Excerpts of Preface to Horizon Roses 2016
By Robert B. Martin Jr.
The rain it raineth every day
Upon the just and unjust fella,
But more upon the just because
The unjust hath the just's umbrella.
― Charles Bowen (1835-1894)
It has become something of a tradition in recent years for me to welcome the reader to the newest edition of Horizon Roses with a discussion of the weather. This year will be no exception and so, I introduce you to this the 33rd edition of Horizon Roses with my favorite verse on rain. And, with that introduction, I restate our mission, which is as always, to spread sunshine by providing to you the reader with just comments from the top national rose exhibitors on the exhibition potential of the newest hybrid teas, floribundas, miniflora and miniature roses.
Rain . . . or lack thereof.
Returning to the weather, projections at the end of 2015 were dominated by predictions of rain in the West precipitated by a growing El Niño event of record proportions. This held encouraging odds of well-above average rains for California, thereby relieving a record drought that had resulted in a series of stringent mandatory water restrictions throughout California. The El Niño did in fact grow, and appeared to have something to do with record rainfall in the Pacific Northwest and parts of Northern California. In Southern California, however, it was something short of a cloudburst. Still, rainfall was somewhere near normal in parts of Southern California, assuming anyone knows what normal is any more. The combination of weather throughout the state did result in the relaxing of water restrictions in many parts of California, including your Editor’s garden, thank you very much.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the country there were alternating reports of heavy rain, or lack of rain, and heat, more so than cold, with overall more of a continued warming trend resulting from climate change, which even conservative rosarians now pretty much acknowledge is going on. Having said that, I do not propose to go into a discussion of whether capping and trading, or increased taxation can or will do anything about that. Rather, my interest is in growing roses and my experience is that roses tend to grow better when it is warmer, provided they get the additional water that warmer weather suggests they will require. Roses also tend to recycle faster in warmer weather and so differences in weather do affect our ability to time roses for shows, and even suggest we may need to rethink when we schedule our shows. Other than these generalities, I don’t have much more to add other than to suggest that if you are a total climate freak, you may find it of interest to read the annual review of the State of the Climate published by the American Meteorological Society and available as a mere 300 page pdf download at https://www.ametsoc.org/ams/index.cfm/publications/bulletin-of-the-american-meteorological-society-bams/state-of-the-climate/.
Regional Editors and Reporters
Returning to this edition, I note as before that Horizon Roses is produced entirely by volunteers under my direction as National Editor and the direction of eight regional editors. The regional editors solicit and compile the comments from selected top exhibitors in their region and forward them to me for final compilation. This year we welcome Bill Kozemchak as Editor for the Northeast region, replacing long-time editor, Stacey Catron, who has moved to Dallas. Bill has a long history of contributing to Horizon Roses and a magnificent garden. Thank you Stacey for your service, we wish you all the best in your new home.
Through the efforts of the Editors, the 2016 edition of Horizon Roses contains comments by 95 reporters. Of that number 11 reporters are “new”, offsetting a number that were unable to participate this year for a variety of reasons. The reporters are from 26 different States and show the national character of the reports.
The 2016 Edition
The 2016 Edition of Horizon Roses brings us a total of 1,604 reports, down from the 1,619 reports recorded last year. This is an insignificant decline. Of note, reports were received on 225 varieties, compared to 210 varieties last year, a small increase aided by a significant increase in the number of new varieties from a historical low of 36 last year to 63 this year.
My annual “Box Score” in the side bar summarizes the 2016 reports received on various varieties. For the sixth consecutive year, there were more reports on HTs than any other classification. Reports on floribundas dropped by more than 18%, while the number of reports on miniatures increased 11%.
The average number of reports per reporter increased to 16.9 reports, compared to 14.8 reports last year. This resulted from the loss of a number of reporters who had been growing only a few new varieties, several of whom had no new varieties this year at all.
The 2016 edition also marks the fifth edition of the publication of Horizon Roses in an electronic version both for the Kindle and as a pdf. The 2015 edition continues to be available from Amazon for the Kindle. The reasons for this change have been previously explained, including the cost of printing and postage, and the editorial problems in fitting all the comments into the funny looking mailer that had been used for so many years. These were compelling reasons but certainly the best has been the ability to include color photographs, an addition that continues to receive great praise from the readers. For the 2016 edition, I have included 191 photos, representing over 80% of the varieties on which reports were received. I have also continued my efforts to improve the quality of the pictures, to which I credit a number of contributors, including my beautiful wife Dona who is an excellent rose photographer.
Considering the quality of the photographs, it is once again useful to remind readers that, in the case of show roses, a picture is not worth a thousand comments. But it is worth a lot when considered along with the comments on the rose. Photographs preserve a moment in time and, in the case of roses, often that moment when the rose looks its very best, a moment that may be fleeting or infrequent. But one good bloom every once in a while is not enough to make a rose a great show rose. It is good to keep this in mind as you look at the photographs.
To add further information on the show quality of the roses, I have again provided information on actual show results to date for the reported roses. This information is set forth in parentheses at the beginning of the comments. I also added this year additional information on sprays won, and open blooms won. A key to the abbreviations is set forth somewhere at the end of this edition. The results reported are current through July 31, 2016 and come from the show results submitted to www.roseshow.com. Historically, this covers about 90% of U.S. show results.
How to Order Horizon Roses 2016
Horizon Roses 2015 is available in electronic format for Kindle at a price of $8.95. It can be ordered at Amazon.com by clicking here.
Those who do not have a Kindle can download the free Kindle Reading App for their iPad, iPhone, Android phone or whatever else you read on by clicking here:
In the alternative, those who want a PDF version can mail a check for $8.95 payable to Roseshow Investments, LLC , 3291 Old Oak Tree Ln, Escondido, CA 92026. Please include an email address to which I can deliver a copy.