Guest Author - Charity Armstrong
Being a rose gardener who canít seem to stop being excited by roses, I have a constant desire to find ways of increasing my rose knowledge. With the Holidays upon us, it seems family members are always asking me for Christmas ideas, what could be a simpler gift than membership in a rose society? There are a wide range of rose societies you can join depending on your location.
After doing quite a bit of research, mainly on-line, Iíve decided to ask my husband for a membership in the ARS or American Rose Society. Itís a gift that will definitely be the right size and the right color. Itís also incredibly easy to purchase and can be done on-line without having to pay extra for shipping!
ARS membership offers a variety of benefits that every rose gardener can enjoy, from both the novice to the more experienced gardener. Membership is $49.00 and from looking at their website I can expect to receive a bi-monthly magazine, an annual American Rose publication and a Handbook for Selecting Roses. They also include a coupon for a free rose bush from their website. I think what primarily drew me in was the free admission to over one hundred gardens and gardening events in the United States. It just so happens that my local favorite, the Botanical Garden in Norfolk, Virginia, is included on their free admission list. This is a great bonus that will make my membership pay off right away. There are many other membership benefits as well, which can be viewed at http://www.ars.org if youíre interested.
What if you arenít from the United States or you donít feel youíll benefit from a nationwide rose society? Most states seem to have their own rose societies which can be easily located on-line simply by searching for ďrose societyĒ and your state name. Many countries also offer their own rose associations, using the Internet I located rose societies from Poland to Japan. Feel free to contact me if you have difficulty locating a Rose Society for your state or country and Iíll be happy to try and point you in the right direction.
Itís always nice to receive a gift that youíll enjoy, but also one that benefits others as well. The majority of rose societies use portions of your membership fee to further rose and gardening research through universities and other institutions. Through your membership youíll be helping fellow rose lovers and also have the privilege of knowing your supporting on-going research in the world of roses.