Rose experts will offer advice on growing the beautiful flowers and keeping them pretty.
Next Monday is "Rose Day" at the Tennessee Valley Fair. You can just look at the beautiful flowers or enter your own roses to be judged.
Expert rosarians will be part of the festivities.
He first got interested in roses after noticing some in a vase on a client's desk.
"I said, Mr. Davis, where do you buy your pretty roses? He said, buy them boy? I was just 29 or 30 then. He said, buy them? I grow those roses. Come home with me for lunch and I'll show you how," Noah Wilson recalled.
Fifty years later, Noah Wilson is still growing roses.
"I do not have a favorite rose per se. It's like a woman with a dozen children: one day one's her favorite and one day the next one is," he said.
There's the color and the scent and the beauty but 90 year old Martin Skinner says the best part of growing roses is being part of the Holston Rose Society.
"I don't think I've missed more than six meetings since I joined in 1981," Martin Skinner said.
The Master Rosarians raise more roses at their own homes than you'll find at the UT Trial Gardens and they have won all sorts of prizes. But they're modest.
"Although I have learned all the stuff about growing good roses I cannot seem to apply it, I don't know," Skinner said.
Any advice for amateurs?
"Find somebody who is growing roses and talk to them. And then each rose society has people called Consulting Rosarians. And they supposedly know more than the average person does. Get with them. But see some roses that are being grown locally. I mean you can look at a rose in a catalog and it looks beautiful but it might not grow in East Tennessee," he said.
Planting roses is all about location. The Master Rosarians advise choosing a site for your roses with access to water, good soil, and sunshine.
Martin Skinner doesn't always take his own advice.
"I've got some hundred year old oaks in the yard and I'm not going to take those down," he said.
He has shown countless roses at countless rose shows.
"Then you wait for the judges to look favorably or not. And if they pass you by well you say wait for next year," he said.
Noah Wilson is an Accredited Rose Judge.
"First thing you look for is form. The form of the rose is sort of like an ice cream cone come up in height and gets bigger around as it comes out. Then you want to look for the freshness of the rose. You want to look for the substance which is water in there fresh cut. You want to look for color, that is has that deep color hue color to it. And the balance and proportion when they're cut and put on the table," he said.
Wilson said tender loving care separates most roses from prize winning roses along with regular fungicide spray to keep away black spots. That's great advice from rose experts who are 80 and 90 years young.
Noah Wilson said, "Until the Lord takes me home I'm going to be rose gardening and when I get to heaven I'm going to ask Him about the Garden of Eden. I am sure he had lot of roses in the Garden of Eden."
A garden full of beauty.
Rose Day activities at the Fair start Monday morning at 10:00.
For information about roses and / or the Holston Rose Society please email Noah Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org