Banquet Piece, Pieter Claez

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Teasing out the Peace Rose History and Weaving in the California Nursery Company

The Roeding family history says that the California Nursery Company was the official West Coast propagator of the Peace rose.

It is also said that George Roeding, Jr. arranged to have Peace roses delivered to some number of delegates for the United Nations meeting in San Francisco.

Yet there is never any mention of this in the official Peace rose history. Why?

Sunday, September 10, 2017

What happened to the Peace Rose?

From the 1948 California Nursery Catalog
These colors? Did the Peace Rose ever have these colors? Was this a colorized photo by someone who didn't know the true colors?

The California Nursery Company was the official propagator of the Peace Rose on the West Coast in the mid 1940's. This was the color shown in their catalog. But the Roedings remember a different color than the color sold today.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

'Black Dragon' wisteria

My favorite wisteria at our local park was a mystery.

I asked the pruning community for a good wisteria book for identifying the wisteria in the park and was recommended Peter Valder's Wisterias, A Comprehensive Guide.

However, once I posted a photo, two people knew exactly what it was: 'Black Dragon'!

It is the only double flowered wisteria, from what I understand, so there is no need to key it out.

Some interesting connections with the park is that W.B. Clarke was the west coast distributor of this Japanese wisteria. W.B. Clarke was, apparently, an employee of the California Nursery who opened his own nursery in San Jose. The CNCo sold W.B. Clarke's low-chill lilacs, so the Dragon might be in the CNCo catalog as well. I will check.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Puzzling out the AARS

Weeks Roses Catalog 1945
We can be forgiven for not knowing the difference for ARS and AARS. It was confusing in the beginning as well and had to be explained to readers of the American Rose Society that AARS is a commercial label for "novelty" roses. (What do they consider a "novelty" rose? I think I detect someone looking down their nose at me as they say "novelty".)

ARS is American Rose Society.
AARS is All-America Rose Selections.

Our local park has apparently what was an old AARS Test garden. I wanted to see what I could find about the AARS test garden program. Where are the other gardens? When was our garden a test garden?

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Prœparturiens Burn

PRP, February, 25, 1882
The Prœparturiens Burn

John Rock, with 30 years of the American experience under his belt, was very capable of publicly throwing shade on his fellow nurserymen, as expertly as any twitterati today. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Man who put the "Blast" in Blastophaga

That would be George C. Roeding!
...who is also the man who put wasp eggs
in your fig newton!
This is a story of persistance, confidence, and finally being able to tell your critics that they are all wrong after 20 years of ridicule. All of this to make California the center of fig culture.

Figs trees are pretty common in the bay area. But the kind that we generally grow are not Calimynra figs (or Symrna figs). These are the beefier figs usually used for drying. You will probably have to go to the Central Valley to find them. Look for the trees with the brown paper bags hanging on them in June.

Back in 1800's, no one knew how the Smyrna fig was pollinated. When the fig was brought to America, it was brought without its pollinator.  For years, the fruit fell off the tree without ripening. It took many years of study and travel and finally understanding the science behind the process.

It took a group of persistent people, George Roeding being one of the main movers. There does seem to be a bit of elbowing and competition in getting the claim for solving this mystery.