Rose Show makes perfect scents

11 home rose growers walk away with trophies

When one walks into the Pleasanton Library every year on Mother's Day weekend, the smell of fresh-cut roses fills the air. This year was no different as the 70th annual Pleasanton Rose Show started last Saturday and continued Sunday. The Rose Show is sponsored by Alain Pinel Realtors and the city of Pleasanton.

"The turnout was fabulous this year and the biggest that I have ever participated in," said Marti Gilbert, one of the organizers. "We ran out of vases, tags and ribbons. That speaks for itself."

Members of the community bring in roses from their back yards to win trophies and ribbons in up to 12 categories. The winners' names are etched into the trophies.

"Most participants are returnees," Gilbert said. "This is because they absolutely love it and look forward to it each year. Many have come for 10-plus years. Some used to come with their parents when they were young and it has become a family tradition."

This year 11 trophies were presented, as follows:

* Children's Champion and Children's Best Arrangement - Ryan Bergman

* Most Fragrant - Sheryl Reed

* Best Miniature Rose Arrangement - Michelle Brady

* Best Arrangement - Bill and Shirley McLaughlin

* Best Climber - Diane McIntyre

* Best Grandiflora - Laura Huerta

* Best Floribunda - David and Kathi Wilson

* Best Peach Rose - Laura Huerta

* Best Hybrid Tea Rose, the "Queen" of the show - Martha Brown

* Best of Show - Bill and Shirley McLaughlin's arrangement

"The Rose Show says, 'Let's support our community,'" said Gilbert. "This event is for the people and about the people. It has been a free event for 70 years and when they didn't do it for a few years the people truly missed it."

This show is dubbed 'the people's show,' because anyone can bring their homegrown roses, according to Gilbert, Joyce Jones and Leslie Faught, who are known as the "Rosettes."

It started at a Pleasanton bank in the 1930s, when Harry Harding gave his customers rose bushes to show his appreciation for their patronage. His customers returned the favor by bringing back blooms for him, and he was inspired to start the Rose Show. The "Rosettes," who work at Alain Pinel Realtors in Pleasanton, have run the Rose Show for four years.

Learn more at

--Dana Jones contributed this story to the Pleasanton Weekly.

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