The recent spell of hot, dry weather had the organisers of this year’s Illawarra Spring Rose Festival anxious in the lead-up to the weekend event.
Yet they need not have been concerned. The standard of entries for the annual event, held at the Jamberoo School of Arts, was very high, drawing hundreds of rose fans on both days.
‘‘We were surprised with the quality of the exhibits given the atrocious weather conditions we’ve had,’’ said the Rose Society of NSW vice president Colin Hollis.
‘‘We were very worried about getting the usual high standard. But we did, which was very pleasing.’’
Mr Hollis said when it came to judging roses, two criteria were fundamental – form and freshness.
The St Patrick rose, which was exhibited at the weekend, had an extremely long vase life of about three weeks, he said.
Mr Hollis said roses’ beauty and scent accounted for their enduring appeal.
‘‘If you walked into Jamberoo hall over the weekend, you would’ve been struck by their powerful perfume,’’ he said.
There were many categories at the festival and the overall winner of the rose championship was Goulburn couple Steve and Trish Maher.
The most successful local exhibitor was Glen McParland, of Oak Flats, and the grand champion unit was won by Ian Roxby, of Robertson.
Illawarra Rose Society president Robert Curll and his wife, Helen, won a special award restricted to Illawarra residents.