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Old 04-02-2003, 05:43 AM
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saki wrote:
Radika Kesavan wrote in news:[email protected]
I am also sorry that I missed the opportunity to meet you over the Rose
weekend in SoCal at the Huntington. Perhaps another time ...

By all means! I'd welcome it. Hearing Mel talk about the San Jose
Heritage Rose Garden has made me much more inclined to make a special
visit to see it.

Definitely worth the trek.

It was nice to see so many folks from rgr and on the mail list in person;
it's helpful to put faces to names. I was also surprised that I could
keep up with so many conversations (well, mostly evesdropping). Immersing
oneself in rose chatter really pays off after about a year. :-)

It was a great weekend. That event always draws some of the most
knowledgeable ogres in California (old garden rose afficianados). Jeri
Jennings was at the Delahantys, at the BBQ joint, and also at the
Huntington. She founded the GoldCoast Heritage Rose Group a little over
a year ago and puts out a beautiful bulletin for it on a quarterly
basis. She's a longtime rosarian in the Ventura County area who has
grown everything from the latest exhibition HT's to the healthiest of
chinas, teas, and noisettes. It's largely through Jeri's encouragement
that I've purged a lot of HT's from my garden. It's not worth growing
roses that need coddling when there are so many other classes of roses
that do beautifully in our climate with little care. Until a couple of
years ago, she was very active in the Ventura County Rose Society,
AAMOF, she and her husband, Clay did the lion's share of most of the
work in that society for years. She edited their bulletin, ran their
rose show, was instrumental in bringing new ideas to the society, she is
credited with re-planting a heritage rose garden at the historic Rancho
Camulos. But as is usual in rose societies, the hard workers eventually
burn out. But the VCRS's loss is the GoldCoast HRG's gain.

Here's the website for the GoldCoast group, all the photos are Jeri's.

Alice Flores came down as well. She and the guest of honor at the
Huntington event, Miriam Wilkins, go way back. Alice can id rose types
based just on the foliage, it's mind-boggling. She has forgotten more
about old garden roses than most people will ever know. She used to run
a small, boutique nursery but closed that when she had some health
problems a couple of years ago, too much to do with a full-time job.

Kernel Mel Hulse, director of the volunteer program at the San Jose
Heritage Rose Garden drove down in his little red rocket with Alice.
Amazing how much stuff you can fit in a Miata when rose lust hits. He
even budded some Renae buds onto a Cardinal Hume whip for me. And he
makes a mean RoseGrower, vodka, tonic, a splash of pink lemonade
concentrate. He's not around here much anymore but he came to roses
very late in life and to the SJHRG just as it was being planted. He
calls that garden his sandbox, a great place to play. And learn.

Cass came down as well. We have a lot in common, we're both vertical
gardeners, working on steep slopes. She was one of the lucky ones who
made the trek on Monday after to visit Ralph Moore at Sequoia Nursery in
Visalia. Mel and Alice went there too. Alas, I had to get home to San
Diego to run the local society's rose auction Monday night. I won't
make that mistake again, scheduling something that interferes with a VRS
(Virtual Rose Society) weekend.

Jim Delahanty hosted a lovely cocktail hour on Saturday afternoon at his
home, yummy Greek treats and plenty of rose talk. We then adjourned to
a local BBQ joint in the San Fernando Valley. Sunday everyone headed
over to the Huntington several hours before the 230 event so as to enjoy
the gardens there. Most of the modern roses had already been pruned,
but the teas and chinas hadn't yet been touched and many were blooming.

I thought that the event itself was disappointing. Clair Martin,
curator of the Huntington rose collection, did an interview with Miriam,
asking her how the Heritage Rose movement came to get started in the US
(she is the founder of it, and not just on the west coast I learned, but
nationwide). He was unprepared and wasted precious time. Miriam didn't
get to talk nearly enough. But then, for many of us, the weekend is
less about the Huntington event itself and more about getting together
as rosarians.