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Charleston rose show canceled for 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Rose Show will not bloom this year.

What would have been the 90th annual Charleston Rose Society Rose Show has been canceled for several reasons, said Steven Grass who has been part of the show since 1992 along with his wife, Lynda.

"Some of our exhibitors will be out of town," he said. "So, there will not be enough people to show roses."

Another exhibitor has decided to retire and the number of participants has continued to decline over the years, he said.

However, he hopes the show will go on next year and that more people will join the Charleston Rose Society where members are happy to share tips for getting started and growing beautiful flowers.

He and Lynda have honed their skills through sharing information with fellow rosarians. They now have 100 bushes and assorted varieties surrounding their Charleston home. Steve, who is retired, does a lot of the feeding, watering and pruning. Lynda, who works for West Virginia Housing Development Fund, helps as time permits.

Taking a break from the show this year has some pluses, Steve said.

Getting ready for the show takes a lot of time and preparation.

"My wife can rest," he said. "This gives me the chance to give a lot more (roses) away and gives me a chance to see which ones will bloom."

Steve never charges for his roses and enjoys giving them to friends and family.

In preparation for a show, he takes special care of his specimens. Each must have one bloom per stem and any new buds are plucked away from the dominant flower. Since he will not be preparing for a summer show, he may let them all bloom.

The traditional show date is the first Sunday in June.       

He remembers a couple of times the show has been canceled.

"A couple of years were skipped," he said. "One year we had extreme heat and another year a hail storm."

Meanwhile, he encourages newcomers to attend meetings of the Charleston Rose Society. All meetings are free and open to the public. Those who choose to join the society pay an annual membership fee of $8 per person or $12 for a family. The society currently has about 50 members from Kanawha and Putnam counties.

"We once had a member who drove from Morgantown," he said.

The club generally meets the fourth Tuesday of each month. No meetings are held during the winter months of December, January and February.   

The next meeting of the Charleston Rose Society is set for 7 p.m.  March 25 at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1600 Kanawha Blvd. E. in Charleston. The topic will be "Getting Started in the Spring."

For more information about the Charleston Rose Society, call Steven and Lynda Grass at 304-345-3634.

Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at charlotte@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-1246.


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