Rose Fest in Reiman Gardens brings roses, music together

Haifan Xiao

People of all ages came to enjoy and celebrate the Rose Fest in Reiman Gardens this past Saturday. The Iowa Rose Society Annual Rose Show in the Garden Room showcased wide varieties of roses, including award-winners, and drew in many spectators at the festival. 

Clif Godfrey was the biggest winner in this year’s rose show, whose roses won the prizes of Queen, King and Princess. The Queen, the best of the class, was awarded to Godfrey’s rose Power Point. The King was awarded to his Ashton, and the Princess, the third prize, was awarded to his Shenandoah.

Gary Osborn, president of Iowa Rose Society, offered some insight on what goes into judging roses. For some roses, the spiral in the center plays a big role. For some, the more petals a rose has, the better it is. Usually 30 to 35 petals is ideal to showcase, along with other criteria, like cleanness and degradation. He said, in general, “we have to judge them as what that rose grows, as in its own characteristics.”

Linda Osborn, a member of the Iowa Rose Society who began to grow roses in the early ’90s, said there are 316 stems and 34 arrangements of roses in this year’s rose show. “I’m not positive but I think next year we plan to have rose photography, that’s a new thing that’s coming out,” Osborn said. 

“I grew up with roses. My mother was the charger member of Des Moines Rose Society,” said Margaret Glasscock. “When she passed away nine years ago, she was the last remaining original charger member of Des Moines Rose Society.”

Glassock said through the event, people can find roses they like and can benefit from enjoying the arrangement and studying it. Another important thing Glasscock noted was to make friends with rose lovers.

“I think I’ve known these people for probably 40 or 50 years,” Glasscock said.

Mauricio Serrano, a doctoral student majoring in Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Iowa State University, and member of the Heart of Iowa Classical Guitar Society, played classical music songs to celebrate the Rose Fest, like La Catedral, Maxixa, and Capricho Arabe.

“I enjoy playing for people to share my music and to let people feel relaxed. And I enjoy playing for people who want to come to enjoy the plants and nature,” Serrano said.