Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Heritage Rose Foundation Conference, Next Month

One month from today, rose lovers from all over the US (and at least a couple of foreign countries) will spend three rose-filled days in Fredericksburg, Virginia, for the 2017 Heritage Rose Foundation Conference.  

It's not too late for you to plan to join us.  Let me show you what we are going to do.

The conference will begin on Thursday, May 18, with an optional pre-conference bus trip to Charlottesville to visit the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants at Tufton Farm, home of the Leonie Bell Noisette Garden, and to tour the gardens and mansion at Monticello, home of President Thomas Jefferson.  Lunch is included.

"Bremo Musk" in the Leonie Bell Noisette Garden.

Friday, May 19, we will enjoy a day of presentations at Belmont, Gari Melchers' home and studio in Falmouth, Virginia.  Continental breakfast, buffet lunch, and tours of the mansion and garden are included.

'Tausendschoen' in the garden at Belmont.

I am very excited to have put together this slate of speakers:

Benjamin Whitacre, who paired a fascination with ancient texts and roses as a college student in Williamsburg, Virginia, before spending a year at the Arnold Arboretum researching Harvard's historic rose experiments.  He has also worked with roses at Mount Auburn Cemetery, the American Horticultural Society, and at Monticello.

Beate Ankjaer-Jensen, who has served as Cultural Resource Manager at Gari Melchers Home and Studio since 1999.  She led the research and restoration of the gardens and historic buildings, and directed the creation of native grassland meadows and trails that interpret the cultural and natural recources on the 29-acre estate.

Scott Dean, who became interested in roses at age 5, when his father entered a rose in his name in the youth class in a rose show.  He combines his hobby of studying the Middle Ages, as a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, with his interest in roses, researching the rose varieties grown in Europe prior to the year 1600.

Mike Shoup, who opened the Antique Rose Emporium in 1984, with the goal of creating a resurgence in the preservation of rare and beautiful roses.  Specializing in the re-introduction and distribution of historic roses, the retail center has theme gardens that show the versitility of antique roses in garden settings.  Mike is a past president of the Heritage Rose Foundation, and the author of three books and numerous national articles on the subject of using Old Garden Roses in today's gardens.

Saturday, May 20, we begin with a bus tour to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond to learn about the history of this 19th Century garden cemetery and its roses.  Goth Gardener and I are writing a new tour especially for this event.  As part of the day's activities, we will be replanting three lost roses to their original locations!  Lunch is included.

One of the roses that we will replant is 'Safrano' on the Waller lot in Section Q near Presidents Circle.

Saturday evening is the part of the conference that I'm most excited about ... a buffet barbecue dinner under a big tent in my garden here at Hartwood Manor!  My roses should be in full bloom for the guests, and I have been working SO hard to make everything look its best.  Roses will be available for sale.  A Heritage Rose Foundation banquet would be incomplete without the star attraction of the evening, Stephen Scanniello, president of HRF, acting as auctioneer for a wonderful assortment of rare roses and rose items ... including an oil painting donated by my very talented artist husband.

'Shailer's Provence' in the Fence Border, at Hartwood Manor ... home sweet home.

Registration fee is $210.  This all includes activities on Friday and Saturday, including lectures, tours, and meals, as noted.  An additional $85 fee is required for Thursday's optional tour to Charlottesville.  We also offer registration for individual activities, for folks who have scheduling conflicts and cannot attend the entire conference. (If you can only come to one thing, the banquet is the one that I recommend.  It's going to be so much FUN!!)

Edited to say:  Registration is closed, because this event is now history .. and it was FABULOUS.  You should have been here!)

I am coordinating this event with a little bit of help, but not much, and it has required an ever-increasing amount of my time and thought processes.  Folks who are coming have told me that they are very excited to come see the world of roses that we have here in Virginia ... and I am over-the-moon delighted to be their hostess.


  1. Oh, Wow!!!! What an event that will be for you!!! It is just so phenomenal that this is all coming together and the big "party" will be held your own home/gardens. How very special. I am sure everything will be just perfect. xo Diana

    1. When I volunteered to do this, I asked for guidance with what activities to plan. My ‘orders’ were (a) Monticello, (b) Hollywood Cemetery, and (c) my garden. Folks I’ve heard from so far are really excited to see what we have going on in this part of the country … and I’m very excited to be showing it to them.

  2. This is going to be fantastic. I'd enjoy this but alas, not possible to make it. I'd love to see your gardens.

    Have a wonderful time ~ FlowerLady

    1. I know that you would be here if you could come. I will do what I can to show what we did, after the fact.

  3. Jan and I are looking forward to seeing your piece of paradise. Thank you so very much for taking this on and offering such an interesting conference.

    1. Not sure how much paradise you'll find, but I'm happy to serve as your hostess!

  4. Sounds DEVINE!!! So sorry I can't make it; it's on the other coast from me. Is there a chance to preorder (for shipment) any roses you have for sale? Looking for prolific bloomer that doesn't get too huge (4 - 6ft). Not fussy about color or shape.... Thanks, Teresa

    1. If there are roses left over from the sale, and there probably will be at least some, I will put them here and we can see if you (or anyone else) wants them. Conference attendees have to get first pick. I hope you understand.

  5. I'm excited to be able to attend this year. Thank you for all of you hard work, Connie!


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