Rose Buzz: The Heritage Rose Foundation

Rose Buzz_7_whiteThe Heritage Rose Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1986, devoted to the preservation of old roses.

The delightful and inspiring Peggy Martin, Vice President of the Heritage Rose Foundation, joined us this week to talk about the work of this organization and also about the incredible journey of hope and discovery she has experienced since Hurricane Katrina swept into her life and took her home, her roses and her parents. It’s an episode you don’t want to miss.


To listen to the podcast, click the logo below.

RCR 1600

For additional information, visit the foundation’s website here

Many of the roses in my garden are old garden roses. I love their beauty, their fragrance and their stories. The oldest rose in my garden is the Gallica, Rosa Mundi–the earliest known stripped rose. This rose has everything I expect from an OGR … beauty, fragrance and a great story or at least a great legend…

img_1938Legend has it that Rosa Mundi was named after Fair Rosa-mund, a mistress of Henry II, England’s monarch from 1154 to 1189. In The Book of Old Roses, Trevor Griffiths tells the story of their tragic affair. Henry was forced to marry a princess who, brooking no competition, is said to have murdered the lovely Rosamund. By Henry’s order, Rosamund was buried at Godstow Nunnery near Oxford, England, and each year on the anniversary of her death, he ordered her tomb to be decorated with masses of Rosa Mundi. -Virginia Kean / Historical Rose Society.

My good rose friend, Ann Chapman, writes quite a different story  about Rosa Mundi in her beautiful book, The Women in My Rose Garden. If you aren’t familiar with Ann, watch this video…


Do you have old roses in your garden?

Rose Buzz: It’s Officially Rose Season

Rose Buzz_7_whiteRose season is officially here in my garden and in the rose world at large (see rose calendar below).

The rugosas are exploding, so the fireworks are on as I have quite a few to explode! 🙂

Harrison’s Yellow is still adding the sunshine and new roses are opening every day. That is something to buzz about!

Other roses taking off …

Honey Bun … Proven Winner OSO Easy Series

Honey Bun
Honey Bun

Smoothie … Proven Winner’s OSO Happy Series

Smoothie behind Double Red Knockout
Smoothie in front of a Red Double Knockout

Little Mischief … This rose is from the Easy Elegance collection from Ping Lim. This small shrub is covered in blooms!

Little Mischief Up Close
Little Mischief Up Close

Madame Hardy: Damask



Celsiana (Damask prior to 1750) … This is a very large shrub just full of buds and ready to explode any day now. The fragrance of this rose is over the top! It is a one-time bloomer, but soooo worth it.


Lady Salisbury (David Austin) … Look at all those buds! I just cannot wait to see the delicate blooms of this rose. Hopefully, I will have pictures to share in a few days.

Lady Salisbury
Lady Salisbury

Felicite Parmetier (Alba 1830s) … This is another one-time bloomer but the fragrance is out of this world!

Felicite Parmentier
Felicite Parmentier


Biltmore Rose Trials … Who will be the winner?

The Biltmore International Rose Trial is coming up next weekend! I have the honor of being a judge for the wonderful event under the direction of Paul Zimmerman. For more on the rose trials, read on here.

Click on any of the pictures in this group to start the gallery feature.

If you are going to be at the Biltmore next weekend, let me know so we can meet up. The Rose Chat crew will be there and we’d love to see you.

The Rose Chat Crew checking out the winners.
The Rose Chat Crew checking out the winners.

(All meetings are open to the public and we’d love to see you there!)


SAT, JUNE 20, 4 PM
PROGRAM: Mark Nolen—Preparing Roses for a Rose Show
Mark, winner of numerous rose show awards including last year’s Queen of Show, will take us through the steps he takes to get his roses ready for a rose show. Don’t miss the opportunity to see Mark and Cathy’s beautiful garden.
POP BOTTLE DISPLAY: Bring your roses for “show and tell.”

SAT, JUNE 27 / 5 pm
GARDEN TOUR / PITCH-IN: Nick & Anne Stanley
A wonderful opportunity to see one of the areas most beautiful gardens.
POP BOTTLE DISPLAY: Bring your roses for “show and tell.”


2015ARSLogoSimpleSing a Song of Roses
June 11 – 14
Columbus, Ohio
Details here.


Roses in a New York State of Mind
September 10-13
Syracuse, NY
Details here.
The Rose Chat crew plans to attend!

More on the American Rose Society here.


On November 20, 1986 President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution making the rose the national floral emblem at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden…

“Americans have always loved the flowers with which God decorates our land. More often than any other flower, we hold the rose dear as the symbol of life and love and devotion, of beauty and eternity. For the love of man and woman, for the love of mankind and God, for the love of country, Americans who would speak the language of the heart do so with a rose.”

What’s the ROSE BUZZ in your world this week?


Cemetery Roses

images-2As many of you know I have loved roses since I was a teenager but I didn’t start my dive into old and historical roses until the 80s when I read the journal of a young woman who left the comfort of her home to join her husband in a journey west. One of the experiences she described was painstakingly taking cuttings of the roses and plants she just couldn’t live without. As I read her story, I felt as though I was going on the journey with her. Roses were not just for beauty to the women of this era. They were also a source of flavoring and vitamin C (from their hips). Even the most thorny roses were of value as they were used as living fences to protect vegetable gardens and such.

Harison's Yellow
Harison’s Yellow in my garden…

Also during this time we were given Harison’s Yellow (Hybrid Foetida) rose from a friend in Tennessee who had received it from a family member in Ohio. We learned that this rose had been passed through their family for some time. I started doing some investigation and found out just where the rose originated. You can read the history of Harison’s Yellow here.

I continue to love old garden and historical roses and have several in my garden. What a joy it is to visit gardens that have these lovely old beauties. One such garden is definitely on my garden bucket list … The award-winning Sacramento City Cemetery Rose Garden. This garden is home to old or antique roses collected from cemeteries, old home sites and along roadsides in northern California. The establishment of the garden was done by Fred Boutin, an internationally recognized rosarian and authority on “found roses,” and Jean Travis, a member of the Heritage Rose Group. Members of this group work to collect, plant and maintain these roses which were popular from the California Gold Rush era through the Victorian/Edwardian era (1850-1915). The collection now includes more than 400 plants–over 200 varieties.

For those of you who love fragrant roses, these roses are some of the most fragrant roses that exist.

You can imagine how thrilled I was to have Anita Clevenger, Curator of this garden, with us on Rose Chat. Did you know that cemeteries used to be a place to gather for picnics regularly? Hear about that and more by clicking on the Rose Chat logo below.


If you live in the the Sacramento area, their annual Open Day in the Garden event is in April. They have many activities planned including the ever popular Rose Sale! Hundreds of roses are available and they always sell out. So, it pays to get there early! 🙂

For the list of other events in the garden this year, read on.