Roses are, that we might have joy. This hobby is fun and my writing and speaking are filled with humor. To me there are the two great plant divisions: “roses and shade plants”. I believe ARS members will be proud to have me as their spokesman for the roses.

The Rose Show Chairman


(Still More for the Fans of Gilbert & Sullivan)
By Robert B. Martin Jr.

(To the tune of "A Policeman's Lot" from The Pirates ofPenzance - Being a reflection on the lot of the Rose Show Chairman)

CHMN: When the exhibitor's not engaged in his employment -

When I Was a Lad


(More for the Fans of Gilbert & Sullivan)
By Robert B. Martin Jr.

(To the tune of “When I was a Lad”)

When I was a lad I worked for free

As mailing clerk for our society.

I licked the stamps, dumped trash in the bin,

And pasted all the labels on the bulletin.

Talking Rose Blues

Talking Rose Blues*

By Robert B. Martin Jr.

As I was walking down the street,

A pretty little garden I chanced to meet.

It had fancy roses of every size,

Fancy colors to pop your eyes.

There were reds.


Pinks of every shade.

But there wasn’t any blue.

Judge Not Me

Judge Not Me

By Robert B. Martin Jr.

Judge not me for comely grace, 

For my pleasing form or face;

Nor for any ideal hue

No, nor for a substance true:

For these may blow or turn to woe,

So thou and I shall sever.

Keep, therefore, a true judge's eye,

Sunday Queen

The Sunday Queen

By Robert B. Martin Jr.

Monday's Rose is seldom shown;
Tuesday's Rose is fully blown.
Wednesday's Rose might have a chance;
Thursday's Rose will make you dance.
Friday's Rose might just be Queen;
Saturday's Rose brings thoughts obscene.

Greenfly and Thrips

Greenfly and Thrips

By Robert B. Martin Jr

Read my lips.

Greenfly and thrips
Greenfly and thrips
I do not like them
Read my lips.

Would you like them here or there?

I would not like them here or there
I would not like them anywhere.
I do not like greenfly and thrips



By Robert B Martin Jr.

(Dedicated to Eric Yount)

Here's a story on how strange is life with its changes and it happened not long ago.
On a Florida plain where the citrus arranges a playground south of the snow, lived a man with roses of remarkable sheen.

The Modern Day Rosarian

The Modern Day Rosarian

(For the Savoyards - the Fans of Gilbert & Sullivan)
By Robert B. Martin Jr.

(To the tune of “A Modern Major General”)

ROSE: I am the very model of a modern day rosarian,
I've info that's political, correct and vegetarian;

Why Did My Rose Bush Die?

Why Did My Rose Bush Die?

By Robert B. Martin, Jr.

You failed to water. You pruned too hard.
You ran it over with a car.
The nursery mailed it without roots.  
You killed it with those gardening boots.
You left the bush wrapped up in plastic.


A Rosarian Soliloquy

By Robert B. Martin Jr.

To spray, or not to spray - that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in roses to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous insects
Or to take arms against a sea of pestilence,
And by opposing end them. …

The Exhibitor's Lament

The Exhibitor's Lament

By Robert B. Martin Jr.

It would have been Queen
If they hadn't seen
That hole in the petal
The foliage unclean

The center weren't sharp
You know how they carp
They wouldn't have seen
If it had been dark

The color weren't bright

The Groomer

The Groomer

By Robert B. Martin Jr.

(To the tune of "The Gambler". 
Words and Music by Don Schlitz; 
recorded by Kenny Rogers.)*

On a cool spring time mornin’
In a hall out in nowhere
I met up with the groomer;
It was still too dark to see.
So we took turns a starin’

A Letter From Virginia

Dear Editor:

I am 8 years old.

Some of my little friends say there is no purpose to a rose show,

Papa says "If you see it in Rose Exhibitors' Forum it's so."

Please tell me the truth; is there a purpose to a rose show?


Virginia, your little friends are wrong.  …

A Visit from the Chair

A Visit From The Judges' Chair

By Robert B. Martin, Jr.

'Twas the night 'for the rose show, 
when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, 
not even a mouse;
The roses were lined in the cooler with care
In hopes that the Queen of Show might be found there;