Thursday, May 31, 2012

BC2012: Otherwise Normal People: Inside the Thorny World of Competitive Rose Growing by Aurelia C. Scott

This book was a steal from The BookMarket in Glenview (a part of the local chain Barbara's) for only $1. My wife is a member of the Northeastern Illinois Rose Society (NIRS) so I know people like those in the book, and I would have been willing to pay more for it. Needless to say, I had to read this one aloud to her.

Scott meets and profiles various rose exhibitors in their gardens, all leading up to the 2004 American Rose Society Spring National Convention in San Diego. Then she attends the conference, including the early hours when exhibitors prepare their roses for competition. She captures the quirks and camaraderie of rose people very well.

I know a fair amount about roses since my wife has been a member of NIRS for more than a decade, but I still learned a lot from this book. My main complaint is that Scott spends almost all of her time on the coasts, ignoring Midwestern rose growers, but that's mostly my own regional bias. Anyone considering showing roses or anyone who wants to understand what rose exhibitors are like should read Otherwise Normal People.

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