This is my first message for this new year. I hope you all had a peaceful, happy Christmas and have a joyous New Year. Gary and I spent the holidays celebrating with our family and had a great time. I thought I should start by introducing myself a bit. I’m a native Portlander and have always had roses around. My mom was a great gardener and she grew roses, as well as, keeping our yard looking like a park. When Gary and I bought our first home in Sellwood, where I grew up, it came with a bed of what I now know were Old Garden roses. When I started working at Standard Insurance, I met Carolyn Finch and Standard’s annual employee rose show. Carolyn encouraged me to enter and even taught me that there was more to it than just picking the prettiest color in the yard. After several years, I managed to win Best in Show. Carolyn continued to urge me to enter a “real” rose show and we finally did. We won a trophy with our first entry of a spray of Sally Holmes. We were hooked on exhibiting and haven’t looked back from there. We’ve won a few trophies over the years, become horticulture judges, I became an arrangement judge and Consulting Rosarian and you gave me the honor of being your President this year. It’s been quite a trip from Mom’s “Oh, you don’t want those old cabbage roses” to here.
Gary and I attended the Royal Rosarians’ Christmas Brunch at the Benson on December 5th . We had two tables of Rose Society members there. Seeing familiar faces made a nice start to the holidays. The hotel’s holiday décor and the food were both excellent. It was also an opportunity to contribute to the community through their food and toy drives, as well as, raise funds for the Royal Rosarians.
My main goal for this next year is to encourage new people to join the PRS. As you know already, there are some significant advantages to belonging to this organization and I would like to see more people take advantage of them. As our members age, we need to see younger people join in order to preserve our membership and to allow the PRS to continue to provide our usual services. After all, those boxes of vases for the shows are getting heavier every year! I’m appealing to all of you to help our membership grow. If everyone could get one new person to attend one of our meetings, that would be a big step towards exposing more people to the PRS. Hopefully, this would lead to adding a new generation of members. The internet, particularly through social media, may be the route, but we need to find specific ways to use this resource. If you have any suggestions or ideas how to reach potential new members, please share them with me. My email is email@example.com and our phone number is (503) 652-7922.
Due to COVID and the holiday season, there haven’t been many rose-related activities yet. I look forward to that changing as 2022 progresses. The first meeting I will be attending is the Northwest Festival Hosting conference that the Royal Rosarians are hosting here in Portland on January 14-16th. More about that next month. As I write this, we’ve had two days in a row with snow. The weather forecast predicts more snow and possible ice this week. I pray that all of you stay safe and warm, the power stays on and the roses don’t freeze solid. Happy winter gardening, Cheryl.