Hyun James Kim / Special to the Home News
Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009 | 3:26 p.m.
A sweet smell floated through the room as the group members listened attentively to one of their resident experts discussing the hobby that had brought them all together.
Cheryl Hume, rosarian and member of the South Valley Rose Society, held up numerous picturesque pink blooms, each representing a different variety of polyantha (a member of the rose family) as she discussed the characteristics of the flower breed during a recent meeting.
Hume, like the other 12 or so people who were present in a meeting room at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, is a rose aficionado.
And she definitely has the expertise to talk about polyanthas, or any other rose variety for that matter.
Taking the hobby a bit further than her peers, Hume has more than 900 roses growing on her Northwest Las Vegas property.
While none of the other members can equal Hume in numbers, plenty come close to equaling her passion for the flower.
Group founder and former president Steve Schneider, who's been growing roses for more than 30 years, said he enjoys the plant because the effort he puts forth with it is rewarded.
"When you work hard pruning and fertilizing, you get to see the fruits of your labor," he said.
Nanette Hilton, a recent addition to the group, said she got into growing roses because as an illustrator, she enjoys the challenges posed by trying to recreate the image of a rose and she said it helps to have the real McCoy to paint from.
They're colorful with lots of shading and the petals aren't flat, which makes it more difficult to show shape, she said.
Hume, Schneider and Hilton, along with the other members of the society, have meetings scheduled for the fourth Thursday of every month in which they discuss and learn about different types of roses and all of the ins and outs of growing the plant in a desert climate.
With the not-so-harsh winters in Las Vegas, rose pruning season doesn't start for most growers until this month or February.
The next monthly meeting of the group will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 in a meeting room at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, 8050 Paradise Road.
The group will also host a pruning demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 24 in the Healing Garden at St. Rose Dominican Hospital's Siena Campus, 3001 St. Rose Parkway.
For more information about the group call 260-0122.
Ashley Livingston can be reached at 990-8925 or [email protected].