Roses are the most popular cut flowers worldwide. Because of improvements in aeronautics, there is no time of year when roses are not available. They are airlifted to all parts of the world all year long, and sales of roses in the United States run in the millions of dollars each day. 

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Unfortunately, Bloomington is not an ideal place to grow garden roses. Our summers are too hot for those bred in Canada and our winters are too cold for those bred in southern climes. Tough Knock Out roses will grow here but, like many garden plants, Bambi likes them as much as we do.

Fortunately for those who love roses, the 2019 Bloomington Garden Club Flower Show, held in conjunction with the Garden Club’s Summer Garden Walk, will feature masses of roses in all types and colors. The flower show will be held at the Monroe County History Center June 8–9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

“The fragrance of roses will greet visitors before they even come through the doorway, and the exquisite blooms will be displayed in a variety of containers, many of which will feature roses,” says Susan Eastman, the flower show chair. “For example, the first display you encounter will be a on a two-tiered round table filled with tea cups and demitasse cups, each holding a special rose. Many of these porcelain cups were made in Europe and Asia more than a century ago.” 

Throughout the room will be more than 60 different-sized vases of all shapes and colors displaying a wondrous selection of roses. A small card will indicate the name of the person who created each arrangement. Visitors are welcome to take photos. The flower show is held in an air-conditioned space to ensure that visitors, as well as the roses, will not wilt even if the weather is warm.

The theme of the show—Everything’s Coming Up Roses—is from Stephen Sondheim’s popular song from the 1959 musical Gypsy. Sondheim said he intended to coin a phrase that seemed like it had been around for years but was, in fact, invented for the musical. “Everything’s coming up roses” did, indeed, rapidly move into the American lexicon as an idiom to express optimism for the future. 

You may purchase your 2019 Summer Garden Walk tickets, which include admission to the Flower Show, at the Monroe County History Center on the days of the walk, or before the event at merchants displaying the characteristic yellow posters. For information, call 812-345-2165.