Mr. Harison: Past … Present … Future


About 25 years ago my obsession with the Harison’s Yellow rose began when a friend in Tennessee gave my husband a cutting of a rose that had been passed through their family for generations.

We were young gardeners and weren’t quite sure what to do to ensure Mr. Harison got a good start in our newly planted rose garden.

Mr. G’s grandmother was in her 80’s at this time and had always had beautiful gardens. She had a lot of great advice for us on many things especially on all things gardening!

So, we asked her what to do with the cutting. (See her advice below.)

Harrison's Yellow in my garden ... Spring 2013
Harrison’s Yellow in my garden … Spring 2013
Harison’s Yellow … One of the first to bloom in the spring.

About Mr. Harison

George Folliott Harison, a NYC attorney, created this rose in his Manhattan garden in the 1830s. The planting is now a part of the Heritage Rose District of NYC.

About the Harison’s Yellow Rose

The nurseryman William Prince of Long Island took cuttings and marketed the rose in 1830.

Harison’s Yellow is also known as the Oregon Trail Rose and the Yellow Rose of Texas. This beauty was lovingly taken by pioneer women across the wilderness to their new homes in the west … packed away with other valuables, tender cuttings and roots were stowed in buckets, rooted in potatoes and even in tea cups. I have heard Harison’s Yellow can be found all along the pioneer trail. Don’t you just love that! Roses are true survivors!

Coming Full Circle

Last week while visiting my daughter in NYC we toured the lovely courtyard garden at the Church of the Intercession at the invitation of Stephen Scanniello, (Heritage Rose Foundation).

The garden is filled with lovely old roses in a picturesque setting. 

Hybrid musk roses filled the air with intoxicating old rose fragrance!

Champney’s Pink Noisette

In the back of the church is a graveyard and … guess who is buried there? Yes, it is true, Mr. Harison is buried there… As I stood in front of his gravestone, I felt as though he was a member of my family. The gravestone says he was a gentlemen. I love that … and I sure hope he knows how much I love his rose and that I am committed to sharing it with others.

This graveyard is peppered with beautiful stones, fences, gates, flowers and roses.  And is also home to the grave site of John James Audubon, the French-American ornithologist, naturalist and painter.


Harison’s Yellow Spring 2012….


The Story Continues

This weekend we are taking cuttings from our Harison’s Yellow rose. Hopefully this will be a rose that is passed through our generations.

We have learned a lot since we took that first cutting, but I’m still gonna assign Mr. G the task of watcher and waterer. He did such a great job before! 🙂

Grandma’s Advice

Grandma Levis told us to take a small piece of the cutting and cut an X in the end of the stem, dip in root tone, plant in a small pot and cover the pot with a ball jar. Watch it closely and keep moist but not wet. And wait.

Yes, some things are worth waiting for, worth preserving and worth passing on.