Our Approach


 to the website of the Gulf District of the American Rose Society. The district is made up of Louisiana and Mississippi; it is one of the 18 ARS districts in the United States. Local Societies within the district are featured at the Local Societies link below. Within these pages, you will find a friendly rose society near you, as well as resources and valuable information for all who love and grow roses.

Our Story

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We welcome you! For more information, contact us!

Meet the Board:


Director Ken Kelley NE Louisiana Rose Society
Treasurer Kelly Texada Central LA Rose Society
Secretary Billie Flynn Central LA Rose Society
District Nominating Committee Chair Tim Riley Mississippi OGR Society
Horticulture Judges Co-Chairs Flora & Frank Hover NE Louisiana Rose Society
Arrangement Judges Chair B.J. Abshire Acadiana Rose Society
Roses in Review Chair Susan Burke SW Louisiana Rose Society
Membership Chair Julie Engert SW Louisiana Rose Society
Consulting Rosarian Chair Linda Aguzin Acadiana Rose Society
Old Garden Rose Chair Peggy Martin New Orleans OGR Society
MissLou Editor B.J. Abshire Acadiana Rose Society
Social Media Chair Kelly Texada Central LA Rose Society
Web Design Kristopher Kelley NE Louisiana Rose Society

Past Chairmen:

Allen Ownings     2012-2018

Flora Hover         2006-2012

Judy Mayo          2000-2006

Ida Hayden         1997- 2000

Marilyn Wellan    1991-1997. [also ARS Region 7 Director 1997-2000; ARS VP 2000-2003; ARS President 2003-2006]

Claudius Mayo    1988-1991

Wendy Jones       1985-1988

Harold Hayden     1981-1985 [also ARS Region 7 Director 1994-1997]

Howard Berry       1978-1981

Brief history of the Gulf District Garden of David Austin Roses at the ARC:


The Gulf District was host to two very successful (and profitable) ARS national conventions chaired by Marilyn Wellan, at Shreveport in 1997 and New Orleans in 2003. With these successes (and proceeds), the District voted to install a rose garden at the Gardens of the American Rose Center in our name. Because the David Austin shrub roses were emerging as a very popular group, the district elected to feature David Austin varieties in our garden. We have been very fortunate that Austin’s Michael Marriott has been interested and involved with the garden from the beginning, providing assistance with design, and all the roses to fill out the beds with 162 bushes in 2003. In 2016-2017, the garden was enlarged, beds restored, and replanted with 184 bushes of 39 varieties; again, all roses in this display garden were provided by David Austin Roses, LTD.

The garden is located in a very prominent place at the ARC, right off the rear terrace of the Klima Education & Visitor Center. It is a favorite site for brides and wedding parties, and has been a labor of love for members of the Gulf District, who have turned out in large numbers on garden workdays and “pruning parties” to help keep the garden ready for visitors.