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New to Rose Shows? Read on!

by Katie Michie

If you're new to exhibiting your roses, the concept of a rose show can feel intimidating. First, what is a rose show, is it like those fancy dog shows you see on TV with professional handlers and the best dogs in the country, but for flowers? Do you need to have been growing roses for years and have the best green thumb in the neighborhood?

My answer to that is a resounding no, anybody can exhibit their roses! Most rose shows have novice classes specifically for beginners, which have relaxed expectations. For my very first rose show, I brought a single bloom of a mini rose called Tiddly Winks that I grew on my 2nd floor apartment patio, and I managed to get best in class.

There's no registration in advance, you just show up the day of the show with your blooms or arrangements, fill out an entry tag, and cross your fingers. Most shows have volunteers that will help you get set up if you're not sure how or which class your rose belongs in! Most shows are completely free to view or participate in, and you generally don't need to be a member of that rose society to exhibit your roses.

The Day of the Show

Every show has a Schedule that explains the different classes you can enter your roses in. (See our Show Schedule at the bottom of this page!) 

When you arrive at the show, the rose society will provide all the vases/frames/bowls needed for the horticulture classes, you just need to bring your blooms. If entering an arrangement class, you will bring your own premade arrangement and container.

You will be given a tag (see example picture) to fill out with the rose variety names, class you're entering, and your information in case you win. Most roses have ribbons and trophies for class winners!

Preparing the Blooms

You'll want to bring the best examples of blooms for the rose show. There are lots of great tips and tricks for how to prepare your roses to look their best in advance of the show! Check out the video below from the Peninsula Rose Society to see how an experienced exhibitor prepares his roses for the show. Don't let yourself get intimidated by your first show, just bring a bloom or a few blooms and give it a try!

Rose Grooming - selecting, and preparing for a show

Rose Grooming - selecting, and preparing for a show

Play Video

The Seattle Rose Society presents our 110th Annual Rose Show: Afternoon Tea & Roses. Members of the public are welcome to view the rose displays on June 17th and 18th 2023 from 11am to 4pm. The event is completely free!

Exhibitor drop-off is in the morning on Saturday June 17th, from 6:30am until 9:45am. Judging occurs between 10am and noon, and the awards will be given out after judging. There is no registration in advance, just bring your blooms and arrangements during the entry time window.

The Marketplace at Factoria
Factoria Blvd. SE & I-90
Bellevue, WA 98006

The show schedule, which contains information on the different divisions you can enter, is available as a PDF below.