ars, gw, magazines

sammy zone 7 TulsaJuly 6, 2007

I have enjoyed both for years, and do support my local rose society.

From time to time I like to evaluate my priorities, sort of like spring cleaning, and decide what is only tradition that I don't need, and what do I enjoy.

I enjoy these forums immensely. I can come here whenever I want and share with others whatever I feel, and participate with you when you have issues to share.

The ARS? My father gave me a membership when I was newly married. He was always a member, and would be pleased that I also enjoy growing roses. But I hear that the ARS has increased their price by $12.00 a year, and they are going to decrease the number of magazines they offer. This may be about half?

Is the new cost then $49.00 a year for 6 magazines. I like many of the articles, but the pictures are often large blooms. Frankly they do not compare to what is here in these forums. I love a garden, but they usually have small captions of gardens, and in the June issue like so many others they have pictures of non rose gardens or non rose scenes.

I have more than 6 months to make a decision, and thought I would share my thoughts with you. I am a member why????

I would appreciate knowing what you might be thinking.


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I gave up my scripts to the ARS and a local society a few years ago. I did miss both for a few months, because after getting both for a few years, I expected seeing them in the mailbox. In time, I didn't miss it. The ARS keeps sending me envelopes, probably 1 per year. I don't even open them any more.

Back when I let it slip, it was getting expensive as it was, and to me, the articles didn't grab me.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 7:58AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I think that may also be my decision.

I might have a different opinion if they were to show large gardens, but they choose small ones that I cannot see, and so many blooms that are pretty, but just like I have.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 12:47PM
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I retired over a year ago and when I did, I got rid of all subscriptions to trade magazines. I much prefer reading here on the forums. Ask yourself, "what is it that is so special with the magazines, that you can't get here"? Not a thing. I have gotten all of the information I need right here and on other on line sites. Bonne chance, T

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 6:25PM
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I am no longer a member of my national Rose Society. The magazine was nice but after 5 years there was nothing new to learn. If I wanted to learn something specific about soil, fertilizers, propagation techniques, hybridization, garden design I had to seek knowledge and inspiration elsewhere. And Yes! the Rose-forums here on Garden-web are a fountain of information!

And it is hard to find people who are more interested in growing roses and every aspect of roses than some of the wonderful people here on these forums, who share their joy, knowledge and garden disasters freely with each other. Many are really experts in certain areas and I like the un-snobbish attitude among forum members. But I bet there are some really good articles that are definitely worth keeping in the ARS magazine. Personally I prefer to buy roses and travel to see roses I can not grow myself than spend money on garden magazines.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 9:23PM
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I quit my rose society and the Horticultural society which I have been very active in for some years, also rarely buy a garden magazine anymore - I do not feel the need anymore and quite frankly, I too get more out of this forum. I am so impressed by the caliber of expertize and how much more there is to know about roses than I imagined. Also LOVE the humour here. Also it has it's own language which I am learning too. Wow, and look how many more roses I can buy, saving the money on the societies and the numerous magazines I bought - that was big money! - I had to have them all, Teehee!!
Pauline - Vancouver Island

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 1:17AM
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I agree----I've cancelled most of my magazine subscriptions--and club memberships--

-I did weaken though when I was notified that Victoria magazine will resume publishing----I love that magazine---I have every issue from the first one they published--

Everyone who knows me know I never through anything away----LOL

So much good information right here !!!!


    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 9:42AM
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Florence, here too. I still have ALL my garden magazines and Victoria mags. and I cannot bring myself to part with them yet. Do you have any great ideas for storing them. They take up a lot of room, but I still cannot part with them. :)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 10:14AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I have never heard of Victoria Magazine. I googled it, and Florence, it is you, I do believe.

When I ask myself why I belong to the ARS, I do not get an answer. I even enjoy some magazines, like Garden Gate, but not the ARS magazine. I appreciate the hard work that many members here put into the ARS, but I don't care to regularly exhibit - I have never exhibited. I want to propogate some of my roses, and play with trading and exchanging, but I can do that here, not through the magazines.

I love a garden. I have many pictures right now that are beautiful, but my garden isn't pretty.Even when we haven't had rain every day, it isn't pretty. I don't have a tasteful selection of perennials and other items to make it look pretty. I can get that information here, but not through any organization.

I do enjoy seeing the gardens that are shown in the Galleries, and those are a real inspiration to me.

For $49.00 I can get almost 5 roses from Chamblees.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 10:31AM
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May I suggest if you are looking for a good rose mag and like older roses to try Rosa Mundi the publication offered by the Heritage Rose Foundation Lot's of photos and good articles. Much better than the ARS IMHO.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 11:02AM
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I've been seriously thinking about joining the Heritage Rose Foundation. I wonder how often do they publish their magazine?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 7:00PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Patrick, Rosa Mundi is a quarterly publication.

I'm still pondering on how to answer your question Sammy. As a CR and a judge, two activities which I enjoy, I have to remain a member. I do struggle with how to encourage people to become/remain a member of the ARS. Though, I do not think that the magazine focuses on exhibiting. I'll keep quiet while I develop an appropriate response.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 11:37AM
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rosebud(7 Atlanta)

Sammy, when the ARS figures out it is in the publishing business and its customers are gardeners I'll consider buying their services again. As long as they think they are a sporting organization whose purpose is to govern rose competitions like the USGA governs golfing events they won't see another penny of my money.

The choice is yours, but you can buy a lot of special interest rose magazines for the cost of an ARS membership.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 3:15PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Rosebud, welcome back. I wish you would hang around here more often. You know so much about roses, and are truly admired and respected here.

Diane, the CR program, and others are a reason why I have maintained my membership for so long. The training you receives really helps communities across the country.

When I see a roses bloom, it is beautiful, and I love to look. But in the magazine there are always many blooms that are beautiful like the ones on our forum.

My disappointment is the selection of small pictures. In the June magazine there is a lovely garden, but the pictures are so small that it is almost not worth the time to try to look. Yet when you get to the 10 rose blooms, they are huge.

I don't expect the rose society to change for me, but what I want is a garden, not a perfect huge rose.

For my money I think I have moved away from what the mission statement is for the magazine of the Rose Society.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 7:09PM
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I like the magazine. The cover and inside material IS more diverse than it was six years ago but I do think cutting the number of issues is another indication of trouble within the ARS. The leadership either does not have enough material to fill a monthly issue, don't have the money to publish 12 issues, or a worse yet, a combination of both factors.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 8:01PM
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Steve! Nice to see you and welcome back.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 8:02PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

Six or seven years ago, I did the math and became a life member of the ARS. Although I didn't like the monthly magazine, I figured I would get my money's worth in entry to botanical gardens if I lasted a couple more decades.
(Several octogenarians in one of my rose societies talked about getting their life memberships back when they were in their forties, when the cost was really low.)
So, I have a membership. Now that rose society has disbanded because of the ages of most of the members; I am no longer a member of the rose soc of which I was president, the geriatrics have taken it back and it's now a geriatric HT-centric supper club. We are members of Asheville Blue Ridge and it fits us.
IF HRF were to raise its dues, I'd continue to pay in a heartbeat because the magazines are both beautiful and have well written articles, and I believe that the society is thriving and doing the right things.
If I weren't an ARS life member, I'm really doubtful if I'd go along with a price rise to fifty dollars a year. It's not just that I'm disillusioned with exhibitors. That's part of it. Some time ask me about some rose show horror stories.
But I don't see ARS representing the needs of rose growers in eastern North America, much less actively educating them about RRD, midge,RMVs, Downey Mildew (Baldo's article could have/should have included the info from the WFRS meeting in Houston with important comments about how DM in Texas differed from DM in California). Even if people aren't members, they need a source for materials to keep their roses healthy, and by extrapolation your and my roses as well. Our roses are under increased disease pressure because there are so many less than healthy roses out there. It's going to get worse. And somewhere, off in the distance, a fiddle is playing, off tune, as diseases spread.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 10:26PM
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At one time I was pretty heavily into societies; both local & ARS. I wasn't so much into showing as I was into seeing what others were showing. The primping wasn't for me, nor was the amount of time one took to make the bloom look perfect.

IMO a society should be about information on growing roses. The one I was a member of had rose sales, gave discounts at local garden centers and had a decent monthly. It started getting off topic - a lot of showing and hybridizing. I understood that they could only print articles that were submitted, and that a lot of people didn't want to contribute.

I left the local society due to personal reasons - I had my hand in memberships, web site, garden center discount, plus I was 2nd or 3rd VP. I was at a meeting where they passed a get well card around for someone that had surgery and was very hurt that I never received one when I had my surgery a few months before. Why did I not matter? This was where I realized how this society worked (or appeared to in my case) and it was about what could I do for them, not so much as what the society could do for members...

Years ago IIRC, and maybe Rosebud can confirm, there was talk about adding a forum, something that IMO was needed. This place was pretty busy, but the ARS didn't seem to want to take that on.

A friend & I were going to branch off and make an internet society. I was emailing a few people from the ARS but my health wouldn't allow me to follow through on it. I'm sure I still have all of the info I received for bylaws, etc. GW was like it's own society, and was successful. I think the ARS could have benefited from adjusting bylaws to accommodate something like this. Looking at their web site for the 1st time in years, it seems like the same old.

Glad I haven't parted with my money.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 8:03AM
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rosebud(7 Atlanta)

I got older and wiser and became Rosebud The Lurker rather than Rosebud the Enabler. I never really totally left, still enjoy my roses, but do so without the drama of other rosarians. I just got tired of beating my head against the wall and arguing.

As for the ARS, most of the leadership would rather see it go broke rather than change or admit they were wrong. Look on the bright side, if they only publish 6 issues the number of late magazines each year will be cut in half, LOL. That's measurable progress. If they loose half their members to number of disatisfied folks gets more than cut in half. More progress!!!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 9:43AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Roselvr, I can understand the card thing. The reality is probably that a good friend of one member bought a card, and began passing it around for the rest of the members to sign. The rest of the membership absent-mindedly signed the card, and went about whatever they were doing.

Those members closest to you were not card sending people, and no doubt thought the membership had done this for you. As I said, I understand it, but I also understand why you were so hurt. In that society there was probably a clique that just did not look around. I think I see similar things happening all the time in my school where there are about 125 teachers.

The organization has no excuse though, for not writing a get well notice in the society's bulletin. Our school will not do that because of the HEPPA (HEPA) privacy law, but the rose society could do it. Then the rest of the society would be aware of what was happening with the membership.

I see a great deal o concern for each other here on this forum where we often do not even know each other's last name.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 9:44AM
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Last year the then president of the ARS published a letter in an issue of American Rose that particularily caught my attention. In that letter she addressed some of the differences between the "exhibitors" and the "gardeners", maintaining a position that the two groups work together peacefully, and asking members not to be openly critical of the ARS as she felt it was destructive to the organization.

The ARS has charted their course. I say full speed ahead to their so deserved destiny.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 9:46AM
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Sammy, the "group" I was in with was in on the card buying, which hurt even more.

Looking back, leaving was good for me. I donated a lot of time that is now mine again. Same for Rosebud I'm sure because he was full steam at the time, I used to wonder when he found time to enjoy his roses.

Rosebud, I remember you having your hand in a lot of things and thought you were on the right track. It's frustrating to have it full on deaf ears. Glad you're able to enjoy your roses now.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 9:57AM
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