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Coquitlam's biggest rose show is returning after two years away

Members of the Fraser Pacific Rose Society will show off the florals of their labour this coming weekend
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Joyce Diemert and Ruth von Hertzberg check out a Campfire rose as members of the Fraser Pacific Rose Society prepare for the resumption of their annual show at Dogwood Pavilion.

Nature doesn’t pause for a pandemic.

After two years of carefully tending the hundred of rose bushes that comprise the Fraser Pacific Rose Society’s gardens at Dogwood Pavilion in Coquitlam, members will again be able to publicly show the colourful results of their care next weekend.

Saturday and Sunday (June 25 and 26) the society hosts its annual rose and floral art show. In addition to being able to wander the Centennial rose garden to admire its dozens of varieties, visitors will be able to consult with rose experts and learn about floral arranging.

The show is more than an exhibition, though. Roses will also be judged, with awards presented Sunday at 3 p.m.

Organizer Beverley Welsh said while many members continued to care for the bushes through the COVID-10 pandemic that forced the society to suspend its shows in 2020 and 2021, they’re excited to be able to show off the florals of their labour again.

“There are many rose and floral art winners and many first time winners to who are overjoyed to have won a ribbon or a trophy or an award for entering,” Welsh said.

While caring for roses so they can put their best petals forward is a year-round commitment of fertilizing, watering and deadheading, the days prior to the show are a frenzy of preparation.

Welsh said members will be busy tidying the gardens, trimming the grass, weeding the flower beds and planting summer bedding flowers at the feet of the roses so their blooms really pop. As well, the bushes climbing trellis have to be trimmed and the sidewalks swept.

On Friday, dozens of heavy glass vases have to be moved from the society’s storage shed to the dining room at Dogwood where rose afficianados will display their best work for admiration and judging.

Early Saturday morning, those growers will have just a few hours to get their roses labelled and looking just right. Judging begins at 9:30 a.m.

The whole operation must run with military precision, Welsh said, but one wild card remains. After a cool, wet spring, she’s hoping a few days of warm sunshine will give the gardens the boost they need to come into full bloom just in time for the show.

• The annual rose and floral art show at Dogwood Pavilion (1655 Winslow Ave.) runs from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $3,50 for adults, while children accompanied by an adult are free. For more details, check out the society’s website.