rose auction show

Games of Thrones and Roses

by John Bagnasco

Rose lovers specifically, but gardeners in general that attended last weekend’s event in Oceanside had a fantastic time of learning, sharing and acquiring. The festivities were a collaboration of the San Diego Rose Society and the California Coastal Rose Society and were sponsored by Mission Hills Nursery.

The learning was spearheaded by the informative presentations by speakers, Gregg Lowery, Anita Clevenger and Burling Leong. All three lectures emphasized the importance of preserving genetics of rose varieties in danger of disappearing forever. Indeed, one of the main objectives of the auction was to ensure the continuation of endangered roses by getting them into as many gardens as possible.

Sharing took place both in the forms of attendees sharing their experience with growing roses and hints on how to fellowship through different rose organizations. Acquiring, of course happened as appx. 128 roses were auctioned by Bryan Main, the “voice of San Diego” radio. ‘Pink Clouds’ was the lowest bidded rose at $12 and much coveted ‘The Iron Throne’ was the highest at $350.

The highlight of the Sunday auction was the birthday celebration for actress Marion Ross, who at 94 years still delighted and enchanted everyone in attendance. It would be hard to imagine a more gracious celebrity. Marion was presented with four of the new rose named after her and another was auction off with the winning bidder also getting a signed copy of Marion’s book and an autographed picture to commemorate the event. Artist Nancy Plank gave Ms Ross a beautiful oil painting of her new rose as a gift.

While it was a whirlwind weekend, it was a treat to share time with Garden America listeners and old friends. (thanks, Karla, for the ‘Snowcone’ rose). I just hope that a year will give me enough time to recuperate for the next show!

Watch a brief video of the show highlights with Marion Ross.