Meetings & Events

The purpose of this society is to study, educate, and encourage the culture of roses in
every practicable way and to exhibit, as desired, properly conditioned roses of the highest quality.

Monthly Meetings
RSSM holds meetings every 2nd Monday from
September through May, excluding December.

Norman P Murray Community Center
24932 Veterans Way
Mission Viejo, CA 92692

Doors open: 6:30pm
Meeting: 7:00pm to 9:00pm

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Coming Events:

Monday, September 9, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Dr. Sandy DeSimone, Ph.D.
Audubon Starr Ranch Sanctuary:
Protecting and Promoting Southern California Wildlands

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana. After receiving a B.S. in Education from Indiana University, left for the east coast where she worked as an elementary classroom teacher in Boston and Manhattan for three years. Dr. DeSimone developed an interest in bird watching and, after attending the Audubon Camp on Hog Island in Maine, decided to leave teaching. Spent three months as a “naturalist-in-training” at the Sharon Audubon Center in northwest Connecticut then worked at the Center as a teacher/naturalist. Met her husband Peter while banding kestrels and after they got married they lived for five happy years in a two room cabin without indoor plumbing or electricity in a state forest. Plants soon became her passion and after a move to Audubon’s Starr Ranch Sanctuary in Orange County, California (where Peter took a position as manager) got her master’s degree (Cal State Fullerton) then Ph.D.(UC, Davis) working in the globally endangered coastal sage scrub. As soon as she finished her Ph.D., She was hired to direct education and research at Starr Ranch.

Dr. DeSimone developed an education program,“Starr Ranch Field Ecology Programs,” an innovative approach that integrates ecological research into programs for kids and adults. Programs are taught by biologists, and offer a hands-on experience in simulated or actual field research. She began five years of research on biology and non-chemical control of a priority non-native plant species, artichoke thistle. Since 1997 and over a series of three experiments, they have found a method that has reduced artichoke thistle cover by 95% in a work site after one season of treatment in 615 of the 720 acres targeted. Starr Ranch have influenced practice on over 200,000 acres of preserved land in Southern California. Land managers from Ventura to San Diego Counties have visited Starr Ranch to hear about the land management practices and visit restoration sites. Over the years, Dr. DeSimone has won a Certificate of Appreciation from the US Fish and Wildlife Service for “outstanding contributions to the nation’s fish and wildlife,” CA Invasive Plant Council’s Land Manager of the Year award, and a county Audubon chapter’s conservation award.

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Previous Events

May 2019 General Meeting
Monday, May 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Nena Niessen, "Cures from the Kitchen Garden for Healthy Living"

Nena Niessen is a certified Plant Based Nutrition and Natural Health expert from Cornell University. As a two-time cancer survivor, Nena’s passion is teaching cancer patients to cook in the most natural way. “Let the food do the healing” is her message. By using only the most natural foods, Nena has become a leading expert in disease prevention cooking. She has appeared on PBS’s “Cooking for Health and Pleasure”, is an official blogger for the Huffington Post, and is a contributor for Edible magazine. 

Nena has worked with many notable clients, among them:  Syndicated radio and talk show host Billy Bush, blogger Arianna Huffington, boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, and bestselling authors, Dr. Harvey Karp and Robert O. Young. All sing the praises of this woman whose mission is truly to help people achieve and maintain good health, as well as aid in the prevention of disease through the use of healthy natural foods.  Nena is Author of the Cookbook Cures from the Kitchen, co-author of the cook book "El Secreto de la Vida a Base de Planta"s (The Secret of Life Based on Plants)

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April General Meeting
Monday, April 8, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Erika Kotite is a home and lifestyle expert, co-founder of She Shed Living
and the author of She Sheds:
She Sheds Style:

Erika has been interviewed by and featured in Architectural Digest, Buzzfeed,, Parents, Toronto Sun, USA Today HOME magazine, Orange County Register, NBC’s Today Show, PBS’ Central Texas Gardener and Toronto City TV’s Breakfast TV show. The former editor of Romantic Homes and Victorian Homes, Erika became a partner in a book packaging company, editing and developing books within the arts, textile and crafting sectors. Some of her other book projects include Blogging for Bliss, Natural Soapmaking and Natural Candlemaking, Photo Album Quilts, Felt Fashion and The Daily Book of Photography.

In her talk, Erika will describe the journey she took writing her two books and you will meet the incredible women who answered the call to build a she shed. When you walk out at the end today, you will know how to answer the question “what exactly IS a she shed?” She Shed Living, offers gardening and lifestyle products, a Facebook Group for women who enjoy the back yard life, and custom shed building services. You will also receive practical information about how decorative sheds enhance the landscape, provide valuable shelter and workspace for the gardener, inspire creativity and provide rejuvenation. Erika will bring both books, which she will personalize and sign for anyone interested.

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March General Meeting
Monday, March 11, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Kay Havens, Garden Designer and Consultant
"Promise Me a Rose Garden"

Kay Havens has been a University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener since 2007. Her goal as a Master gardener is to help Orange County gardeners change the Southern California landscape to be more enjoyable, sustainable, verdant yet efficient and productive. Driven to make gardening fun and productive for gardeners of all ages, she has been instrumental by developing a wide range of award winning presentations and workshops for the Master Gardeners. Havens is active speaker with experience in the field who shares common sense best practices on a range of subjects from edible and ornamental plants to soils to composting and vermiculture. She enjoys facilitating the process of planning landscapes with the public so they can plan their own beautiful, easy-to-live-with gardens that use less water. She is a UCCE Sustainable Landscape Expert, Edible Landscape Expert, Master Composter, and staffed the Master Gardener Hotline. Always on the lookout for great gardening ideas, she loves to tour gardens throughout California and the world.

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