Thursday, December 7, 2017

Cl. Etoile de Hollande, photo credit lost

A fact-based number of roses

In 1996, I got the bright idea of listing all the roses in my friends' gardens. I'd joined the Monterey Bay Rose Society in 1993 and found like-minded rose lovers whose passion for the plant equaled, if not far exceeded, mine.

Like many beginner-level rose gardeners, I wanted one of each and set about buying up as many as I could find. Then realized that all roses are not equal and many of those available locally will not do well in our climate. I learned this fact the hard way - through personal experience and a colossal waste of money. I fell back on more experienced rose lovers and wished to know what they had growing in their gardens.

So I made appointments and cataloged each rose in the gardens of Ruth De Bord, Otto Lund, Chris Rabe, and my own, plus the roses growing at the La Mirada adobe in Monterey where, at the time, Chris Rabe was the gardener.

I'm still looking for the original Excel spreadsheet I created after my visits. I know it's filed away somewhere. But I have found my own garden list and that of Ruth De Bord. She was president of the Monterey Bay Rose Society at the time.

The point of all of this research has to do with my background information on this blog and answering a fact-based question, just how many rose varieties have I grown during the past 25 years? (I bought my house in December 1992 which makes that an accurate number.)

If you read my profile in the right-hand column, you'll see the figure 250. That's 250 different rose varieties, not roses. In many instances, I've grown multiple plants of the same bush. That was 23 China Dolls originally forming a low hedge in the back garden.

So I set out this week verifying that 250 number. As of this morning, I've named 241 unique varieties having just found an article I wrote on Cl. Etoile de Holland which, alas, succumbed to crown gall years and years ago. That wonderful old rose was not on the updated list. So I'm destined to find nine more roses absent from my tally and my memory as I continue to wrack my brain.

All of this adds up to a short list of excellent roses to grow here and definitely a longer list of ones to pass by which I'll soon publish.

No comments:

Post a Comment