Rose Show back in town Wednesday

Published 11:30 am Saturday, September 26, 2009

FRANKLIN — The Garden Club of Virginia’s 71st annual Rose Show is set to begin on Wednesday at the Paul D. Camp Community College Workforce Development Center.

It will be the second year in a row that the event, hosted by the Franklin Garden Club, will draw garden enthusiasts from across Virginia and other states to Franklin.

The show will be open to the public on Wednesday from 2 to 8 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Instead of charging for admission, the club will have a “green offering,” according to Mary Nelson Thompson, the Franklin Garden Club’s co-chairman.

“We have designated the funds to go to the Blackwater-Nottoway Riverkeeper Program,” she said, in honor of Riverkeeper Jeff Turner’s late dog, Moonpie.

There will be 47 clubs from the Garden Club of Virginia represented, and an awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. Thompson said vendors will be on-site and there will be nearly 100 arrangements and about 1,000 horticultural specimens of all different classes of roses.

Participants who are not judging will be taking a tour of Historic Downtown Franklin and treated to a luncheon at the Grey Fox Restaurant.

The rose show isn’t just for a plus for gardeners. It’s a boon for the city’s economy.

“Last year the show contributed $46,000 to the local economy,” Thompson said, adding that hotels, restaurants, gas stations and gift shops across the city saw an uptick in business.

Thompson said judges and other dignitaries would be entertained at the Pace House Inn.

“Last year we had over 600 visitors,” she said. An even bigger crowd is expected this year.

A different club hosts the rose show every two years. Next year the show will be held at the Norfolk Botanical Garden.