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Date: 2 March 2002
Wm. Saunder’s Rose Society

At 1:08 PM, Saturday 2 March 2002, the first meeting of the new year took place in the home of Paula Martin on Sunset Drive just south of St. Thomas. She was thanked for hosting the meeting (What a lot of work it was), and another thanks went out to Sally Carr who helped Paula prepare and helped during the meeting (She also was given Paula's cutting of Sally Holmes in gratitude). A warm welcome was given to visitor, Ben VanderVere from Tillsonburg, who is starting to grow roses. Also to June Cooper, Bill Lovelock's sister-in-law, and the winner of the novice rose grower's award of the St. Thomas Horticultural Society, ________________________

Old Business
Bill Lovelock moved that the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 3 November 2001 be adopted. He was seconded by Richard Cartwright and the motion was approved unanimously.
Approval of the Treasurer's Report was moved by Basil Kelly, seconded by John Smith and carried unanimously.
The bulk order to Pickering's was in to Pickering's, and the order confirmed. The only roses sold out were 5 ordered by our President, Harry Magee, to his loss. April 18th will be the pick up date at Harry's.
We have it! A new federation named National-Roses-Canada as of 28 January 2002. It is Canada wide, representing currently 5 of 10 provinces from coast to coast, one from each region of the country.
"Agnes" has been recognized by the Royal Rose Society in the most recent issue of The Rose.
An update on the Niagara Bus Trip: 36 seats have already been paid for! The estimated cost, thanks to the negotiations of Jennifer Grant, will likely be $50., though may cost $55. Jim Lounsberry of Vineland Nursery, will make available Joyce Fleming's cultivars, Alberta, Amelia Fleming and others, by special order.
The Crons, Fergus and Lucille, sent a letter thanking the society for the honorary life membership.

New Business
A call was made for those interested in ordering miniature roses from Select Roses and Classic Roses.
Jean Shack donated a nice selection of books to the Stanley Jenkin's Library. Many thanks.
The Society has been invited to present a display table at the St. Thomas Horticultural Society's June 13th show.
Notes on the presentation of Jake Bulk, owner and operator of Rose-a-lea, commercial cut rose greenhouses in Mount Brydges and Kerwood, Ontario. He cuts between seven and eight million cut flowers each year, which are shipped as far as Alberta in the West and Newfoundland in the East. His family has a long history of being in the nursery business. His father grew roses in the Netherlands years ago. Four out of six of his father's sons are rose growers, and the other two are in related trades.
Today, not many cut roses are locally grown. Most are imported from South American countries, like Ecuador. Until twenty years ago, 90% of all cut flowers were grown in North America. That has dropped to 20%. Then, most roses used for the cut flower industry came from California, but now they come from the Netherlands, but the major advantage of buying locally grown cut flowers is that they are so much fresher and, therefore, have a longer vase life.
Obviously, the major reason for growing under glass is to trap solar heat and, therefore, extend the growing season. Rose-A-Lea has twenty-three acres under glass. The temperature is maintained at a constant 18 degrees C at night and 20 during the day year round. The same computer that controls temperature also controls carbon dioxide levels in the greenhouse air. Instead of normal counts of 300 ppm, the greenhouse has 1,000. The computer also , decides when to water and what to feed. The nutrients are provided through the drip irrigation system. Some cultivars prefer higher amounts of some micro-nutrients than others, but the more often the roses can be watered the better as long as the drainage is perfect. The planting medium is leached daily to remove salts. If ten litres of water are given, four are expected to be recycled. HID lights provide economical light when the sun is not shining. ‘Day' starts at 11 PM and goes until dusk.
As stated, there are two greenhouses. One is situated on sandy soil, and the roses are planted directly into the sand. The other sits on clay, and all roses are in twelve litre pots, filled with shredded coconut shells (coco peat). It has perfect drainage, offers no nutrients, but although not proven, it appears to inhibit root diseases. Plants have a production life of five to seven years, and new roses are planted directly into the same hole provided there are not any harmful nematodes in the soil. If there are, the soil is steamed, and the planting continues.
Slips of chosen cultivars are cut, with but one leaf, on a forty-five degree angle. The root-stock, a Natal Briar (?) not at all frost hardy but providing a buffer, is also cut on a forty-five, and the two a held together with a clothespin until a fusion takes place at the join. The base of the rootless combination is dipped in a powdered rooting hormone, stuck into a pot of coco peat and placed where it is very humid. (The root-stock can determine colour, particularly of a yellow, and the length of stem. Own roots can produce more blooms in the field.) Once the join has taken, a Japanese method of bending the cane at ninety degrees is employed to promote new canes at each node where a leaf is. Of course, with each new cane are more leaves, the lungs of the plant. As many as possible are kept to keep the plant flourishing, build up its strength and promote its health. The more canes the more flowers. A plant started on November 16, 2001 was providing cut flowers March 2, 2002 as the meeting took place!
Commercial growers have lost the distinction between HTs, floribundas, polyanthas, etcetera. They are simply not important. They speak of large-headed roses, of which they expect 200 /m2/yr, intermediate-headed, of which they expect 250-300 /m2/yr and small-headed, 300-400, maybe even 500-600 /m2/yr. Roses are cut 365 days a year. (Jake employs 200 people.) Cut flowers are placed in water with a low ph and preservative, but they are not re-cut under water.
Mr. Bulk's presentation was an eye opener to most of us at the meeting. He said he admired us for being able to grow roses outdoors. Maybe he could learn something from us he said, wanting a few bushes around the house.

Show and Tell
Photographs were shown from last year

Harry McGee will represent WSRS at Canada blooms on Saturday 26 March where he will be speaking to some 300 people.

Regional Rose shows are as follows:
Sarnia - June 3
Aylmer - 9-10
Lambeth - June 19
St Thomas - June 22
Tillsonburg - June 23-24
London - June 28

The World Rose Society Convention is being held next year in Glasgow, Scotland. There are tours of Lochloman, the Isle of Skye and the Hebrides.

John Gillet died a while ago. We are offering his wife, Mary, help to tend the roses on the farm this spring.

There may be an early meeting this August if Brad Jalbert arrives at Rosebank from the west.

The 50th Stratford Garden Festival is being held March 7, 8, 9 and 10th at the Colosseum. Coco Peat will be on sale for $10.00.

The meeting ended on a motion by Marian Obeda.

Paula Martin served refreshments to the enjoyment of all.

The aforementioned minutes are, to the best of our knowledge, an accurate account of the meeting of the Wm. Saunders Rose Society.

Stephen Elkerton, Secretary

Approved by Harry MaGee, President

Distribution: all members, patrons, citation holders and honorary members.

© The Wm.Saunders Rose Society