'Otherwise Normal People' Share Passion for Roses Clarence Rhodes is one of the competitive rose gardeners described in Otherwise Normal People, a new book by Aurelia C. Scott. These obsessive growers travel around the country to enter their prize specimens in competitions.

'Otherwise Normal People' Share Passion for Roses

'Otherwise Normal People' Share Passion for Roses

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Competitive rose exhibitor Clarence Rhodes has 250 rose bushes. Here's a sampling (clockwise, from top left): Touch of Class, Joyfulness, Hot Princess, Elina, Cesar Chavez, Tineke and Marilyn Monroe. Aurelia C. Scott hide caption

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Aurelia C. Scott

Competitive rose exhibitor Clarence Rhodes has 250 rose bushes. Here's a sampling (clockwise, from top left): Touch of Class, Joyfulness, Hot Princess, Elina, Cesar Chavez, Tineke and Marilyn Monroe.

Aurelia C. Scott

How does one "motivate" an underperforming rose bush? How about a "probation" garden? Or perhaps a shovel, placed ominously next to the disappointing plant?

These are techniques shared by competitive rose gardeners: folks who have turned their lives over to the blooms, and who travel around the country entering their prize specimens in flower shows.

Their stories are told in Otherwise Normal People, a new book by Aurelia C. Scott.

Clarence Rhodes, an award-winning rose breeder who has 250 bushes, joins Scott to talk to Melissa Block about the tricks of the trade, such as Bob Martin's shovel.

Martin swears the plant "perks right up," Rhodes says.

Rhodes and Scott also describe the rose-show environment, and how growers use Q-Tips to separate petals and otherwise primp their blossoms.

"Most of the people in [the book] are crazy about roses, and they love to compete, and they've managed to combine both of those obsessions," Scott says.

Otherwise Normal People
By Aurelia C. Scott

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Otherwise Normal People
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Aurelia C. Scott

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