Otherwise Normal People: Inside the Thorny World of Competitive Rose Gardening

Overview

Twice a year America's rose lovers cut the prettiest blossoms off their best plants and travel to the national rose show, where they lovingly groom their precious blooms for hours in a frigid hall in order to contend for the highest honor: the Queen of Show. Doctors. Teachers. Sheet metal mechanics. Lawyers. Truck drivers. Men and women. These are type A gardeners, and for them this is a blood sport. They grow tender roses in the frigid North and disease prone roses in the humid South simply for the challenge. ...

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Overview

Twice a year America's rose lovers cut the prettiest blossoms off their best plants and travel to the national rose show, where they lovingly groom their precious blooms for hours in a frigid hall in order to contend for the highest honor: the Queen of Show. Doctors. Teachers. Sheet metal mechanics. Lawyers. Truck drivers. Men and women. These are type A gardeners, and for them this is a blood sport. They grow tender roses in the frigid North and disease prone roses in the humid South simply for the challenge. They decorate otherwise lovely yards with paper bags and panty hose to isolate their choice specimens. They traipse through overgrown fields in the worst weather to save antique roses from extinction.

Aurelia Scott trails these self-professed Roseaholics as they plan, prepare, and compete, battling high winds, Japanese beetles, and the finicky demands of their precious charges. With all the appeal of Word Freak, Otherwise Normal People celebrates the singular satisfaction of cultivating beauty—and, of course, the thrill of victory.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
"With a breezy, infectious enthusiasm Scott offers a vividly engaging account of big-time rose competition and the seemingly average people who take leave of their senses in this addictively sensory pursuit." —Booklist
Houston Chronicle
"This fun read . . . offers the rose lover's equivalent of the film Best in Show. . . . [Scott] observes this fascinating subculture lovingly. . . . You don't have to aspire to showing the world's best-ever 'Peace' to enjoy the ride, and Scott manages to sprinkle plenty of fascinating rose history into her brew."
Houston Chronicle
The Washington Post
"Scott leads readers through the slow, diabolical transition that takes 'otherwise normal people' from hobbyist to serious grower, putting rose-mania in perspective for the rosarian and the amateur. She has a light, humorous style. . . .You will never look at a rose the same way again."
Washington Post
Boston Globe
"Has done for rose growers what the mockumentary 'Best in Show' did for dog shows and 'The Orchid Thief' did for orchid collectors. . . . [Scott] explores a subculture that is as entertaining as it is obsessive."—Boston Globe
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Her book will amaze and entertain. . . . If you enjoy the deeply focused but friendly nature of gardeners, you'll savor every page of this true story of passion and obsession."—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Rocky Mountain News
"The rose gardener's answer to our recent intrigue with dog-show people, spelling-bee aficionados, bird-watchers and any other over-the-top hobbyist who, when viewed closely, demonstrates how human nature can hang its hat on one topic ferociously so."—Rocky Mountain News
Seattle Times
"A testament to the sheer nuttiness of what happens when you cross unchecked human ambition with nature."—Seattle Times
From the Publisher
"A testament to the sheer nuttiness of what happens when you cross unchecked human ambition with nature."—Seattle Times
Booklist
"With a breezy, infectious enthusiasm Scott offers a vividly engaging account of big-time rose competition and the seemingly average people who take leave of their senses in this addictively sensory pursuit." --Booklist
Houston Chronicle
"This fun read . . . offers the rose lover's equivalent of the film Best in Show. . . . [Scott] observes this fascinating subculture lovingly. . . . You don't have to aspire to showing the world's best-ever 'Peace' to enjoy the ride, and Scott manages to sprinkle plenty of fascinating rose history into her brew."
Houston Chronicle
The Washington Post
"Scott leads readers through the slow, diabolical transition that takes 'otherwise normal people' from hobbyist to serious grower, putting rose-mania in perspective for the rosarian and the amateur. She has a light, humorous style. . . .You will never look at a rose the same way again."
Washington Post
Boston Globe
"Has done for rose growers what the mockumentary 'Best in Show' did for dog shows and 'The Orchid Thief' did for orchid collectors. . . . [Scott] explores a subculture that is as entertaining as it is obsessive."--Boston Globe
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Her book will amaze and entertain. . . . If you enjoy the deeply focused but friendly nature of gardeners, you'll savor every page of this true story of passion and obsession."--Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Rocky Mountain News
"The rose gardener's answer to our recent intrigue with dog-show people, spelling-bee aficionados, bird-watchers and any other over-the-top hobbyist who, when viewed closely, demonstrates how human nature can hang its hat on one topic ferociously so."--Rocky Mountain News
Seattle Times
"A testament to the sheer nuttiness of what happens when you cross unchecked human ambition with nature."--Seattle Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565124646
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/18/2007
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Aurelia C. Scott lives in Portland, Maine, where she grows roses and other flowering plants. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Fine Gardening, Cottage Living, and Yankee, among other publications.

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