I’ve long known gardens, collections and interesting/important roses seldom outlive their creators. This has been driven home once again this past week. The thread concerning breeding modern moss roses set me on the hunt for Ralph Moore’s 7-58-1, a modern mossy HT/floribunda (depending upon whose Bible you believe).
I grew this for many years and Ralph donated it through me to The Huntington Library, with several other roses, for them to use as exclusive fund raisers. I propagated what I could as a garden volunteer there and worked out an arrangement with Ashdown for them to propagate plants to be sold at Ralph’s Great Rosarians of the World celebration. Ashdown provided the plants and the volunteers dutifully potted them. I spent that morning before the event selling all the plants we had potted for the sale.
This week, that thread brought back the idea that this should be in other hands to be made good use of. My garden had to be dismantled a few years ago and moved after 18 years. Sadly, I no longer have the rose. Fortunes have changed for Ashdown and there is no longer a plant of it there, either. Neither Carolyn nor Burling have access to a plant of this rose and it no longer exists at the old Sequoia site. Paul Barden doesn’t have it. Cliff Orent doesn’t have it, either, as it was something which never came his way. Texas A&M MAY have it, however it can’t be located as there are many unidentified plants there and none of the identified ones bear this tag. Even sadder is none of the fund raising roses were ever planted at The Huntington. I find no evidence of it being listed on any nursery list available through HMF.
I have posted requests for anyone still having it to please contact me on Rosarian’s Corner, Help Me Find-Roses and Garden Web with no responses. The San Jose Heritage doesn’t have it. HMF lists one public garden in Canada which lists it in their garden. I’m waiting for a response from them about my request for cuttings.
Until he donated this rose, it was one of many shared with the understanding of “don’t let this get away from you”, meaning don’t distribute it.
Unless the rose is widely distributed, each one’s existence is tenuous at best. If you create something useful, interesting, potentially important, even if only in your eyes, please share it far and wide! Perhaps, contacting someone like Burling Leong at her nursery in Visalia and offering it to her with an explanation of what it is and why you feel it important would be a good idea? Share it with someone who can produce it and distribute it, then write about it, make it known it exists and where. Create a pull demand for it so it gets out there to increase its chance of survival. Ralph handed out a few plants of this rose over the years. I sold a number of them to the public at his event. Several of us had it, but have lost it among the many other roses which have passed through our hands. Ralph lost it, and many others, a few times over the years. If there aren’t others out there from which to collect material, it’s as if it never existed and that effort and creativity are lost.