World Rose News
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE (January, 2015)
Since my last message in the World Rose News, there hasn’t been much activity other than Susie and me attending the WFRS Regional Convention in Hyderabad, India. We signed up for both the pre- and post-tours which took us to several gardens throughout the country. I have alwa ys wanted to visit India for the food, people, history, culture, etc. that dates back to the earliest times of written history. WFRS Vice President Ahmed Alam Khan promised us a great time and great food and he delivered.
As we found out when we arrived, January and August are the best times to see roses in India as some of the gardens were in the state of being cleaned up for the January bloom. Unfortunately with the World Convention in Lyon, the dates had to be moved up from the peak times. I was very impressed with the WFRS Garden of Excellence Award winner from 2006, the Government Rose Garden in Ooty. The garden does have a “wow” factor as you look down from the first level. Here we were met by many television and newspaper interviewers. We were also met there by government officials and members of the Nilgiris Rose Society. The garden is pruned so there are roses in bloom year round. The volunteers did an excellent job keeping the roses and rose beds nice and clean.
In Hyderabad, there were three other amazing rose gardens, all only six months old, the one at Sanjivayya Park and the two new gardens at the farm of Ahmed and his family. At the latter, there are three rose gardens here, two are new, the one at the textile company with 2500 roses from Indian rose breeders, and the fabulous garden at the Green Valley Farms complex which features 20000 roses. Ahmed himself designed these gardens. The third and older garden was near the stables where we held the closing ceremony. That garden has about 10000 roses. Imagine over 32500 roses in all!
The convention was well attended with 418 attendees, 56 from outside India. Special thanks go to Sushil Prakash and his wife for hosting the Friends dinner. I was not able to attend due to another commitment, but everyone who went had a wonderful time at a restaurant with awesome views and food. During the talks, the speeches were very good, entertaining, and educational. Many focused on the routes of roses through India and the east. At the closing ceremony there were over 2000 people attending including friends and the local community, and what a feast!
The post-tour was mostly visiting tourist places such as the Taj Mahal. We did visit the National Rose Garden in Delhi where we saw the effects of water shortages and testing to find the right rootstock for their extreme weather. We were met by the Rose Society of India officers and members. Here we met with the Minister of Horticulture for India, Dr B C Katiyar who took time out of his busy schedule to visit with us. He oversees all of the Government Gardens for the country of India. They id have a nice collection of Indian bred roses. I was thrilled to increase my rose photography collection this trip with over 500 pictures of India bred roses.
I would cover other aspects of the convention and tours, but they were expertly handled by our other authors in this edition.
Next up is the World Convention in Lyon. The turnout has been very good so far and many of the pre- and post-tours are already sold out, so register soon!
Back Row Standing: TJ Meeraboi, Asst. Dir. of Hort., GK Umarani, Asst. Dir. of Hort., Mr. Sabramanian Samraj, Dep. Dir., N Mani, Joint Dir. of Hort., D Suresh, Hort. Officer, Mr. Ramji, Pres. Nilgiris Rose Soc., Vijay Nair.
Front row Sitting: Mrs Kumar, Mrs Srinivasan, Susie Jones, Steve Jones, WFRS Pres., K Krishna Kumar, Past Pres. Nilgiris Rose Soc., D Sreedharan, Dr Srinivasan, Former Atomic Energy Commission Chairman, Mr Goutham.