Show Off Your Dazzling
Rose in a Bowl

By Kitty Belendez, Master Rosarian

Eighty percent of a rose’s beauty can be found in its bloom. The bloom has much to offer: form, color, substance, and of course fragrance can be the icing on the cake. Foliage can be quite lovely and enjoyable too. Glossy, dark green foliage can certainly enhance the beauty of the bloom. But it’s the bloom itself to which most people are attracted. 

So it’s no wonder that judges at rose shows only allot 20% of the available points to the stem & foliage, even though the foliage occupies up to 80% of the visual space. Ironically, only the special “Most Fragrant Rose” class considers the fragrance of a rose in point scoring, which is the main attribute that many people want in a rose. 

What can a rose lover do when they want to bring spectacular blooms to a rose show, or decorate their dinner table with beautiful rose blooms, when the stem and foliage have been battered by wind, hail, rain, bugs, and diseases?

At rose shows it’s the Rose in a Bowl class where exhibitors can display just the bloom floating in clear water. Although this class may have originally begun as a place to snip off damaged foliage and display just the bloom, to me it is the best place to show off stunning blooms without the overwhelming distraction of foliage. Since the bloom in the bowl is placed at table height, we can easily see and enjoy the bloom up close without standing on our tip-toes straining to see a big bloom on a 2-foot stem.

Many rose shows feature the Rose in a Bowl in their show schedules. Unfortunately, they often only allow hybrid teas to be displayed. What a shame! Savvy rose societies offer Rose in a Bowl for many different types of roses, either separately or all in one class. For example, in the Santa Clarita Rose Show, we feature a Large Rose in a Bowl that allows any type of large rose, including hybrid tea, floribunda, shrub, climber, or old garden rose. We also have a Small Rose in a Bowl for miniatures or minifloras. Other rose societies feature bowls for every type of rose in separate classes, which is fine if you have the space to store many bowls, and also have the table space at your venue to display many different types of roses in bowls. Some rose shows even allow multiple blooms in a bowl, which can allow us to be very creative.

The bowls at rose shows are usually uniform bowls that all look alike in size, shape, material, and color, and are provided by the rose society. The idea is to simply display the bloom as a focal point by not being distracted by a gaudy container. Sometimes they are plastic silver bowls, or sometimes they are clear glass bowls. The glass bowls are expensive, easily break and are bulky to store, so the plasticsilver bowls may be preferable.

When we want to display roses at home, it’s usually in a tall vase. This might make a pretty display inside our front door entrance, on our fireplace mantle, or on a corner table, but on the dinner table large vases of flowers can prevent us from enjoying the company of our guests as they can block their view. This is where rose blooms without foliage can be a very attractive accent to our dinner table. Small glass baskets like those made by Fenton make a lovely container for a floating bloom. Crystal candy dishes, votives, short candle sticks, and even baby food jars can serve this purpose well. Just avoid putting blooms on the dinner table that have bugs, diseases, or chemical sprays.

Bathrooms and bedrooms are perfect spaces to show off some of your fragrant blooms. Place some blooms in small containers throughout your home, and show off your dazzling blooms in a bowl.



© Copyright Kitty Belendez. All rights reserved.

All photos copyright Kitty Belendez
Updated January 4, 2016

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