Otherwise Normal People
Inside the Thorny World of Competitive Rose Gardening
By Aurelia C. Scott
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Paperback, 9781565124646, 232pp.)
Publication Date: May 2007
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Doctors. Teachers. Sheet metal mechanics. Lawyers. Truck drivers. Men and women. These are type A gardeners, and for them this is a blood sport.
In "Otherwise Normal People", Aurelia C. Scott follows the self-professed Roseaholics as they plan, prepare, and compete, battling high winds, Japanese beetles, and the finicky demands of their precious charges. Along the way we meet a former race-car driver who plans years in advance for each show; a forensic chemist whose collection of hybrid teas and miniatures tops out at nearly one thousand; a genteel woman who traipses through abandoned lots rescuing antique varieties; a doctor who woos his wife with his horticultural obsession and prowess; and presiding over them all, the ingenious Clarence Rhodes, creator of the world's most amazing garden contraptions.