What a beautiful start to summer! The foliage around my condo has taken over and spread far and wide. Each of my roses are in the process of blooming, and I might even find out what kind of scrawny rose I was given. It has a bud that is about to open which looks to be yellow. I’ll see and report back. Either way, pruning seems to have helped both the rose and my garden.
It has been so long since I’ve seen or spoken with many of you in a time frame where we would have had the most interactions out of the whole year. I woke up on the morning of what should have been the Spring Rose Show and felt off. My sister and I talked about how we should have been helping people frantically place their roses. We should have been gorging ourselves on coffee, orange juice, and doughnuts. We should have been wearing red, answering questions from the public and helping with the judging process. We should have been looking forward to greeting the Fleet, the breakdown party, the Grand Floral Parade and Portland’s Best Rose. But, if we only think about what should have been, we don’t get to enjoy life as it currently is. The Portland Rose Festival still went on even though we couldn’t do the many in person things it typically relies on to celebrate. On May 23rd, I took part in the Roses for Hope Porch Parade VIP parade. About 15 cars worth of dignitaries joined forces to decorate our own cars, meet up, and parade through Northeast Portland to some of the homes participating in the Porch Parade. It was a wonderful day filled with people excited to see others and celebrate the spirit of the Rose Festival, even if we did have to stay physically distanced. Although I originally thought the Parade would be low-key and mostly off the cuff, it was a delightful event. Another of their events was the Grand Petite Parade, a live-streamed event online. I was pleased to record a short segment about the Portland Rose Society. If you did not get a chance to view either event, I encourage you to go online to see what Rose Festival morphed into this spring.
This year I was also going to take part in the Rosarians’ Garden Contest judging. Instead, we had a celebration of roses online event. Those who entered their garden into the Roses for Hope section of the Porch Parade were invited to participate in a learning opportunity with roses given as prizes. Many people opened their cameras to the only clean place in their home to enjoy this online celebration. With all that is going on, remote teaching, online meetings, and other face-to-face on a screen events, I have to remind myself to enjoy my garden. Hopefully this isn’t a problem for most of you, but if it is GO OUTSIDE! I look forward to when it is safe enough for us to meet again in person. In the meantime, call a PRS friend, drive through rose filled neighborhoods, or even volunteer to work in the International Rose Test Garden.
At this point, we know that we will not be able to have the Fall Rose Show. The safety of our members is at the forefront of Board decisions as we go forward. So, stay entertained and remember that even from home you can make an impact on the world. Glade sommerferier!
Emily Hastings, President Portland Rose Society