The Rose Lady

Meet rose connoisseur Ms. Oline Reynolds. She's won so many awards for her roses that she says she's lost count.

"I found out If I keep count, it's not as much fun. Just go win one," said Oline Reynolds.

Upon entering her amazing rose garden, one can't help but smell the sweet fragrance from her roses, all 800 bushes and 350 varieties.

"I could spend an hour telling you about each one of them," adds Reynolds. Reynolds has competed religiously in the Thomasville Rose Festival for nearly thirty years and of those years, she turned out a winner all but once.

"I've always won something, except one year where we had a hard freeze. I didn't win anything. I don't usually win the Queen, but I win sweepstakes a lot of times. Sweepstakes is the most blue ribbons."

This rose expert says it takes her days to find that perfect winning rose, "It almost has the thing you want, see, it has the circle in it, but it has rain spots." But once she finds the perfect rose, that's just the first step.

"You have to wash your leaves, groom your leaves, and we call it grooming your rose. It has to be the perfect spiral. A good exhibitor spends about four to five hours," exclaimed the rose expert Reynolds.

One would think Reynolds has always been a natural rose grower, but she says she hasn't always had a green thumb. "I planted my first rose garden where the roses were lined up in rows that were presented in some way other then here, there and yonder, and it drove me crazy." She had to dig them up and learn the proper way to make her garden grow.

Sure, all plants need water and sunlight to thrive, but Reynolds says the key to her success is, "Love. You love the roses and you love working in them. Persistence in taking care of them."

Reynolds says she doesn't have a favorite rose. She laughed as she said, if she chose one that's probably when they would all die. As far as today’s rose competition, Reynolds won three different awards for a collection of wide open red roses, old garden roses, and shrub roses.