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An 'AEN' With New Stature

16 years ago

The following document was sent to the “Rose” Group members approximately a month ago for review. Without an acknowledgement from The National Chair of ARS “Board of Directors decision, decided to post it on GW for the general publics opinion.


An AEN With New Stature:

Every since ARS published the first AEN in 2001, could not help but visualize its many uncapped possibilities. Yet as ARS major judging publication for five years, contents remain status quo, of limited use. Definitely not what editors had in mind when designing it. After reviewed attached document and agree the article has merit and a step in the right direction. A long over-due change that definitely should be addressed, advise ARS of this. Changes can be integrated gradually over an approximately two-year period at no cost, starting this year.

Do realize a majority of the “Rose” Group are not members of ARS Board of Directors. To help move this issue forward, contact you’re District Director and / or the American Rose Society, making your views know regarding the AEN’s future. Only with your in-put and voicing options with constructive dialogue, will positive changes actually transpire, benefiting all ARS members now and in future years. Informing judges and other ARS members not aware of proposed changes, would be appreciated by everyone and help advance the AEN to the next plateau.

Thank You,

Ronald Schwerdt


A Visionary’s View:

An AEN With New Stature:

To: The American Rose Society: Executive Director

Officers and Board of Directors


As a concerned member of the “American Rose Society”, (ARS) have given much thought to several of ARS growing problems, declining membership, saving and generating new money etc. Do believe ARS has several options to pursue, which can help reverse this trend. Would strongly urge, ARS Board of Directors give serious consideration in evaluating what is proposed and comprehend very substantial savings are possible. Eighty-five years ago we were in a different era, with different priories and purposes. Yet with knowledgeable changes authorized by ARS’s “Board of Directors”, we survived. We are now in a new millennium, requiring a new generation of mentality, with innovative creative solutions, keeping pace with changing times with-in ARS. New situations constantly surface, which must be promptly addressed, with immediate changes made when feasible. Granted, changes do not come lightly, or without vigorous discussions by those involved. Yet, faced with numerous problematic issues presented, it’s only a matter of time, before perception of inevitable changes proposed, do become a reality.

Before venturing further into this article, let me make it absolutely clear. I believe Phil Schoor and Marily Young are doing an outstanding, unbelievable fantastic job of editing past ARS publications. In no way, has anything in this article meant to be derogatory, or misinterpreted, as contrary to that believe. Trying hard, to keep the tone of this article on a very positive level. Unfortunately, at the same time, establishing this articles as creditable and substantiate to readers circumstances that actually transpired, requires introducing many irrefutable facts and figures.

Getting directly to the point, what is proposed is a convergence; eliminate the “ARS Handbook for Selecting Roses”, as we know it today. Streamlining, operations of the “Official List of Approved Exhibition Names” (AEN) with a new format, by incorporating all RIR National Ratings, etc into it. Before everyone tells me it will never work, read on, things will become cleared and ultimately may have second thoughts. ARS can still serve the Handbooks primary purpose, as well as save money. Note: nothing is mentioned about eliminating “Roses In Review” (RIR) surveys, only improvements, bringing it up to 21st century standards.

There are many reasons and advantages for implementing changes. Do realize that during the 20th century, the “ARS Handbook for Selecting Roses” was indispensable, a must have publication for Judges and Exhibitors, until a latter-day “Modern Roses” (MR) was published. At the turn of the century when the first AEN were introduced, the situation changed dramatically and the Handbook lost this prestigious distinction. The Handbook of today no longer is absolute, conforms to changes in the 21st century, or an essential judging / exhibiting publication. The Handbooks editor stated many times, its new role. “The Handbook (is not for judges or experience rosarians), its primary purpose is for new rose growers, looking for roses that will perform well in their garden”. And, “It only list roses that are more popular among gardeners”. Considering the magnitude of change in a Handbooks status since 2001, ARS board might question if it’s prudent, spending considerable time and money in the 21st century, year after year on an outdated ARS publication, a majority of members benefit much from and focus on a long over-due correction to the AEN. Alternately, consider publishing a sophisticated, up to date, refined state-of-the-art reference manual, (AEN) coordinated and in tune with 21st century goals, with less work and absolutely no additional costs.

Over the last four years, an average of 1171 roses (over 1/3 of roses listed) per year are deleted from a Handbook, true some roses are no longer in commerce in North America, although many sill are. Roses removed, are replaced with new and older roses without ratings, or carried by local nursery and garden centers, Lowe’s, K mart etc. Than again, many roses are listed in the Handbook for years without ratings, or designated for future RIR survey. Realistically, a rose with out a rating is of little benefit to a new rose grower, selecting varieties for his or her garden. Results of recent statistics compiled, indicate the 2006 Handbook is missing approximately (564), or 24% of roses that are still in commerce in North America with Garden Ratings, a list that expands each year. (Excluded, are roses listed in the latest RIR survey). Why are roses being deleting? Primarily making room for new rose introductions, those roses after a year, are included in future “Roses In Review” (RIR) surveys.

Note: The following three paragraphs are included; giving readers a panoramic view of the direct relationship between the AEN, Handbook, RIR and “Combined Rose List” (CRL) publications, detailing why change is inevitable and long overdue.

To start this complex journey of roses, follow the path a rose travels when first introduced into commerce. To keep it simple and avoid confusion, use the years 2005 and 2006, illustrating typical procedures. The CRL editor’s access a majority of information from rose catalogues and hybridizers from around the world, by the end of 2004. After the CRL, (a non-ARS publication) is published in March 2005, for (7 to 12) months is the only comprehensive publication listing new rose introductions. During this period, new rose introductions in the CRL, are considered to have temporary AEN’s, until appearing in an ARS publication. (As editor’s of the 2001 AEN point out in the publications preface, “The American Rose Society is the official leader in this area (Latest rose information) and should be responsible for meeting the needs of the Exhibitor and Judges in a direct faction, eliminating the need for supplementary publications by other authors”, referring to the CRL etc). So far, previous AEN’s have yet to achieve ARS desired goal. After the 2001 AEN was introduced, there was no longer a valid reason; roses were still considered temporary, and only undermining ARS’s designed purpose for this “Official Document”.

The 2005 CRL database is the major source of new rose introductions, appearing in the 2006 Handbook published in September 2005. Yet when the Handbook is published (7) months later, will not include all new rose introductions, just those in commerce in North America. Or, include newly registered roses on IRAR web site; in commerce in North America, until the 2007 Handbook is published, a year later. Only after the 2006 AEN is published in March, (12 months later), will remaining new rose introductions in previous years 2005 CRL, appear in an ARS publication. Even though, all these new rose introductions were in commerce for (over a year). ARS made it extremely clear in the first AEN published; that “this publication is the “Official Document” for judging and when published in March, would incorporate (all) the latest varieties”.

From my perspective, there’s definitely something radically perverse, in the sequence of reporting new roses. Conventional wisdom clearly indicates, from the 2005 CRL, new rose introductions ought to (first) be published in the 2005 AEN, than the 2005 Handbook. I don’t believe ARS members would be upset, if the 2005 AEN were published in April, containing all the new 2005 rose introductions listed in the 2005 CRL, (12 months earlier). Along with months of new rose registrations, not yet published in the 2005 CRL. As for the 2005 Handbook, publish it in 2005, with results of the 2004 “Roses In Review” survey.

The primary purpose of the Handbook and CRL publications, listed in the “Guidelines and Rules for Judging Roses”, is justifying approved exhibition names of roses, not yet published in the AEN. Through a simple transgression of procrastination, involving publishing of ARS publications, logistics never materialized in the first AEN. Resulting in today’s AEN to some degree outdated, the day it’s published, still dependent on the Handbook and CRL for exhibition names verification. Even ARS’s next “Modern Roses” publication, must be considered timely and more or less a rose encyclopedia, a compendium of very valuable rose information, on (yesterday’s roses). The concept of the 2001 AEN was a masterpiece, a brilliant step forward on ARS part moving into the 21st century, raising its stature to new heights. Yet for it to truly succeed, and contemplate its uncapped potentials, ARS recognize and address past faults, with adjustments in future ideology.

While initiation new strategy in ARS policy, will certainly dictate a sensible more systematic, efficient and less costly operation; actually believe it’s the salvation to all of ARS problems. The antidote that will, (While not solving all its problems, propel ARS in the right direction) is diversifying ARS 20th century antiquated reporting system, bringing it into 21st century reality. With the AEN database containing a majority of roses, utilize it to its full potential and list all roses. Next year, include new and roses normally considered temporary in the 2007 CRL, publish them in the 2007 AEN, along with other pertain rose information. (Excluded would be “Found” Roses, a subject purposely avoided in this article. Instead of shortsighted thinking of today, consider AEN’s future and long-term ramifications. With a new innovative state-of-the-art AEN format, besides enhancing its creditable and solve many of ARS problems, would add strategic new rose information, generate new money and interests in roses and immediately, institute cost savings measures. In essence, this revitalized “Official Document”, would be considered by Judges, Exhibitors and general public, as the ultimate ”Rose” manual. (AEN) A stand-alone, absolute judging publication, containing relevant up to-date information, (As of its date published) preciously what ARS editor’s anticipated at the AEN’s conception, without adding additional costs.

The typically new 2007 state-of-the-art AEN format, would include and look similar to the sample below:

Key to Typography:

RIR latest National Garden Rating 7.6 Exhibition Rating (7.2)

** The Rose is a Dowager Queen Rose, introduced prior to 1867.

+ Varieties are new roses and a ratings has not yet been established.

@ The rose is an All-American Rose Selection “AARS” winner.

# The rose is an American Rose Society, Award of Excellence “AOE” winner.

7.3 (6.8) The Rose is new with an interim rating and could possibility change with further reports.

The Rose is in commerce in North American.


Acapulco F, yb, 30-40 petals, 1962, 5.9

America LCl, op, 43 petals, 1976, 8.3 (7.5), @,

Baby Boomer Min, mp, 17-25 petals, 2002, 7.6 (7.7), #,

Baltimore Belle** HSet, lp, 41+ petals, 1843, 8.5 (7.9),

Caliente Min, dr, 26-40 petals, 2006, +, #,

Canary Diamond HT, dy, 2003, 7.3 (6.8),

Child’ Play Min, pb, 9-16 petals, 1991, 8.0 (8.0), @, #,

Day Breaker F, yb, 30-35 petals, 2004, 7.9 (7.5), @,

Dilly Dilly Min Fl, m, 35 petals, 1985, 7.1 (7.7)

Eva Gabor HT, dp, 40 petals, 1983, 6.0 (5.8)

How would past Rose information be generated? If ARS does not immediate have access to ratings of past rose surveys, my database would help. The only reason this is mentioned, in the last two RIR surveys listing of “Special Groups”, (roses without rating) some roses did have prior ratings. Over time, have researched and culled information (ratings) from all ARS Rose publications, covering a period from 1926 to 2006. To help get the ball rolling on this much-needed conversion, my database lists approximately 5200 roses with the latest RIR ratings. If approved by ARS “Board of Directors”, past statistics could be incorporated in the 2007 AEN publication, with typical information as sample format. For me to accomplish this requires an AEN database I could write too, my AEN database is similar to ARS’s, but contains volumes of (additional coded rose data), not part of this particular project. ARS loses nothing should it decides not to modernize and remain with 20th century mentality losers are ARS members.

ARS also has ratings on other roses, but because of insufficient number of reports (9 not 10), and / or receiving a national RIR score of less than 6.5 as noted in the 2000 Handbook, was never included. Ironically, at one time the minimum number of reports for a National Rating was 35, 25, 20, etc., than arbitrarily set at 10, in use today. Note: As a (previous) RIR editor stated, “if a rose is good enough to be reported on, its good enough to receive a rating, regardless of the number of reports”. Actually rose ratings are less than static and very subjective to change, depending on many factors; besides the actual number of reports a rose receives. Unless ratings actually reflect all regional ratings and only by reporters in NA, you might question the irrational exuberance of existing rose ratings. Do believe, past rose ratings with 5 or more reports should be included, if for no other reason, than providing some type of balance to a flexible system, with variables that can constantly change. Incorporating past rose ratings in the AEN, will actually serve the general rose growing public to a greater degree, than if no rose rating is listed. A fact all seasoned rosarians will readily agree on, is new rose growers derives more veracity and meaningful verification from ratings of 5 to 9 ARS reporters, growing an (x) number of roses, than looking at pretty pictures, (At times fabricated) or read glowing reports in rose catalogues.


Twenty-six immediate advantages of a streamlined 2007 AEN, if a new format is adopted:

1- The primary advantage is to increase ARS membership and revenue, while cutting expenses. (This alone could justify a change)

2- The ARS Handbook editor agrees, (“I would love to see a change and all ARS publications work off the same database, reducing the number of discrepancies in both publications”). Also reduces time tabulating changes,

3- With sufficient room in the existing AEN publication, a transition allows basic refinements, without adding additional pages.

4- The 2007 AEN would contain all new roses in commerce, approximately one year earlier. (The AEN’s primary purpose)

5- If properly executed, will eliminate roses having temporary AEN’s. (Approximately 1880 roses in the 2004 CRL were designated as having temporary AEN’s many still are). If the latest list of all temporary roses were included in the 2005 AEN, it would have added an additional two (2 pages, very insignificant.

6- If properly handled, would be major step forward on ARS part in achieving its ultimate goal, of meetings the needs of Judges and Exhibitors in a direct fashion. (The new AEN would not just meet, but also exceed ARS goals, with unlimited potential).

7- First to publish additional new rose introductions, registered on the IRAR web site, after the CRL’s deadline. Along with roses registered directly with ARS.

8- For the first time in 32 years, indicate in an (ARS publication) all roses in commerce in North America.

9- Would provide an up to-date, preservation of 80 years of garden and exhibition ratings of roses, appearing in RIR and Triennial Surveys, from 1926 to 2006. (At present, no such publication exists),

10- A format change, would not disrupting ARS’s RIR surveys in any fashion. But extend and allow evaluators, extra time to evaluate roses reported on. District Coordinators and RIR editors, additional time to correlate and provide a summary of previous years survey. (With the reporting deadline extended and most rose shows and major gardening on the wane, very possibility increase the number of reports as well evaluators)

11- Increase the sales of AEN publications. (With a proper PR management program in place, obtain new ARS members).

12- Could now include ratings of all roses that received 5 to 9 reports. (Previously omitted, primarily to keep past Handbooks confined to limited size publications). This is no longer necessary, since the AEN mandates that all roses must be listed.

13-Would no longer require placing costly inserts in the January’s Rose magazine, with a previous years RIR results. As for personal rose comments by the RIR editor (most are not actually seen by a new rose grower), a very in-depth review on new roses is available in the “Horizon Roses” publication, reported on by many elite reporters growing them. (With all profits from this knowledgably publication, channeled back to ARS).

14- A single database is definitely more efficient, less costly to operate and maintain. Any profitable business or successful organization expecting to survive in these times, would never consider maintain two separate databases with repetition of information. (Except Enron Corp.)

15- Eliminate the entire expense of publishing the Handbook, as we know it today.

16- Help alleviate ARS cash flow problem. Allocating money not spent on Handbooks and inserts of RIR results, placed in a reserve fund, available to help pay monthly printing costs of The “Rose” magazine, assuring ARS members of receiving it on a timely basis.

17- Permanently record missing roses lost over the years. (Roses NIC are deleted yearly, from the CRL publication).

18- Simply glancing in the AEN, would immediately pin point roses to consider for future RIR surveys. (There are thousand of roses that have never been in a RIR survey). Would help to formulate a systematic system, in the actual selection of roses for RIR surveys.

19- Would contain an approximate or a missing petal count of roses, when possible. (Many exhibitors use a roses petal count, as a basic for pruning for rose shows).

20- If the 2007 AEN is edited with its future and primary purpose in mind, would be the (first) judging publication in ARS history, not requiring ARS Judges to carry the (Handbook, MR’s and CRL) publications, when judging. (While the CRL is an extremely important publication all judges should have, all the valuable information it contains, is required in a typical rose show).

21-Would resolve one of RIR biggest problems; feedback of the latest RIR results to the people it is primarily intended to help. It would show results of a previous years RIR survey six (6) months earlier, helping new rose growers select their spring roses. (Not all rosarians using the Handbook are ARS member and receive the “Rose” magazine).

22- Rose Nurseries would definitely appreciate the fact the general rose buying public, are being made aware, many older roses they sell have respectable Garden Ratings. (Helping rose nurseries sell more roses).

23- Can now be considered a reliable reference manual at garden centers selling roses, the general public can use in selecting their Spring roses. (Helping the garden center sell more roses). Typical to other garden manuals, suppliers normally have on display.

24- A publication every library can and should purchase, as a reference manual to have on their shelve. (A project for ARS’s PR person to pursue)

25- The AEN’s would no longer be limited to Judges, but contain valuable information of interest to the general public. (Could eventually include fragrance and a plants size as in some previous years). Ever notice the first thing a person does when picking up a rose is to smell it. Would help rosarians determine the spacing required when planting a new rose bush.

26- With a new AEN format in place, in conjunction with monthly Supplement “Rose” Lists posted on the “Rosarian Corner” and “Garden Web” web-sites and “Rose” Group members. Judges, exhibitors and general public will have at their disposal; the latest most up to-date, accurate rose information ARS publishes. (Imperative, ARS judges have this latest information when judging).

Should ARS find it necessary to provide a current list of roses in commerce in North America for members, educational or PR purposes. ARS regress to past “Buyers Guides” format. On a single sheet of 8-1/2”x 11” paper printed on two sides, easily listed 900 roses. All existing 2,350 roses in the 2006 handbook, with Garden Ratings could be printed on three (3) sheets of paper with room to spare, cost approximately 30 cents. (Typical to rose societies newsletters).

Practicing good PR at this point could definitely increase ARS membership, at minimal cost. ARS might give serious thought to investing $700.00 and send free copies to 1000 people in (2007), that existing ARS members consider potential ARS members. Or, generate lists from people telephoning ARS for rose information. By giving ARS their address, will receive a free copy of rated roses. Explaining each year, new roses and ratings are added. To be sure, lists would include an ARS membership application with a reduced introduction rate, along with other goodies ARS offers. Monitor results, to ascertain future feasible. Direct personal communication, is a key to keeping and recruiting new ARS members.

Another thought just came to mind, as the Handbooks editor advocates, if “it only lists roses that are more popular among gardeners”, (So be it). Use this criterion as a basis, listing only (x) number of the highest rated Garden Roses, (2000-2500) each year in commerce in North America. Not since 1975, have Handbooks claimed to contain (all) roses in commerce in North America. This new three (3) page publication could be called, “ARS 2007 List of Most Popular Garden Roses”. Just one of many name changes taken place over past years.

A second area ARS definitely can realize a substantial savings; is by eliminating the “Triennial Surveys”. Every three years, ARS conducts an expensive survey, taking much time and money to produce. Is it actually worth the time and money being spent, money that could be utilized more effectively on other ARS projects? After an in-depth review of results of the 2005 “Triennial Survey”, you may ultimately agree, end results do not justify time or expense of future surveys. Judge for yourself, if “Triennial Surveys” are feasible to continue? To be extremely fair, an assured the 2005 survey was not an isolated incident, ran the numbers on several previous “Triennial Surveys”, statistics showed very typical patterns. (The primary purpose of a “Triennial Survey is only to see if previous Garden ratings of roses, had changed much).

Of the 1,948 roses in the 2005 Triennial Survey, 37 are no longer in commerce and were eliminated, leaving 1,911 with established Garden Ratings. Of a total of 1,873 roses, 98% resulted in no change, or a change of less than ½ of 1 %, an insignificant change in roses Garden Ratings. The remaining 40, 26 had an increase of ½ of 1%, a slight change. The remaining 14 roses in the survey, or .00073% definitely would make a difference on a roses Garden Rating. ARS Board of Directors might consider surveys costs over past years and if such very minimal changes (14) actually substantiate the cost, or realistically has an impact on new rose growers, looking for a rose that will perform well in their garden? While Roses have ratings, the majority are not actually available at local outlets, where most new rose growers purchase roses.

17 ACTUAL 1948

20 37


NO CHANGES 795 42 % UP 0.5= 26 1 %

UP 0.1 & DOWN 0.1 423 + 154= 577 30 % UP 0.6= 9 .0047

UP 0.2 & DOWN 0.2 275 + 21= 296 15% UP 0.7= 3 .0015

UP 0.3 & DOWN 0.3 136 + 3= 139 7 % UP 0.8= 1 .0005

UP 0.4 & DOWN 0.4 65 + 1= 66 3% UP 0.9= 1 .0005

SURVEY TOTAL 1873 98% 40 -2%

In Conclusion:

For ARS’s future and good of the American Rose Society, hope advantageous and beneficial ideas presented, do not get lost in negative controversy. The National Chair of ARS “Board of Directors” takes the initiative and addresses proposals as part of the agenda, at the 2006 Spring Board of Directors meeting. With voting taking place at the 2006 National Fall Convention. Allowing board members, sufficient time to review proposals with district constituencies. Realizing it is this administrations last board meeting to vote, believe issues are important enough, that this board act on. Would be nice to remember, this ARS board implemented big cost saving measures, as well as talking about them. It defies logic, ARS board would be insensitive to what is proposed, having everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose, except a very sophisticated up-dated state-of-the-art AEN, money, and new members. Rather than remain status quo, ARS attempt a change, which it may actually like. Will leave you with these final thoughts to meditate on. (Learn from yesterday, Live for today, Hope for tomorrow). ARS can do better tomorrow, only if it begins today. 3-1-06

Would be greatly appreciated, if this ARS National Chair, please keep me advised on what was decided.

Thank You,

Ronald Schwerdt