Amateurs Show Off Their Roses

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Roger’s Gardens rosarian Laurie Chaffin (left) tells Serena Chow that she won first place in Class 1 and second place in Class 3 at the rose show.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©

Hundreds of people stopped to smell the roses at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar over the weekend, at their 18th Annual Amateur Rose Show on Saturday.

There were 168 rose entries from 42 different exhibitors, including Newport Beach resident Nancy Rodman and her twin daughters, Sophia and Kate, both 9. The girls entered several roses from their garden, including Sophia’s choice,  a grand dame rose that won second place in Class 1 at the show.

The girls simply went out and picked their favorites out the family’s 26 rose bushes, Nancy Rodman said, which they have been growing for about one year. It’s the first time ever entering, she added.

The girls agreed that it was a lot of fun to participate in the show, which the family only found out about the week before.

Sophia Rodman was excited to have won and she and her sister were thinking of buying a bonsai tree with their prize money.

Sophia Rodman, 9, checks out some of the roses at the show.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©

Other winners include the Best in Show and Class 2 Queen first place entrant, Connie Gionet, for her cherry parfait rose. Gionet also won Class 2 King second place with a cinnamon twist rose. Other first place winners include Serena Chow for a Janice Kellogg rose, Kimi Nguyen for her Fourth of July rose, and Barbara Sexton with a ric-rac rose.

Anybody can enter and anybody can win, said Roger’s Gardens rosarian Laurie Chaffin, who helped judge the competition.

“It’s a chance for amateurs to shine,” she said. “And it’s a lot of fun.”

The two other judges included Rex Yarwood, nursery manager for the gardens, and horticulturist Steve Hampson.

“We’ve had a good turnout,” this year, Hampson said, including several mother and daughter participants, he added, in celebration of Mother’s Day.

Sophia and Kate Rodman’s mother takes their photo as they pose by their award and winning rose at the event.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©

A lot of regular customers entered, he said, some just starting out growing and others who have had roses for years. A lot come in the week prior to the event to get advice or with questions.

This year they even saw a few rare roses, he said, some old garden varieties that are hard to find and aren’t sold commercially, he explained.

A few of the roses featured in the show, included a cinnamon twist, an unknown Austin variety, rhapsody in blue, St. Patrick, angel face, fairy, marriotta, several Eden varieties, and many more.

There are several points the judges looked for, Chaffin said, including full and open petals, perfect spiral, no damage to the petals or stem, with clean and healthy foliage.

Winners received gift cards for Roger’s Gardens. All of the roses were on display until closing on Sunday.

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There were 168 entries at the rose show.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Roger’s Gardens rosarian Laurie Chaffin judges the top entries at the show.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Participants and guests look over the winning roses.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Twin sisters Kate (left) and Sophia, both 9, of Newport Beach, stand next to their winning Grand Dame rose at the show on Saturday at Roger’s Gardens.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
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