The Mesa-East Valley Rose Society is hosting its annual Rose Auction at Mesa Community College on Feb. 4 to benefit the local college campus' Rose Garden.
With the chance for frost gone, now is the perfect time of year to plant roses before it gets too warm, said Ryan Regehr, a MEVRS rose specialist.
"There will be many unique roses not available in Arizona," Regehr said. "The roses are from Mississippi and Florida and good for the hot weather conditions of Arizona."
The auction will feature about 120 roses, mostly potted and specially-adapted for the heat and clay soil, Regehr said. Most of the plants will already have leaves and some may have blooms. It is also the largest selection of miniature roses in Arizona, he added.
"We try not to get the kinds you can pick up for $5 at Home Depot or Lowe's," said Steve Sheard, president of MEVRS. "All of them are hard-to-find varieties or specialty roses."
The average rose is usually about $20, Regehr said.
"The bidding for most roses will usually start at $10," Sheard said. "But plants have been known to sell for as low as $5 and fetch as much as $50."
The event is the perfect opportunity for even the most novice gardener, Regehr said. With rosarians at the event for advice and guidance, even beginning gardeners can learn how best to grow roses in Arizona.
The group encourages even those who only want advice on how to grow roses to stop by and ask questions to the nine or ten rosarians who will be there.
The auction will also serve as a one-stop shop with supplies from Harper's Nurseries and Landscape Co. for sale at the event so that people don't have to shop for supplies later, Regehr said.
Every person who places a bid on a plant will receive a free gift of fertilizer, regardless if they win the plant, Regehr said.
The Rose Garden at Mesa Community College was established in 1997 as a partnership between the college and the Mesa-East Valley Rose Society. It contains nearly 8,000 rose bushes and is the largest public rose garden in the desert southwest.
Mesa Community College is located at 1833 W. Southern Ave., Mesa. Guests are encouraged park in the lots along Southern Avenue, with the auction to be held by the clock tower in the center of the campus. Balloons and signs should point the way. A preview of the roses begins at noon with bidding beginning at 1:30 p.m.
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