Upcoming PRS Events

Culinary Rose Recipes and Treats and Round Robin

Sunday, January 20 at 2:00 PM
Long Branch Library
8800 Garland Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20901

Join us for our January program where we will sample delicacies made with roses. We will also have an interactive program with a round robin discussion of key rose-related issues. Check back for more details closer to the event.

Notable Gardens from Recent Travels

Sunday, February 17 at 2:00 PM
Long Branch Library
8800 Garland Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20901

Join us for another fantastic program in our Rose Tourism series with Holly Shimizu. Ms. Shimizu will show some of her favorite gardens visited in recent years traveling as far as New Zealand, Japan, Italy as well as Ireland, Scotland, and Southern England. In some of the gardens, roses and their companion plants will be highlighted including clematis and perennials.
Holly H. Shimizu is a nationally recognized horticulturist, consultant, and educator.   With a rich background in all aspects of public gardens, extensive experience leading garden tours and workshops, and a proven commitment to plant conservation and sustainability, she has been making plants and gardens more accessible and exciting to both professionals and amateurs for over four decades.

Fourth Annual Symposium on Disease Resistant Roses

May 19, 2019

This year's Symposium will provide information on roses tested and proven to do well in the District, Maryland and Virginia region. In addition to a panel of experts, we invite the rose community to share information about their proven winners including where to find the rose.

Do you have cherished, disease resistant roses in your own garden, or know of such in other gardens, that you want to recommend to the community?

The Potomac Rose Society invites you to suggest a 10-minute talk about your recommended rose as part of the 4th Annual Symposium on Disease Resistant Roses! Have more than one favorite? No problem. Feel free to nominate up to three rose varieties. All you need to do is complete a brief email form indicating your name and the rose(s) you would like to nominate for your testimonial(s).

The Potomac Rose Society will review all submissions and notify each applicant of the number of varieties that we are able to accept. The Potomac Rose Society also can supply technical assistance with preparing presentations if you are accepted.

Email Olivia Devereux to request the form to nominate your rose(s).

Deadline to submit your nomination form: February 28, 2019.

Past PRS Events

3rd Annual Mid-Atlantic Symposium on Disease-Resistant Roses

Featuring Paul Zimmerman, an internationally-recognized rose expert

Sunday, May 6, 2018
Brookside Gardens Auditorium, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, Maryland 20902

  • 1:00  Opening Remarks
  • 1:15 Paul Zimmerman Keynote
  • 2:30 Break
  • 2:45 Panel: The Right Rose for Your Place
    • Learn about Roses for Shade, Arbors and Pergolas, Hedging, and Cutting for floral arrangements.
    • Panelists: Larry Ichter, Inez Austin Jackson, Connie Hilker and Reed Abrahamson
  • 4:00 Refreshments
  • 4:30 Brookside Rose Garden Tour

Keynote speaker, Paul Zimmerman, in his presentation, Roses are Plants, Too: A Guide to Sustainable Gardening, discussed about practices that keep your garden roses and companion plants healthy and beautiful, without using synthetic chemicals. Attendees learned how to select, plant, prune, and water roses, how to maintain nourishing garden soil, and how to keep your blooms vigorous and foliage healthy. Paul Zimmerman, a dynamic and humorous speaker, is author of Everyday Roses, How To Grow Knockout And Other Modern Garden Roses, a consulting rosarian, and former judge of international rose trials.

A panel of local rosarians answered questions to help you choose The Right Rose For Your Place. Panelists included: Larry Ichter, Inez Austin Jackson, Connie Hilker and Reed Abrahamson. They discussed which roses perform well in the District-Maryland-Virginia area. Panelists provided recommendations for roses that  grow in challenging places for specific purposes like shade, cutting, arbors and hedges.

About Paul Zimmerman
Paul Zimmerman is owner of Paul Zimmerman Roses and is dedicated to budding the rose grower in all of us.  His approachable method to growing roses in a garden setting is the focus of his book Everyday Roses published by Taunton Press.  Paul is Coordinator of the Biltmore International Rose Trials and exclusive rose consultant to the Estate.  He is the spokesperson for Jackson & Perkins and is Head of Design for their new Jackson and Perkins Landscape & Garden Design Service. His You Tube channel of approachable rose growing videos has had over 2.5 million views.

As the former owner of a rose care company in Los Angles and also Ashdown Roses a small boutique mail order rose nursery carrying hundreds of different varieties of roses, Paul has always been focused on rose care and making roses growing more approachable for gardeners who want to use them in a general garden setting. To Paul a rose is nothing more than a flowering shrub and he has spent 25 years spreading the word.

2nd Annual Mid-Atlantic Symposium on Disease Resistant Roses

Featuring Gaye Hammond

Saturday, June 3, 2017, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Silver Spring Library

Gaye Hammond
Gaye Hammond, nationally-recognized rose expert and contributor to The Sustainable Rose Garden—A Reader in Rose Culture. Photo by Carol Edwards.

Have you ever wanted to grow beautiful roses, but thought that they were too difficult? Attendees at this Symposium learned that disease-resistant roses are the answer. These gorgeous, easy care roses will thrive in the DC Metropolitan area. If you can grow weeds, you can grow these roses!

Gaye Hammond is a nationally recognized consulting rosarian and past President of the Houston Rose Society, the largest local rose society in the United States with over 1,000 members. She has served on their Board of Directors for almost 20 years and is a Life Member and Steward of the American Rose Society. She is also a member of the Garden Writers Association and special section editor of American Rose magazine.

Gaye has been the study liaison between the Houston Rose Society and Texas AgriLife Extension in connection with the Earth-Kind Rose Research Program, a scientifically significant research study that was originally designed to identify the most carefree and disease resistant roses that would grow in Southern gardens.

Pat Shanley
Pat Shanley, ARS President. Photo by Carol Edwards.

This three-part afternoon program featured:

  • Gaye Hammond spoke on Easy Care Roses
  • American Rose Society President, Pat Shanley, highlighted the importance of the American Garden Rose Selection program and endorsed disease-resistant rose culture
  • A panel on Growing Roses Without Chemicals in the DC Metro Area, and Resources for Disease Resistant Roses

Propogating Roses

Larry Ichter discusses rose propagation techniques

A large group of PRS members turned out to learn how to successfully propagate roses. Potomac Rose Society members Larry Ichter, Christiane Rosamont, and Reed Abrahamson shared their techniques in a hands-on workshop. Attendees took home a new rose. The educational presentation is available for download.

Christiane Rosamont (front right), Reed Abrahamson (middle right) and others work on propagating roses at this hands-on workshop.

Josephine - The Empress Gardener

Empress Josephine “Portrait de l'impératrice Joséphine” by Jean-Baptiste REGNAULT

Her legendary love of roses stopped a war, cost a fortune, set explorers to sail, and started a floral industry that endures today.  The Potomac Rose Society met on Sunday, October 21 to learn about the remarkable life and work of Empress Josephine.

Lesley Parness has been a public garden professional for the past four decades, working with botanic gardens and museums here and in Europe.  Recently retired as Superintendent of Horticultural Education at the Morris County Park Commission (NJ), she lectures widely on garden history and gardening in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area and can be visited at lesleyparness.com.

Private Garden Tour and Reception at the Smithsonian Katherine Dulin Folger Rose Garden

On September 9, 2018 a group of rose enthusiasts braved the rain for a tour of the recently renovated Katherine Dulin Folger Rose Garden. Smithsonian horticulturist Shelley Gaskins conducted this tour as a follow-up to her standing-room only presentation in November 2016 on the renovation of the garden and the decision to include disease resistant rose varieties along with companion plantings to attract beneficial insects. Many of the new plantings are now in their second year, so this was an excellent opportunity to view a wide selection of healthy varieties and get new ideas to incorporate into your own gardens. The Katherine Dulin Folger Rose Garden is located on the National Mall at 900 Jefferson Drive, SW, Washington, DC, in front of the Arts & Industries Building and East of the Smithsonian Castle.

Making Beautiful Container Plantings with Roses

Pat Austin rose by David Austin Roses

You can grow beautiful roses even if you don’t have a big garden and perfect soil!  Roses are ideal for growing in containers, creating a fragrant, floral spectacle on decks and balconies or alongside paths and entrances.  The Potomac Rose Society welcomed Eva Monheim - Horticultural and Environmental Consultant and Educator, who helped us learn all about Growing Roses in Containers.  Eva Monheim has studied horticulture at Penn State University and at The University of Reading in England and is former Assistant Professor of Horticulture at Temple University.  She has taught at the Philadelphia Flower Show, New York Botanical Garden, The Barnes Foundation, and the Morris Arboretum. She is currently an instructor in the Professional Gardening Program at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

Eva Monheim

Rose Rosette Disease: An Update

We have all seen the unsightly stands of Knockout Roses planted in median strips and occasionally, our home gardens, that have strange, deformed stem and leaf configurations.  This anomaly, known as Rose Rosette Disease, attacks our hybrid teas, climbers, shrubs and all other types of roses.  Dr. Mark Windham spoke at the U.S. National Arboretum. He is a leading researcher on Rose Rosette and provided an update on this disease that is a threat to the gardens of all rose lovers.

DR. MARK WINDHAM discussed current research being conducted on Rose Rosette Disease (RRD), as well as the latest research identifying disease resistant varieties. The American Rose Society Research Endowment Trust identifies Rose Rosette Disease as the greatest threat to the future of commercial and recreational growth, and the enjoyment of roses. In 2012, ARS selected Dr. Windham to head a three-year study about the management of RRD. The objectives were to determine how rosarians manage RRD in their gardens and identify best practices
for RRD, besides eliminating plants with symptoms. Dr. Windham also believes that roses have lost popularity due to growing public aversion to the regular use of pesticides in home gardens and has therefore been developing a list of roses that homeowners can successfully grow without reliance on chemical control tactics. Rose Rosette will continue to be a threat to our home gardens for years to come. In a grant fully funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative, Dr. Windham is included in a group of 18 scientists concerned with Rose Rosette research (housed at Texas A & M), that continues to lead research on Rose Rosette Disease.

Please Show Us Your Garden

Using visuals, Tina Hochberg, Joe Covey, and Reed Abrahamson, all  members of the Potomac Rose Society, discussed the evolution of their home gardens, featuring their experiences in adding and maintaining roses. Presenters included examples of personal successes and challenges, as well as plans for the future. In this popular annual presentation, participants picked up tips for successfully beautifying their DMV area garden.

Rose Tourism Part I: Great Gardens of North America

American Rose Society Colonial District Vice Director Ray Shipley provided a wonderful travelogue of gardens worth visiting. Ray and his wife Marie have traveled to nearly every state in the country, as well as four Canadian provinces, to visit some of the finest gardens on the continent. In addition to growing 220 roses in his own garden, Ray is Chair of the Colonial District Consulting Rosarians, Ray is also a member of the Potomac Rose Society, the Arlington Rose Foundation, The Maryland Rose Society and the Shenandoah Rose Society; and was recently awarded the American Rose Society's 2017 Silver Medal in recognition of his activities with the Colonial District. At the conclusion of his presentation, Ray presented Lou Giacchino a District Consulting Rosarian of the Year Award. Lou is Vice President of PRS.

Great Gardens o f North America

with American Rose Society Colonial District Bice Director Ray Shipley

Hershey Gardens Rose Garden

On Sunday January 21, 2018, The Potomac Rose Society welcomed ARS Colonial District Vice Director Ray Shipley, and we learned all about the Great Gardens of North America.  With fabulous photos of some of the most beautiful gardens on the continent, Ray gave us great ideas for our own backyard rose gardens as well as our next vacation destinations!
Ray and his wife Marie have traveled to nearly every state in the country, as well as 4 Canadian provinces, to visit some of the finest gardens on the continent.  In addition to growing 220 roses in his own garden, Ray is Chairman of the Colonial District Consulting Rosarians.  Ray is also a member of the Potomac Rose Society, the Arlington Rose Foundation, The Maryland Rose Society and the Shenandoah Rose Society; and was recently awarded the American Rose Society's 2017 Silver Medal in recognition of his activities with the Colonial District.
Winter doldrums got you down?  Are you ready to take your rose garden to the next level but don't know where to start?  Join The Potomac Rose Society and get ready to BLOOM in 2018!

The War on the Roses: Beneficial Insects are your Allies in the Garden

With Michael J. Raupp, Ph.D.

PRS was delighted to welcome University of Maryland Professor Mike Raupp—”The Bug Guy”—a nationally-recognized expert who is frequently called upon by CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and other networks, as well as being a guest on late night TV for the April 2017 program. Professor Raupp presented a fascinating advocacy for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in the rose garden… and the very next day, he was interviewed on WTOP!

From Petal to Perfume: An Olfactory Introduction to the Fascinating World of Roses

Arielle Weinberg, Founder of arielle shoshana, Washington, DC’s first niche fragrance boutique.

Did you know that 1.6 million roses are required to produce a single kilo of rose oil? How about the fact that 4 ounces of rose absolute from France will set you back over $1000? On October 15, PRS welcomed fragrance expert Arielle Weinberg, and we learned all about the fascinating role of roses in the fragrance industry. In addition to watching video of rose processing facilities in Europe and Asia, we had an opportunity to sample several different fragrances and received two wonderful rose note fragrance samples from Arielle.
Now is the time to begin planning your fragrant rose garden!  The Potomac Rose Society can help.  Join us at one of our monthly programs, and you’ll be cutting fragrant beauties for the vase in no time!

PRS Meets the Flower Whisperer!

Jeff King and Jeffery Serafini from Potomac Floral Wholesale

by Lisa Mundy

Jeffery Serafini
Jeffery Serafini presents his beautiful cut roses.

When was the last time you had an opportunity to learn from a true expert about any and everything relating to roses and other flowers? PRS members were fortunate enough to do just that on January 22, 2017, when Jeff King and Jeffery Serafini from Potomac Floral Wholesale presented to our group. They brought with them hundreds of stems of their most beautiful rose varieties for us to examine and enjoy, a sight for sore eyes for rose lovers in the middle of winter!

Potomac Floral.
A full house was on hand to hear from Potomac Floral.

With over 30 years in the flower business, Mr. Serafini, Purchasing Manager at Potomac Floral, is a veritable encyclopedia when it comes to roses. He patiently answered all of our questions, incorporating many interesting anecdotes gained from his vast experience.

Jeff King, Public Relations and Sales Manager, invited us to visit their warehouse in Silver Spring to see all of the many rose varieties they have to offer. Everyone enjoyed Mr. Serafini's outstanding presentation, and we look forward to putting all of his excellent tips to use this season, to better enjoy the beauty of roses in our homes and in our gardens.

Thank you, Potomac Floral!

Jeffery Serafini and Jeff King.
Jeffery Serafini and Jeff King.

In Good Company: The Roses and Companion Plantings of the Smithsonian’s Katherine Dulin Folger Rose Garden

Speaker: Shelley Gaskins, Smithsonian Gardens Horticulturist

The Katherine Dulin Folger Rose Garden. Courtesy of Smithsonian Gardens.
The Katherine Dulin Folger Rose Garden. Courtesy of Smithsonian Gardens.

On November 20, 2016, Ms. Gaskins discussed the newly reopened Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Garden. The exciting, year-long expansion and renovation project, was presented to a standing-room-only crowd at the Behnke Nursery. The new Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Garden will incorporate healthy rose varieties along with companion plantings to attract beneficial insects. It is designed to be a healthier garden, providing four seasons of interest with less reliance on pesticides.

Please visit the Smithsonian Gardens blog and search the keyword "Folger" to learn more.

Shelley Gaskins (center) flanked by rose enthusiasts after her lecture.
Shelley Gaskins (center) flanked by rose enthusiasts after her lecture.


Top photo of Rose de Rescht by Rich Baer