Am I the only gardener in the world that has a defeatist relationship with his garden hose? My problem you see is that I do not own a garden hose, I own a live snake which has attached itself to my spigot and camouflages itself to look like a garden hose. Every time I drag it across the yard and it comes within a 50 foot radius of anything stationary, it promptly wraps itself around such objects and refuses to budge. This includes tires on vehicles which the garden hose (snake) refuses to slip by with a yank and requires my going back and giving it personal attention to unstick it. Sometimes I just refer to it as the, "Anaconda". Sometimes I refer to it with names I can't repeat in this family orientated periodical. Then there are the times when I drag it out stretched full length, give the nozzle a squeeze, expecting 40 psi to come bursting forth and all I get is a weak little drizzle because it has kinked itself somewhere refusing to give out the water it was purchased to spew. This is after Sue and I invested, this past Spring, in the new, improved, more fortified, stiffer, nonkinkable garden hoses. Can any of you members relate to what I'm discussing here? This is serious business! I'm thinking of starting a support group for frustrated gardeners who can not develop a satisfactory relationship with their garden hose. In the future if any of you should see an item in the news media regarding a frustrated rosarian seen attacking his hose with a hatchet or machete, rest easy, its only me slewing the mighty Anaconda.

This past weekend was the DRS Fall Rose Show at Laurel Park Mall in Livonia. For those of you who missed attending, you have my sincere condolences. There are so many things to be learned about roses at these rose shows by so many experts. The information is not limited to just showing. If you have a question or enjoy discussing anything about roses, this is the place to be. This was the first time that Sue and I joined in some of the competition. Once I got by the good natured barbs from Gerry Carney regarding all my articles describing Sue and I as non rose show people, it was smooth sailing. Bob Mortensen came to the rescue with lots of help at the prepping table for Sue, the novist.

Trust me when I say that Bob is a wealth of information whether growing or showing roses. If you come to a show only to have a question answered, you won't be disappointed.

Our heartiest congratulations to our president, Art Oberlin, who topped the competition this year with numerous winning entries. It was also great seeing Doug Bima, back in the pink of things after a long illness. Doug says, Art got by easy this year because he (Doug) was not entered in the competition to give him a run for his money. Stand by for the 1999 Spring Show. You won't want to miss the drama or the competition, not to mention all the nice members who work together to coordinate such a great event.

Another reason that Sue and I enjoy attending these functions is to see what everyone else is growing. For us, the most impressive new rose was entered by Mr. & Mrs. Walter LeMire. The cultivar's name was Five Roses Rose. Yes, I know its name is a little strange but you should see it. What a beauty! If any red rose was ever going to give Mister Lincoln a run for its money, this could be it. Walter says he got his rose from Africa but that it originated here in the U.S. at Jackson & Perkins in July of `98. This is a stand out red rose that grows on a 5 ft. bush with thick canes being 26 inches or longer with single blooms. Walter cut his bloom on Monday for Saturday's show and by judging time, even though Walter had "coaxed" it open, the bloom had closed up again. For those of you who enjoy cut flowers in the house, does this give you a hint of this rose's lasting power in a vase. He says that when the bloom opens completely, you're looking at a six inch spread or better. This one is going to be a winner when it reaches our market. Keep your eyes open for it.

Thanks to all the members who worked so hard on this year's Fall show. You put on another great presentation. It is such stellar events that keep the DRS in the limelight of rose societies of Michigan. Keep up the great work.

Now that the Summer heat has subsided and Fall has arrived, you're going to see some prize winning blooms in your garden. These can be your own personal champions and should give you great satisfaction. Don't forget to stop and enjoy them while they last.

Until next month, grow great roses!

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