Rose that grows in the Hazen plot at Hollywood Cemetery ... identity unknown.
(photo taken May 2009)
Did I tell you that I am consulting with the "Friends of Hollywood Cemetery" and the cemetery management on the rehabilitation and care of their collection of historic roses? They approached me last year to do this, and I am thrilled at the opportunity to help in an official (though volunteer) capacity.
"Hazen Plot", May 2009
The first stage of my plan was to meet with Donald, the Grounds Supervisor, to pick his brain. He and I did this over the course of a couple of days ... one of which was a wonderful autumn afternoon we spent riding around in his Gator, talking about the roses and all of the other things he has done there since he started working at Hollywood in 1967.
"Hazen Plot", January 2012. The bush has been struggling, and about 50% of it is dead wood.
In order to care for and preserve the roses, we have to know what is currently there. Over the course of a few weeks, Donald put together a list and a map of every rose in the cemetery's 135 acres. He gave it to me two weeks ago. The next step is for me to evaluate and photograph every rose on the list, in preparation for a big volunteer work day on March 23.
"Hazen Plot", new growth, May 2009
That is what I was doing when I was there on Tuesday. I had the rose list and map, and my notebook and camera. Over the course of the afternoon, I was able to visit 28 of the 120+ roses on the list ... making notes about each rose's condition and what it needs to have done to it. Some of the roses I saw are in great condition, some are struggling badly.
"Hazen Plot", lateral with leaves, January 2012
Most of the roses at Hollywood do not have tags. Part of my evaluation is to photograph each rose (bush, canes, leaves, etc.) to create an archive to begin the identification process. I know there are folks out there who have already done some of this, but none of their ID work in not Hollywood's records. (One of my goals for later in the year is to contact as many of these people as I can, to find out what they know.)
"Hazen Plot" buds, May 2009
Rose identification is not my thing. I am in awe of people who can look at a rose, whether it has flowers and leaves or not, and zero in on its identity. If I'm trying to identify a rose doesn't have flowers on it, I can generally tell whether it is a once-bloomer or a repeat-bloomer, and probably narrow it down to a choice of one or two classes ... that's about as close as I can get.
"Hazen Plot" winter hips, January 2012
Whatever basic information I can gather on each rose, as it is right now, should be enough for me to use to formulate a plan for our work day. Most of the roses have some dead wood, and some have volunteer weed trees and/or ivy and vines growing in them ... all of which needs to be removed. The vigorous roses will need some thinning and training, to set them on a good path to grow to their best potential this summer. The struggling roses must to be handled gently, removing only dead and diseased material, to give them the best chance to grow strong again.
I have a LOT to do to prepare for the volunteer work day on March 23 ... the most important of which is to sign up a bunch of volunteers. By the beginning of next week, I hope to have contacted rose societies and garden clubs, sent an email blast to my Hartwood Roses mailing list, and placed notices on online gardening forums. With 120+ roses to work on, and 135 acres to cover, I think I'm going to need a lot of volunteers.
The first official volunteer to sign on was Stephen Scanniello, president of the Heritage Rose Foundation. It's hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact the my project at Hollywood Cemetery is one that big-name rose guys have asked to help with ... yes, folks, he asked ME if he could help. (yes, I'm blushing)
If you are local, or want to travel here in March, and you want to be a part of the work day at Hollywood, let me know. (no time or schedule yet ... but I should have that soon.)