiring winter protection, regular spraying and special handling to grow properly, hybrid teas are a turn off for many who would like to grow roses.
    It's only recently with the introduction of the easy care Knockout series of roses that I've had gardeners tell me they've returned to growing roses. After experienced these, many try the hybrid teas again but, having learned a few things, now know how better to care for them.
    Few are interested in exhibiting.
    Most want fragrant easycare, disease resistant hardy roses and would rather plant the many shrub types that fit this criteria. Canadians, Bucks, Austins and hybrid rugosas fill the bill better than hybrid teas.
    I grow some hybrid teas but all I grow have passed the test of time regarding hardiness and disease resistance. My own expectations have changed and I've learned to live with imperfect leaves and flowers.
    Trial and error have taught me that much of the hype in the ARS magazines works only if one accepts that roses require work and have limitations.
    The many pictures of perfect roses can raise expectations and lead to much disappointment when people find out a lot of work is required to get roses like that.
    Although hybrid teas may be what causes the uninitiated to lust after roses, they also are what makes my job harder when a person tells me they've tried but cannot grow roses.
    And I agree that a good local rose society can be a very rewarding support group where one can learn a lot.

  • kristal
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I would venture to say that most of the regular posters here are more likely to belong to organizations and are generous enough to come here to share their knowledge with and answer questions for the rest of us.

  • curlydoc
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I recently joined after a 20-year hiatus, and I'm glad I did. I really enjoy the magazine and reading about the history and the different gardens. In the Aug/Sept 2007 edition, there is a fascinating story of roses named after French soldiers: "Soldiers in the Garden", an ancient riddle called "The Five Brothers", an article entitled "My favorite Old Garden Roses" and an article on the Lawrence Scott Park, with recipes for a spray regime using aspirin, apple cider vinegar, Miracle Gro and liquid dishwashing soap, used on 300 roses, and a rose garden feeding plan using alfalfa pellets, bone meal, cotton seed meal, Epsom salts, chelated iron, Miracle Gro, 20 Mule-Team Borax and apple cider vinegar. Lots of other articles by noted rosarians. I think the magazine is great. I would recommend joining.

  • redsox_gw
    Original Author
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    What I didn't like about the AOS magazine were the articles on classifications and taxonomy. I found them very boring. I learned far more about orchid care from the forums I post on, and I imagine this to be true for Roses also. That said, I might still give it a try to form my own opinion.

    Receiving a huge magazine, tho, on a bi-monthly basis, does not have the appeal of receiving a smaller one monthly, to me. I have small children and very little free time. It may equate to the same in the long run but the size of the 80 pager will be offputting.

  • diane_nj 6b/7a
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Wait, in our district you DO NOT have to be an ARS member in order to exhibit. And I have not known it to be a requirement to be an ARS member to exhibit at the national level either. You usually have to register to exhibit at district or national conventions, but not at local shows. Oh, roseman already said this. OK...

    I belong to both the ARS and my local rose soceity (I am the President). I am a CR and a Horticulture Judge. I try to move our society to include more diverse programs, and we have had a few this year. And I just received the latest issue of American Rose the ARS magasine, and there are a LOT of articles that are not HT or exhibiting related. I try to help anyone who wants to grow roses and encourage those who think they cannot. That is my first priority.

  • sandy808
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, I've been thinking that when it is time to renew my membership with the ARs, it is worth trying again. Maybe they ARE getting the message about diversifying. I would hate to bail out too soon without giving them a chance, and it sounds as though the funds are badly needed right now. If we don't give them the support of our dues, the organization may "go away" for lack of funding, and we may never know if things would change.

    Just my two cents.

    Sandy

  • Jeannie Cochell
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I've been an ARS member since the mid-90's and have been a CR since that 3-yr qualifying mark. I've held various offices in two local rose societies, edit two newsletters, am a cyber-CR and currently sit on the board of three local societies. I'm also extremely close to burn-out because I'm a 'younger' member.

    Quite frankly, I LOVE being a member of the ARS. If it wasn't for that magazine, I'd be lacking quite a bit in information as to events, gardening in other climates, history of roses and new roses on the market. I don't give a hang about HT's but most of the local club members make a rose show sound like the ONLY reason for a society to exist. Scares off new members, IMO.

    I enjoy reading all the wonderful articles and the beautiful pictures I find in the American Rose. Since you have to be a member to receive it, plus the Handbook for Selecting Roses (thank you, Phil Schorr), then those are two reasons right there to join.

    The Home Depot, Lowe's and Year-of-the-Rose were all pretty much flops in this area but, except for the Home Depot lack of advertising, I wouldn't lay the blame at the ARS' doorstep. Local society folk don't want to work. They want to be entertained and extremely cheaply, at that. If polled, all they ever want is to have a program about roses that do well in this area, and food. With some 12 meetings a year, that theme gets old really fast. Of course, 80% of the membership doesn't attend more than one meeting a year anyway.

    When I first came on the GW in the early 1990's, I learned the most important reason to join a local rose society. I live in one of the hottest, most arid climates in the US and the vast majority of people posting here do not. To get the kind of select information I need to grow roses in my alkaline soil, I needed local input. Some of the 'expert' advice I was getting on the GW was from folks with about 10 minutes more growing time under their belts than I had.

  • cweathersby
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Nope. Not a member. I don't know why, but it never appealed to me. Meetings aren't my thing. I don't even know where the closest society is.

  • tahoekay
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am a member of ARS and a "corresponding member" (just receive the newsletter) of the Reno Rose Society.

    Kay

  • jerijen
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Local rose societies are a wonderful, under-appreciated asset.
    If ARS did nothing at all but provide an umbrella for local societies, it would still be important.
    So, while I complain about ARS (a LOT!) I really want it to succeed.

    I've never seen any problem at all with the idea of joining local societies chiefly for their Newsletters.
    Members who do that still help to support the society financially.

    In today's world, getting to rose society meetings is tough for many people.
    I'm sort of surprised that more local societies don't use the Internet to form community at a local level.

    Jeri

  • agility_mom
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have belonged to the ARS for three years now and I renewed for three more years before the price increase. I mainly do it because I like the magazine but I also like supporting the rose effort. Although with the price increase, I may not renew again.

  • oldroser
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I've been a member since - well I don't really want to think about that - almost 50 years now! And since I've always had a pretty limited income, I rethink it every time my renewal comes up. Each time I decide that every year I read a couple of articles in the magazine that are worth the price of subscription.
    And I'm not all that much interested in hybrid teas, though they are very pretty. I prefer to grow the roses that want to grow for me and those are OGR's and shrubs. And ARS over the years has had a lot of info on those two groups and the interest in shrubs has recently multiplied several times over. In our local society, most of the show entries fall into those categories because that is what people are growing. Of course, you don't have to be a member to enter a show and you don't have to grow hybrid teas either.
    Yes, I could grow roses without ARS or my local society but from what I've seen, joining ARS and joining a local society enables me to grow them a lot better. And get a lot more out of them.
    It's true of roses (and rose organizations) that you get out what you put in. Just reading the magazine gets you something but not all that much - attending meetings gets you more and participating in the show, even more. The people who enjoy growing roses most are the people who put the most into it - who read up on the latest info, participate in the Gardenweb, take part in local meetings and share their rose problems and answers with others.
    Jim, if you attended a few meetings, you might find out why everyone in your area can grow Austin roses and you can't!

  • seil zone 6b MI
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Yes, I am a member and I renewed for 3 years this time.

    No one around here has every said anything about having to be a member to show your roses. As far as I know anyone and everyone is welcome. Also as far as I know you don't have to be an ARS member to be a member of your local rose society. I enjoy mine very much and can talk to people who have all the same growing conditions I have which is a big help. We have a lot of fun too!

    As for the magazine changes, I just received my first 2 month issue. It is substantially bigger than the old 1 month was and there are lots of new types of articles. One in particular that people have been asking for is an organics column. To me that says that they are responding to their members and we need to give them a chance to do so. Change takes time and patients is a virtue.

    There are already several very good forums on line. I don't think the ARS needs to do another one. Money/time wasted. If they want to improve the web site I feel a regional question and answer area with local CR's would be more beneficial. I could type in a specific question and a local CR would get back to me with an answer pertinent to my area. That would be helpful.

    I think the ARS is trying to make changes for the better and they need our help and support to do so. Jumping ship isn't a solution.

  • michaelg
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The ARS needs to exist, so I feel a bit guilty that I don't contribute.

    When I started rosing I joined, and I also read my mentor's back issues of AR and the annual. Of course I learned a great deal thanks to the ARS. I was a national member for two substantial stretches, but there wasn't a local society. Then in the mid-90s, I got upset that the ARS publications were creating national hysteria over downy mildew in publishing contradictory descriptions of the disease by people who had never experienced it. I didn't renew and didn't miss the magazine. Then the internet matured to the point of becoming the best source of information apart from a good local mentor.

    Actually it may be that the main mission of the ARS in the age of the internet should be rose shows and as a nexus for rose-world activists, rather than outreach and information for average growers. And of course somebody has to organize the registration of varieties.

  • phil_schorr
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Michael, we already have that service. Go to the ARS homepage and scroll down to the bottom. Click on "Contact a Consulting Rosarian". Then in the left hand column click on "Contact Consulting Rosarians in Your Area". This will bring up a list of CRs by state, with their email link. Just click on the link and send a message to the CR that is in your area. The CRs on this list have agreed to field questions and answer them.

  • michaelg
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Phil, the CR program is a fine thing, and I'm glad to hear you've added the email service. But still, a hundred newbies will come to GardenWeb or Dave'sGarden for every one who finds the CR list. We ought to start referring people there more often. I'll try to remember to do that.

  • karl_bapst_rosenut
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    A Garden Web type rose forum has been discussed by the ARS in the past. If done by paid people, monitored to keep it honest, and to avoid flaming, they would need a minimum of four full time people, each working 8 hours a day. Five
    people would be better. The cost would be too much with their current financial problems. As a member of the E-rose Committee I was involved in the discussion.
    A volunteer run forum would require committments that are impossible to get these days.
    I could not commit to monitor a forum for 8 hours a day, seven days a week.
    It was decided that the current system with the link "Ask questions about roses" monitored by myself and other Consulting Rosarian volunteers would be best. We provide one on one Q/A sessions that take into account growing zones and other local conditions that are often not considered here. The site can be checked once a day and inquiries fielded to experts on a particular topic or zone. Generic inquiries are answered on the spot.
    Most often lots more info is required as people don't tell where they live or just give a general location such as California and we all know how varied the growing conditions are there.
    People today are fearfull of identity theft and feel telling someone on-line they live in Omaha or Chicago they are giving too much info. Just look at the info given by GW posters. Some of us list everything but our addresses and phone numbers. We even give our e-mail so we can be contacted if someone wants to talk privately.
    Others are so generic, trying to figure out where they live is impossible
    Many comments and suggestions on a public forum are from growers who don't have much more experience than the person making the inquiry.
    As moroseaz put it" Some of the 'expert' advice I was getting on the GW was from folks with about 10 minutes more growing time under their belts than I had."
    When information is offered under the auspices of a national gardening organization, it has to be correct or it could lead to lawsuits and other problems.
    I often steer people to the GW but tell them to pay close attention to where advice is coming from as many don't take zones, local conditions, or micro climates into consideration.
    Any bias regarding the use of pesticides, fertilizers, and rose types, could only be mentioned as alternate methods on a national plant society forum.
    After you're on here for awhile you learn who knows what they are talking about and who is new and just acting like they do.

  • regehr
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    OK, I was wrong you are not required to be an ARS member to show. I apologize. However, to be a CR 3 years of membership is required.

    I guess I do not see the downside even with the price up. If I look at what I spend on fertilizer, spray, mulch, plants... it is just a drop in the bucket of the total I spend. I spend a great deal of time working in the yard on the roses and am always happy to sit down and read the magazine.

    The other HUGE advantage is that little card that comes with the membership. Last year alone I would guess it saved me close to $200. Everytime I buy fertilizer or mulch I get a discount when I show it. Just last week I saved $15 on a truck load of premium planting soil for some of the new beds.

    I grow a wide variety of roses but the focus is HT, Floribundas, GF and minis. I have never submitted an article but I agree with the comment above if you want to see other articles in the magazine submit and others may follow.

    Just my 2 cents, but I think it is a great organization. I do have many complaints about the service, but it has not caused me to drop out.

  • the_bustopher z6 MO
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I see a lot of people saying quite a bit of what I have said to others over the years. I do not believe that as an organization as a whole that ARS is overly biased towards the hybrid teas, but a lot of the long-time members and pot hunters are. For years it was only the best hybrid tea could be the queen and get the gold certificate. The best grandiflora could be the king for the silver, and the best floribunda could get the bronze for princess. Other roses were afterthoughts. That was how I was able to get the Dowager Queen several times. There wasn't all that much interest in it. So, that was it, at least where I was at the time. It took years to get the single bloom grandifloras eligible for queen. Then there was the transition to alphabetic/varietal shows. And so it goes. I really think that if we want to get people involved in showing then the judging rules, a big roadblock, need to be revamped. The standards for judging can be kept as they are, but I think we need to make it more open along the lines of the dahlia shows. I would favor categories such as single bloom per stem, formal style, as in the show HTs like Moonstone; single bloom per stem, informal style like Pink Peace; single bloom per stem, OGR style like Golden Fairy Tale; and single bloom per stem, single or semi-doubles. Sprays could follow some kind of similar lines. I think the true queen of the show should be the best single stem entry. That way more people would feel that they could have an even chance.

    There has been a shift in market preferences that hasn't been effectively grasped. The interest in the Austin-type roses has been pretty high, but they are no more healthy in my garden than any others. They do represent something different although for cut flower purposes they don't excel at that probably because they are more closely tied to some of the old European roses genetically and weren't bred at the time for being cut flowers. Some are quite climate-specific as to where they will do well. I think we would do well to try them to see how they do and comment so that others can see who has what and where and if it will do well in a particular area.

    Another problem I see is that there is such a change in society that has substituted the point-and-click method for happiness for the get-out-there-and-do-something method. There is too much fast food-instant gratification mentality, and gardening, as well as other skilled activities, is not an instant gratification activity. Anything that takes time to develop a skill seems to be having problems these days. I'm just hoping that ARS can pull out some success stories. I would hate to see it disappear.

  • sandy808
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It's true that many people in society want instant gratification, but I don't think the majority of gardeners are after that so much as not wanting to fight the climate they live in. Most of us love to garden, would never want to give it up, but have other obligations and interests we like to enjoy too.

    There is just as much time involved with growing happy and healthy OGRs as with any other rose. If a rose is not suited to an area, it then needs much in the way of artificial means to attempt to grow them. This applies also to "regular" shrubs (not just roses) that are suited for a northern climate, but forced to grow in Florida. They become disease prone. A plant that is continually covered with disease, such as blackspot, or whatever, is not a happy plant, and is most definitely not suited to that particular area. Therefore, these plants need a lot of "medicine" (sprays) to remain healthy. I refuse to fight mother nature anymore. We're both much happier when we work together.

    This is not intended to be a discussion on the pros and cons of the activity of spraying. That is an individual decision. My point is strictlty from an added burden issue. I think there are many people, myself included, that do not want to use chemicals any more. I would much rather putter and deadhead, feed or water, and talk to and groom my plants, than to be on a strict spray schedule and HAVE to feed fertilizer on just as strict a schedule to get something to grow. To me, that is not fun. (No, I'm not nuts. The roses DO understand what a shovel is. I swear they do)!

    I love growing roses and watching them evolve with time. I love hearing the birds and startling big fat toads. Pretty, fluttering butterflies make my day. Spraying makes my mood nasty. I do not want to suit up in 105 degree heat indexes to spray, and I don't want to be on a strict schedule. I found I didn't enjoy growing roses that way, didn't eagerly visit them every day, because I was too busy spraying and constantly feeding my 100 roses, and it boiled down to just becoming a burdensome chore. Chinas and teas suit my style of gardening. Yeahh!!!! Therefore, I need all the info I can get on them. I love reading about rose growers who have figured out what organic methods have worked for them, and which ones failed.

    To me, the VARIETY of roses is what makes the world go 'round! It would be boring if we all liked the same things. ALL roses need time and effort to be their happiest. I haven't found a plant yet that would ever be a no maintenance plant, and I don't think that's what most rosers are after. I think there is a trend for some people to look into going with the flow with mother nature and don't want to fight with her any more. We can learn so much about how to do so, from others "out there", that are growing roses that way.

    By the way, I just read, and am very pleased with, the most recent ARS magazine. It looks like they are trying very hard to cover differnt aspects of rose growing.

    Sandy

  • luxrosa
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Nope,
    I would gladly join if 50% of the A.R.S. magazine articles,each year, were about rose classes other than H.T. and Florabunda. I'd grow all 50 classes of rose if I had room. Presently I only grow 13 classes.

    Luxrosa

  • karl_bapst_rosenut
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    the_bustopher
    The best single stem entry already has a trophy at national shows. It's called the "Best of Show" as it should. The trophy was sponsored by individual donations from members of the Garden Web Rose Forum and is so engraved.
    I feel there is nothing wrong with the best ht being call the queen but it's place on the trophy table should be similar to that of each class winner, not held up as the best rose. Local societies may follow the ARS lead and have a best of show. Many do except those with high exhibitor membership who insist the ht queen is the best.
    The intention of the BOS was to give all rose growers an even chance at the top prize.
    Your suggestion for increasing catagories is interesting but it could lead to some very long judging times and force local societies to spend a lot more money on trophys. It could also lead to heated discussions on what catagory a rose should be entered in.

  • Jean Marion (z6a Idaho)
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I wanted to join the ARS so that I could become a consulting rosarian. I wanted to be a CR so that I could help other rose lovers near me. I love helping them and seeing the happiness on their faces when they realize what they were doing wrong or didn't know...

    The magazine was horrible several years ago. Lots of complaints later, and here I am - I just sat for several hours reading every page. It has improved immensely. I like the new larger size. I would much rather have less issues with better material than the other way around.

    I'm really thinking about entering the ARS photography contest coming up, even knowing it's silly, it seems like a fun hobby and offshoot of loving roses...

    I think of the dues as a magazine subscription.

    Not only that but I have access to the ARS website, the handbook for selecting roses online, and as a cyber CR, I love hearing from those far and wide that need questions answered, which are so easy for me to answer anyway...

    One thing I really liked about becoming a CR was learning all of the things that I didn't know I didn't know.

    Now joining a local rose society again was something I had to do to become a CR. After a couple of years, here I am, vice president and thinking about taking the judge exam for the rose shows. It's addictive.

    With the society though, the entire thing is the people. Nice helpful people who get along and enjoy sharing a love of roses is a nice place to visit once a month. I wouldn't want to belong if the environment wasn't like that...

    I wouldn't recommend joining the ARS if you aren't totally into roses. If you are, then it just seems like a natural thing to do... It's an easy decision really...

  • mike_rivers
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Mostly all I do with my membership is read the magazine and I mostly enjoy it. I guess I have two main thoughts: 1) I agree with Michaelg that the ARS must continue to exist and 2) I think the future of the ARS should be in cyberspace, complete with an online rose forum. Karl points out the financial difficulties with running a forum. I would think if it's done right, an ARS rose forum could make money and the forum members, perhaps through a rotating forum members committee, could help police it.

  • jerijen
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    As someone who has administered Lists for 12-13 years, I know what a commitment of time it is.
    A "major" List or Forum really cannot be administered by one person -- Mike's correct. It requires a team.

    A bit easier -- any Local rose society can have a List or Forum. It fosters community and makes more people feel that they have something invested in the society.

    Jeri

  • anntn6b
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    But, Jeri, an on line list can't take the place of a geriatric supper club. (Tongue planted firmly in cheek)

    But, more seriously. It's a different world out there, and there needs to be a formal organization of some sort to give individual groups a way to get insurance and that insurance is often needed to get access to any municipal or other public spaces. The affiliation with the ARS makes that possible. Likewise the affiliation as a 401(c)3 can allow for considerable savings on sales taxes.
    But I am bothered by something one of our local societies did several years ago. They wrote to a seller and said they wanted to buy the following roses for local sale. The seller gave them very good prices. And this subset within the rose society got roses for themselves and the society didn't get a penny. It wasn't right. That seller often sells to local societies for resale as money making projects for the club; a whole different thing.

    And I will never forget exhibitors from out of town telling me that if we didn't have better and more expensive prizes, they wouldn't bring roses to our shows.

    And the person who chaired the rose show after me telling me that she'd never do it again as some of the old biddies had her in tears on a weekly basis.

    No, all is not well in rose show centric worlds.

  • phil_schorr
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Yes, there are some exhibitors who have completely lost track of the point of having rose shows. All they can think about is the great prizes they can win. I don't think you want them as part of your show. I would just tell them I was sorry to hear that and plan the show without expecting them.

  • jerijen
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    >>> there needs to be a formal organization of some sort to give individual groups a way to get insurance and that insurance is often needed to get access to any municipal or other public spaces. The affiliation with the ARS makes that possible.

    *** Yuppers.
    You're absolutely right.
    If ARS had no other function or value, I would want to see it survive as a support and pivot for the often-more-valuable local groups.

    >>> I will never forget exhibitors from out of town telling me that if we didn't have better and more expensive prizes, they wouldn't bring roses to our shows.

    *** HEH. I've seen them carry that particular brand of rudeness to the point of mocking the trophies during a trophy presentation, loudly trading them back and forth, and rudely urging the show committee to hurry up with the trophies so they could leave.
    I'm sorry to hear that sort of rudeness is not confined to my district.

    >>> And the person who chaired the rose show after me telling me that she'd never do it again as some of the old biddies had her in tears on a weekly basis.

    *** My own two local societies gave up shows, in large part because they were tired of the rude behavior of "Elite Exhibitors." Both Societies have given away their properties. They will never put on a show again.

    No, all is not well in rose show centric worlds.

    *** No, and I am really sorry. Because I think if they are done with a different emphasis, rose shows CAN be educational, and even fun.

    PHIL -- I agree with you.
    Several of us really tried to persuade our local society to just put on a LOCAL -- NON-JUDGED rose show, for the pleasure and education of the community. But they'd had it, and they were done. Too bad.

    Jeri

  • oldroser
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Imteresting that such people exist and are taken seriously. But I guess every organization has a member or two who doesn't get it.
    Intrinsically, rose growing and showing should be fun. Maybe I'm lucky in that almost all the exhibitors I've met have been really great people, always willing to be helpful to a newbie and even to help out the competition. I always bring the guide for selecting roses and the combined rose list with me to shows and, as I sit there, making entries, I'm also fielding inquiries from other exhibitors on classes, which rose is best, etc, etc. And as I give out the info, I sometimes reflect that the person I just told to enter the rose in his left hand rather than the one on the right, is probably going to beat me out with that entry. Ah well! It's been a long time since I collected trophies or ribbons or certificates to take home - I just leave them on the table for somebody else to win next year.
    And it's not just me. I attended a show last year where a national exhibitor cheerfully showed a newbie how to groom a rose and went on to say that 'if you can keep growing them so well, you'll be getting Queen of Show instead of me pretty soon.' Made the show for the new exhibitor.
    Have any of you read that book "Otherwise Normal People?" About exhibitors. I thought it was very funny. (disclosure - I'm in it too even though, of course, I'm perfectly normal.)

  • anntn6b
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oldroser,
    You're in the more normal part. I got the book through Interlibrary Loan and have read it once. I'll reread it before I return it.
    You know, there are books where you feel the need to have home made almond biscotti with a fine glass of red wine or a great coffee as you read them.
    Not so with that book.
    It will NOT have the staying power of In Search of Lost Roses.
    I'll hold off on some other comments because maybe folks will come on and say that that book left they deep down hungry to compete in rose shows.

  • jmorris271 Morris
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am. Likewise, I love the magazine and also the discounts available to ARS card holders. It seems to make the obituaries more interesting as well.

  • jerijen
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    >> It will NOT have the staying power of In Search of Lost Roses.

    *** Understatement of the year. :-)

    Jeri

  • oldroser
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Maybe because I know so many of the people Aurelia was talking to that I got a big kick out of it. Some of them she really got down pat. It may be my imagination but I thought she did better on the people from the northeast (her own section) but then I don't know many of the west coast exhibitors.
    But In Search of Lost Roses had more to it than just the people involved though Christopher did a good job on them.
    And am I all wrong in thinking that finding lost roses is intrinsically more interesting than rose shows?

  • jerijen
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    And am I all wrong in thinking that finding lost roses is intrinsically more interesting than rose shows?

    *** Guess it depends on what you like.
    I do both though -- and I'd a heck of a lot rather prowl old gardens and cemeteries with a few like-minded friends.

    Jeri

  • chuck_billie
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I joined the ARS because I wanted to become a CR.
    After the requisite number of years I tried to get accredited but, due to politics in my local RS I was not able to, even though I had more than qualified.
    I was very bitter for a couple of years, but kept up the membership because I loved the magazine and the local society bulletin.
    I even made a pilgrimage to Shreveport and made a contribution to keep the ARS afloat.
    I'm glad I did and plan to keep up my membership, but I think it is a mistake to raise dues AND cut service (ie cutting the magazine frequency by 50%).
    For the record, I don't agree that the magazine is biased toward HT/Exhibitors.
    It's no surprise to hear that we need to increase membership, I'm just not sure current policies will accomplish that.
    Just my two cents, and worth every penny you paid for it.
    Chuck

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