Friday, October 10, 2014

Flowers on Friday ... A Day at Tufton

I closed the retail portion of Hartwood Roses in 2012 in order to could focus more on rose preservation and education.  Yesterday was one of those "preservation" days ... I spent the afternoon at Monticello's Tufton Farm, taking cuttings of some of the rarest roses in the Leonie Bell Noisette Garden.

Leonie Bell was a superstar in the rose world, a champion of old roses, and a rose hunter in a time when roses in cemeteries and abandoned places were disappearing at an alarming rate.  The garden at Tufton Farm is dedicated to her memory, and it has some of the rare and wonderful roses that she and other rose hunters have found.  The collection contains many examples of Noisette roses, and there are also roses that are more commonly available, like 'Old Blush' and other China roses, which factored into the development of the Noisettes and most of our modern repeat-flowering roses.

My goal yesterday was to take cuttings of each rose in the Bell Garden that I don't have or isn't easily available in commerce.  (For example, "Cato's Cluster" used to be available from Vintage Gardens ... but now there is not a US source.)

"Lingo Musk" (Noisette)

I did not need to take cuttings of the true Musk roses in the garden, because all of these are safely held in the collection at Florida Southern College.

"Bremo Musk"

After two and a half hours of work, I had three gallon-sized zipper bags that contained cuttings of fourteen roses.  These bags are in my refrigerator right now, and I will process and plant all of the cuttings later today.  If everything goes as planned and the cuttings root like they're supposed to, I hope to have baby plants of each rose later in the year ... to pass along to other rose preservationists and to provide back-up copies for Tufton.

unknown white Noisette

I really enjoyed my afternoon at Tufton.  The weather was beautiful and the air in the garden was heavy with the scent of the roses, especially the wonderful, wafting fragrance of the Musk roses.  

(To learn more about the Leonie Bell Noisette Garden, and about Leonie Bell herself, click HERE to go to a post on the Monticello blog written by Ben Whitacre.)


  1. Hi Connie, it is awesome that you are doing this and helping to preserve these beautiful and rare Old Garden Roses. I especially love 'Cato's Cluster', a rose that I have never seen or heard off. Hope the cuttings root well for you! Warm regards,

  2. Connie, I swear -- I want to crawl right INTO your gorgeous rose photos. (Well, ok, scratchy.)
    Such beautiful blooms.
    Hope all is well with you.
    I've been away ALL summer, from the blog -- getting back bit by bit.
    BTW daughter Anne is living in Washington DC now ... more of the family is moving south!

  3. what lovely roses! My personal fave is the first. Such gorgeous colour!!

    Have a happy weekend!

  4. Connie, you are a wonder! Bless you for all your volunteer work, to preserve such beauty for now and future generations.

  5. Ooooohhhh, what a wonderful and exciting day you had. Gathering cuttings to root with the beautiful scents of roses surrounding you. I hope these will all root for you. What an inspiration you are with all of the projects you do, for others and for yourself.

    My favorite was 'Cato's Cluster'.

    Have a lovely weekend. FlowerLady

  6. You do a great job with educating and the preserve of roses for the future. I have the common 'Old Blush' but there are still so many rare roses not available for the public in the world. "Cato's Cluster" is a real beauty on the photo.
    Enjoyed reading this post.


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