When the Rose grower becomes an exhibitor he develops into a rosarian.
It would be futile to moralise on the hollowness of the reasons by which the great metamorphosis comes about.
Sufficient is it that they are securely rooted in the national character, and are therefore unchangeable.
A man grows Roses thoroughly well for twenty years of his life, but does not exhibit; he remains a grower. In the twenty-first year, with the bulk of his Roses worse than they have been during any year in his two decades of experience, he wins a fourth prize in a class for six at the National Show; straightway he becomes a rosarian.
As a mere grower this person may lift voice or pen as he will; it is all in vain; in Rose circles he is a nonentity. That magical prize card gives him eloquence and wisdom and power; he is a rosarian!
Let us recognise the futility of protest or jibe, accept things as they are, and pass on. There comes a time in the life of every man when ambition rears its head. He yearns to soar to the heights of fame; how can it be done?
In the first place, let him become a member of the National Rose Society. The mere fact of membership acts as a spur. People learn that he is a member, and look upon him as a superior being. In a word, he has something to live up to.
In the second place, let him devote a few hours to visiting the leading exhibitions. This will give him a still further stimulus. He will see what other people do, and the fire of emulation will burn fiercely. He will learn points about the standard of quality in flowers, about setting them up, about show boards, about cups and tubes, and other practical matters.
In the third place, strengthen the collection. In gathering hints one summer to be put into force the next, realise the great fact that although little matters in arrangement and setting up have weight, the real factor is the quality of the blooms. Strengthen the collection. Strengthen it in numbers, in variety, in novelties, in culture.
In. the fourth place, procure the various mechanical appliances early. It is dangerous to leave the duty of procuring shades for the flowers until they are being battered and blown and burnt by shower and sun. It does not conduce to ease of mind to discover, forty-eight hours before the show, that although the box is ready the tubes are missing. Boxes and tubes should be prepared in winter.