The Huntington Rose/Shakespeare Gardens Docent/Volunteer/Workshop Newsletter

Number 32                   September - October 2003
Subrosa is Published by  Rose/Shakespeare Docents/Volunteers and Rose Workshop Members


As Subrosa #32 goes to press, this newsletter begins its 6th year of continuous bi-monthly publication.  As part of the celebration,  I would like to take the opportunity to express my appreciation to each person who has  contributed to the letter's success:

Martha Burkard, Kathy Cooper, Martha Crissman, Katarina Eriksson, Dorothy Fansler, Nancy Ferguson, Myriam Hu, Sue Lafferty, Keith McDonald, Jane Meek, Helene Pizzi, Dennis and Allene Rose, Michiko Watanabe, and Bea Whyld.

As we begin this new era of Subrosa's life, it is fitting we should have an article, "Giardino dei Semplici", by Andy Clark, our first Workshop Volunteer to participate.  Hopefully, this is a portent of good things to come from all members of our organization.  This is "our" publication.  It is as good as each of us strives to make it.

So, "Thank You" to everyone who has worked for our success over the past five years.  A special "Thank You" to the many Staff members and Volunteers from other disciplines who have worked with us, and finally, another special "Thank You" to all our readers who have been so generous with their enthusiasm and support.

Clair Martin, Curator, Rose and Perennial Gardens (i.e., Art Gallery, Herb, and Shakespeare)


By Andy Clark

Among the least-visited treasures of Florence, Italy, the quintessential city of art, is the botanical garden of the University of Florence, known as "Giardino dei Semplici," located within the confines of the university, just off Piazza San Marco, in the historic center of the city.  I first learned of the garden's existence while browsing through the Blue Guide to Florence.  Since the Giardino was only a short walk from our hotel, I set out to visit with my son (then age 9) and the daughter of a friend, on an August morning in 1998.

The garden is also only steps from two of Florence's most popular attractions:  the Convent of San Marco, where paintings and murals of the Renaissance artist Fra Angelico are displayed; and the Accademia, where Michelangelo's David is exhibited.  The garden is just across the street, on Via Pira, from the convent, and a mere two blocks from the David.

Although it is visible through the large fence and the 16th century gateway on the Via Pira, the Giardino seems to rate no more than a glance from most passersby or from the crowds of tourists rushing to board their busses.  I suspect many who do notice the garden are confounded by the fact the gate is never open and few people are to be seen inside.  And, it does not help that on the gate there is only a small bronze plaque mounted giving the garden's hours--sometimes augmented with a paper notice when hours change.  This plaque directs the visitor to the only public entrance, which lies around the corner at no. 3, Via P.A. Micheli, through a nondescript doorway in a block of university buildings.  Small signs identify this as the entrance to the Orto Botanico.

Founded by Cosimo I de' Medici who purchased the land on December 1, 1545, it is the third oldest botanical garden in Italy, after the gardens in Pisa and Padua.  Its name derives from the Italian word for medicinal plants--"semplici"--for which the garden was established and are still cultivated in beds next to the fence on Via Pira; plants such as belladonna, mandrake, digitalis, vinca, lavender, salvia, and oleander.

The Giardino dei Semplici covers nearly six acres (23,892 sq. meters).  Its main area comprises 19 large rectangular beds, a number of narrow beds with flowers, bushes, and herbs, and two special environments, "la montagnola" (rocky mound) and "il laghetto" (pond).

When we visited the garden, Florence was experiencing weather typical of a late summer's day--sunny, hot, and humid--which made exploring the areas of the garden that received full sun somewhat daunting.  Fortunately, much of the garden was shaded by trees, and though the shade did little to relieve the humidity, it made wandering the gravel paths very pleasant.  I opted to walk in the shade.  The children preferred to remain in the sun.  They were irresistibly drawn to the center of the main part, where a fountain surmounted by a putto rises from a large basin filled with water lilies, and embellished with terracotta planters with bright flowers perched on the basin's edge.


Water lilies in the fountain's basin

Trees are among the garden's most exceptional plants.  In the bed adjacent to "la montagnola," for example, grows the oldest tree in the garden, a yew planted in 1720.  Nearby is a fantastic cork oak, almost 200 years old (planted 1805).  The view looking skyward through its gnarled, leafy branches is nothing short of captivating.  To the east of the main area, magnificent old trees dominate the garden, among which the cedar of Lebanon (planted 1795) is spectacular.

I did not know anything about the garden's collections prior to that day, but, of course, I had hoped to find roses, possibly even some old roses (my favorites).  In this regard, however, I was disappointed, for there were very few rose bushes.  Indeed, owing to the summer's heat, there were not very many flowers in evidence.  The garden was dominated by a myriad of green in the shape of trees, shrubs, bushes, and lawns.  Although the many potted azaleas that line the garden's walks number among the principal collections, their flowers were long gone.  My few rosy encounters that day were with the rose-covered pergolas near the garden's entrance; with the modern pink climber Clair Matin (Meilland, 1960) which, together with a red rose grew over a large terracotta jar; and with the white-flowering shrub Potentilla fructicosa, a member of the family Rosaceae.


'Clair Matin ' and a red rose growing over a terracotta jar

It was a delight to find the Giardino dei Semplici possesses one of the largest collections of cycads anywhere, of particular interest to me because of the large Sago palm that grows in my own garden.  Cycads are only one of the collections that must be housed in the greenhouses during the fall and winter months; the palms, citrus, succulents, cacti, bromeliads, orchids, and begonias must be sheltered, too.  In the spring and summer, however, the potted cycads, palms, and many other plants are moved outside, leaving several greenhouses all but empty.  Among the tropical plants in the greenhouses is Amorphophallus titanium--better known at The Huntington as the "stinky plant"--an example of which was brought to Florence in 1878.  Several specimens were collected in 1994-95, and two of them bloomed on June 17, 2002.

The garden's cycad collection comprises about 180 examples, representing 38 different species and 8 of the 11 extant genera Cycas.  The cycads, some of which are very large, are beautifully arranged on graveled areas and shaded by trees; the simplicity of the display and the diffuse, dappled sunlight shows the cycads at their best.  Those that really caught my eye were the Palma de Dolores (Dioon spinulosum), from Mexico; the Eastern Cape Blue Cycad (Encephalartos horridus) and the Eastern Cape Giant Cycad (Encephalartos altensteinii), both from South Africa; the Palms de goma (Zamia lindeni), native to Peru and Equador; and, of course, the Sago palm (Cycas revolute), originally from Japan and especially well-known to us in Southern California.

I had the chance to visit the garden again in 2001, in another season.  It was December, just before the garden closed for the Christmas and New Year's break at the university.  It was a cold day, with little sun.  At the entrance, the ticket-seller was visibly surprised to see that someone had come to visit, and for most of the hour I spent in the garden I was alone.  Many trees were leafless, and although some were still green and magnificent, I do not recall seeing any color in the garden.  I felt cold and let down; the contrast with the summer experience was too overwhelming.  But, that was outdoors; in the greenhouses it was different.  Inside it was hot and humid, and in the tropical greenhouses it was very hot and visibly steamy--and wonderfully green everywhere.  The plants were packed in as closely as possible, leaving very little room to walk between them, and the tallest ones almost reached the skylights.  My mood changed, my spirits lifted.  I was happy to be in the garden!


The cycad Palma de Dolores (Dioon spinulosum)

If you go...

as is all too often the case with museums and churches in Florence, the opening hours of the Giardino dei Semplici varies.  Mon., Wed., and Fri., from 9:00-12:00 and Mon. and Fri from 2:30-5:00 are the hours noted in my guidebook.  However, the garden's website gives the current hours as 9:00-1:00 on weekdays, which seems to include Saturday as special mention is made that the garden will be closed on Saturday from August 10-17; closed Sunday.  You should call to check the garden's hours (tel. 055-2757402).  But, the only way to be certain is to go in person and check the hours posted at the entrance, Via P.A. Micheli, no. 3, and be sure you read the sign giving the current opening hours of the Orto Botanico.  (Please be aware the sign giving the garden's hours at the gateway on Via Pira may not be correct--walk around the corner and check at the entrance).  The admission charge is 3 Euros.

For further information...

check the university's website, which gives the garden's hours, history, and an overview of the collections (in Italian)

for the English version, go to

You will also find useful information and links to the websites of botanical gardens throughout Italy at

There is a general guide to the garden in English:  Giovanna Cellai Ciuffi and Fernando Fabbri, Guide to the "Giardino dei Semplici," published 1993 by the Orto Botanico di Firenze.  Separate publications are also available (in Italian) on various aspects of the collection, including cycads, orchids, carnivorous plants, medicinal plants, and tropical plants.

There is also a useful handbook describing all the accessible gardens of Florence and Tuscany:   I Giardini di Firenze e della Toscana:  Guida Completa, by Mariachiara Pozzana, published by Giunti Gruppo Editoriale, Florence, 2001.

Andy Clark, Rose Workshop Volunteer




by  Myriam Hu

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is considered one of the most famous writers of all time.  He is perhaps one of the most important and influential in the English language on the use of punning and play of words.  He gave us the English language as we  know and use it today.

Shakespeare, as a person, remains rather mysterious.  The exact date of his birth is unknown.  There are other gaps of information also not known about the 'man' Shakespeare.

The bust of William Shakespeare in The Huntington Shakespeare Garden commemorates this powerful writer, successful actor, producer, and shareholder in a theatrical company.  He wrote 37 plays, 154 sonnets, 2 narrative poems, and some short verses.


William Shakespeare bust

Our Shakespeare Garden, when opened in 1959, presented only those plants specifically mentioned by Shakespeare.  However, the majority of the plants did not do well in the summer and fall weather of Southern California.  In 1972, it was decided to include many other plants, either of the Elizabethan era or representative of that era.

The following is an interview with Curator Clair Martin on the subject of the Shakespeare bust and two roses:  'Snow Goose' and 'Souvenir de la Malmaison.'

Myriam:  What can you tell me about the Shakespeare bust in the Shakespeare Garden?

Clair:  All I know is that it was in the original Shakespeare Garden and donated by Homer D. Crotty who originally conceived the idea of this garden in the 1950's.  It is concrete, not a very good copy, according to the Art Curators.  The bust was donated, together with a sundial from England, which was later broken.  That sundial never recorded the correct time as it was calibrated for English latitude, not Southern California.

Myriam:  When was the Shakespeare bust placed in the garden?

Clair:  At some point before I took over as Curator of the garden, it just appeared.  The bust was situated against the 'Laurel Bay' hedge.  In the beginning, the sundial was a significant point of interest in the garden.  Imprinted on it was the saying, "Tyme Tryethe Trothe" dated 1644.  (Of course, this is a copy of the original.)  A sundial like this, along with plinth, and pedestal, was given by Charles I to his queen Maria Henriette, just days before his execution during the Cromwell revolution.   The quote "Tyme Trethe Trothe" has something to do with the fact they were going to be separated for now.  The original sundial had a script "separated in time and together in eternity". 

Myriam:  Where is the original bust of this copy?

Clair:  I think it is a copy of the bust of Shakespeare installed at the church in Stratford-On-Avon many years after he died.  No one really knows what Shakespeare looked like.

Myriam:  Is there any reason that 'Snow Goose' has been arched over the bust of Shakespeare?

Clair:  I wanted to find a place for 'Snow Goose', and I knew the rose could take some shade.  It is mostly evergreen and blooms almost all the time.  It seemed like a good place to put it.  I had grown it in the old study plot on an arch.  It looks very beautiful arched over the bust against the dark green background of the bay laurel hedge.  Think of it as the application in the garden of a tool poets use all the time, "poetic license", to present a certain idea.  In this case,   "poetic license" was put to use to provide the setting for the bust and the surrounding area.  What better time for a Gardener to use "poetic license" than when working with the bust of a poet.


'Snow Goose'

Myriam:  What is 'Snow Goose'?

Clair:  It is David Austin climber.  He would not call it an English Rose like 'Golden Celebration' or 'Gertrude Jekyll'.  He calls it a rambler.  Ramblers, as opposed to climbers, have thinner and suppler bendy wood.  They need some kind of support to climb.  Having a repeat blooming rambler is a kind of neat thing.  I like to display it.  Michael Marriot, from the Austin Nursery, has visited us from time to time. Two years ago, I took him to the Shakespeare Garden to show him 'Snow Goose'.  He was more interested in 'William Shakespeare 2000' as it was a hot seller for them.  He wanted to see how it would grow in the United States.  The Shakespeare rose bed had just been planted and the plants were still small.  I had to actually physically turn him around and make him look at 'Snow Goose'.  I got the feeling he was impressed when his exclamation was, "Blimey!"

Myriam:  Why did you plant 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' in front of the bust?

Clair:  It, too, comes under the protection of "poetic license".  It is a low growing, very fragrant, soft pink old rose that is not Shakespearean but is appropriate in shape and color.  Something was needed that would bloom and grow with less sun.  Remember, the area right next to the hedge does not get a lot of sun.  Also, it is more satisfying to me as a Gardener to grow multiples of plants.  I like to grow 5 or 10 of one kind.  It gives me a better feel for how they grow.  This rose made  perfect sense in this area.  Katarina can work with any other colors in there.  Often, she has put in some very brightly colored annuals and perennials that blend in very nicely with the white and pale pink background.  Katarina and I work as a very good team.  I often have ideas and she works them out.  She has great ideas and I support her.


'Souvenir de la Mal Maison'

Myriam:  How long ago did you plant these two roses in this area?

Clair:  About three years ago for 'Snow Goose' and approximately two years for 'Souvenir de la Malmaison'.  And, we have this older cluster of roses off to the right of the Shakespeare bust.  Those are really authentic roses for Shakespeare's time:  the Albas and the Gallicas.  Those are roses he would have seen in and around London.

Myriam:  Is there anything else you could add?

Clair:  I think it is kind of fun having Shakespeare sitting in his Garden.  It really is not a Shakespeare Garden.  We call it that because it occupies the original space with that name.  One could call it the Kitchen Garden because the wing of the house where "Pinky" and "Blue Boy" are exhibited (the Great Hall) used to be a separate building housing the kitchen.  The center of the Shakespeare Garden is where the housekeeper's cottage was located until the 1950's. 

However, in many ways we still honor Shakespeare.  We select many of his plants and color themes, and the fact we have a treasury of English literature in the Library, including copies of his early Folios, makes it appropriate for his Garden to remain.

Myriam Hu, Co-Chair, Rose and Shakespeare  Gardens


By Dorothy Fansler

In June my husband Jim and I drove to Portland, Oregon.  We were pleased to have two reasons to make the trip:  First, to see the Portland Rose Garden at first bloom--it was beyond expectations; second, to visit the Portland Classical Chinese Garden.  As the garden is in the center of the city, we were able to walk there from our hotel on 4th Street.

In Chinese culture, it is felt that to live close to nature is an elemental necessity for inspiration, intellect, and spirit.

In the Entry Plaza we rented the recorded words that acted as our guides.  We learned the Portland Classical Chinese Garden is in the authentic Suzhou style containing hundreds of plants.  Many of these are from the gardens in Suzhou, Portland's sister city.  Most of the garden's horticultural treasures, however, come from the United States, particularly the Pacific Northwest.

A Chinese garden is traditionally divided into North, South, East, and West sections.  The Entry Plaza, the Courtyard, is in the South.  The "Three Friends of Winter", the pine (Pinus densiflora), the bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) and the plum (Prunus mume) were our first viewing.  Folklore states these three plants may be a reference to Confucius, the scholar of Ancient China who was steadfast in his ethical principals during difficult political times.

Further to the South in the Entry Plaza, framing the finely chiseled granite entry arches, we were delighted to find 'Mutabilis', a China rose that blooms constantly.  It is the rose we find next to the pergola leading east to the fountain at the entry to our own Rose Garden.  Our 'Mutabilis' comes from successful propagation by members of our own rose group a few years ago.  Be sure and take a close look at them.  They are a real treat.  The Portland 'Mutabilis' was placed in the Entry Plaza in honor of Portland's floral symbol, the rose.

The Entry Plaza also contains ginkgo trees (Ginkgo biloba), the sole survivor of a group of primitive conifers cultivated in China for the eatable and delicious nut-like kernels in its fruit.  There is also the pink flowering oleanders (Nerium oleander) found in China over 1000 years ago and treasured for the bamboo-like appearance of its stems and leaves along with the peach blossom-like flowers.

Next we moved into the Courtyard of Tranquility where we shared a touching experience.  As the tape described how tranquility blossoms from the ambience of the Courtyard, I felt a moving peace descend upon me and looked up to see tears flowing down Jim's cheeks as he obviously felt peace and tranquility overcome him as well.  This same courtyard contains a holly leaf osmanthus (Osmanthus heterophyllus  'Variegatus'), a climbing rose (Rosa banksiae 'Lutea'), a Chinese fringe flower (Loropetalum Chinense 'Pipa's Red') and a mountain magnolia (Magnolia delavayi).  This is the same magnolia, honoring French missionary Jean Delavay, that we have in our Rose Garden.

We passed on to the Knowing  Fish Pavilion and Zither Lake.  The Pavilion contains winter daphne (Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata').  The Chinese call its scent the "sleeping scent" because legend tells of a monk who dreamt sweet scents when his head was pillowed near it.  This Pavilion also grows wild ginger (Asarum splendens), along with Moso bamboo (Phyllostacys heterocycla var. pubescens) that soars skyward against the white walls.  Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica), as well as the southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) flourishes here.  The Nandina, a relative of the Oregon grape, successfully masquerades as bamboo.


Lotus (Nelumbo)

Zither Lake contains the lotus (Nelumbo) during summer.  Surprisingly, it is hardy enough to survive Oregon winters.  There are several species and cultivars of water lily (Nymphaea), reed (Phragmites australis 'Varigata') and burgundy colored arrowhead (Sagittaria 'Benni').  The 8000 square foot lake provides a unifying center for all the gardens with reflections on the water adding a new dimension to the beauty experienced.

As the East section is entered, we encounter a room filled with 9th century cherry wood furniture that glistens as though it is lighted from within.  Next to this chamber is a small courtyard that contains the Chinese parasol tree (Firmiana simplex), one of the most symbolic plants in the garden, representing the mystical phoenix bird whose anatomy includes a fowl's head, human eye, reptile neck, swallow brow, and the shell of tortoise.  Legend states the phoenix will only alight on the branches of F. simplex, a member of the chocolate family, if the ruler is just.

From this courtyard, the Listening to the Fragrance Courtyard is entered.  The Chinese believe fragrance in a garden is more vital than the pretty arrangement of petals that make up a bloom and is just as fleeting.  Here we smell Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) and Hybrid gardenias (Gardenia 'Kleims Hardy').

The Scholar's Courtyard is representative of where the Chinese scholar does his studies.  It is again filled with gorgeous 9th century desks and chairs.  The courtyard contains the tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa) and the flowering plum (Prunus mume), two plants that are ranked first among the ornamental plants of China.

The bridge over Zither Lake takes one into the Hall of Brocade Clouds, the main building of the gardens where traditionally the host meets with, and entertains, guests.  It is an open room giving views on all sides through the latticed windows.  We are now in the West where a generous garden runs the entire length of the West wall.  To be found in this garden are Chinese paper bush (Edgeworthia chrysantha)--one of these is planted here at The Huntington near the junction of the old parking lot exit and Library Road--and Edgeworthia chrysantha rubra, along with several species of tree rhododendrons (Rhododendron sinogrande), a white pine (Pinus parviflora) alongside a dove tree (Davidia involucrata), known also as the ghost or handkerchief tree.

It was nice to look back over the bridge and see a group of elementary school children being shown through the gardens by Docents.  They seemed excited and interested, if a bit energetic.  The Portland Chinese Garden covers only an acre, but they still manage to tour more than one group at a time.

From the main hall we moved to the Painted Boat in Misty Rain in the Northwest.  This boat shaped pavilion is delicately framed by Camellia transarisanensis and Camellia oleifera--seeds are pressed for oil in China where it is also grown as a small ornamental tree.  Growing low in front of the camellias is Cordydalis flexuosa, a relative of bleeding heart which is used here as a ground cover.  A crape myrtle (Lagerstroiemia indica 'Acoma') anchors the southern end of the Boat-shaped Pavilion, which includes seats along its railings, a site for repose or a romantic rendezvous.

In the North, in the middle of a small bridge, is the Moon-locking Pavilion.  On a clear moon-lit night, one may come and see the reflection of the moon on the lake locked in the embrace of the pavilion's shadow.

 The northern-most building is the Teahouse, The Tower of Cosmic Reflections, the only two-story building in the garden.  From upstairs visitors can view almost all points of the garden as well as refresh themselves with Chinese tea and teacakes.


Moon-locking Pavilion

As we passed back through the East to the South and out into the streets of Portland, we realized we had spent the entire day within the walls of an enchanted world of winding walkways, bridged lake, and open pavilions that framed the exquisitely arranged landscape of plants, water, stone, architecture, and poetry, the five essential elements of the Ming-style garden intended to be a surprise at every turn and change with each season. 

When you visit this garden we strongly recommend you acquire Selected Plants of the Portland Classical Chinese Garden to use along with the pamphlet and map you are handed as you enter.  It will add immeasurably to your enjoyment.

The Huntington's own Jin Chen was the architect responsible for the planning and development of the Portland Classical Chinese Garden.  The next issue of Subrosa will conclude this story with an interview with Jin, discussing Portland and the much anticipated Chinese Garden here.

Dorothy Fansler, Co-Chair Rose and Shakespeare Gardens


I want to thank all the Saturday Workshop volunteers who showed up in the July heat to weed and clean up in the Rose Nursery.  We decided not to meet in August because of the heat, but will meet again on Saturday, September 20.  We gather at 9:30 A.M. in the Botanical Center and move out to our work site around 10:00.  We will be discussing Volunteer assignments for the upcoming Great Rosarians of the World IV lecture at the September meeting.


The Huntington is offering two master classes on Climbing and Shrub Roses on two Saturdays this fall.  Climbing Roses will be offered on Saturday, October 25, 2003 from 9:00 to 11:30 A.M. and Shrub Roses will be offered on the following Saturday, November 1.

Both classes will start in the Ahmanson Classroom in the Botanical Center and move out into the garden to take advantage of our extensive collection of roses.  Each class will cover care, pruning, management, and selection issues of these important components of our gardens. 

There is a charge for the classes.  To enroll contact: Michael Fritzen or Jennifer Phillips at (626) 405-2146.


I am pleased to announce the world-renowned British authors Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix will be the honorees at our Great Rosarians of the World IV Lecture on Sunday, January 25, 2004.  Phillips and Rix have over 30 books to their credit with over 3 1/2 million copies in print worldwide.  We are planning some very special events around this program, so stay tuned for more information in our next issue.

On Thursday, September 11, 2003, our new Rose and Shakespeare Gardens Co-chairs, Dorothy Fansler and Myriam Hu, have scheduled a meeting to start detailed planning for this Great Rosarians program.  We will meet in the Johnson Volunteer Room downstairs in the Botanical Center at 9:00 A.M. to start planning for this important event. 

There will be a number of opportunities for volunteering and assignments will be made at this meeting.  It is planned to hold monthly meetings on the Second Thursday of each month up to the event in January.  Everyone is welcome.

Rose & Shakespeare Garden Shirts

One of the decisions to come out of our first meeting, held August 7, is that we have decided to order distinctive shirts for our Docents and Volunteers to wear at our special events.  The group selected a 100% cotton pique, short sleeve, three-button sport shirt with collar and no pocket.  The consensus on color was royal purple for this shirt.  The shirts will have "Rose & Shakespeare Garden" printed on the left side over the heart.  On the left sleeve will be the Huntington "H" logo.  Both of these will be in a contrasting color.  The shirts are available in unisex sizes from XX small to XX large and will cost between $17.00 and $22.00 each.  I will be ordering two dozen shirts in assorted sizes so that we can try them on for size and begin having them available.  Once the first batch of shirts is spoken for, I will place another order for any additional shirts you want--just let me know by email, phone, or note what you would like to order.    These high quality shirts will mark the wearers as a Huntington Volunteer for our guests.

We are also contemplating ordering a kelly green canvas, three pocket, half apron.  These gardening aprons will have pocket room for your secateurs, gloves, and a wallet or water bottle while you are gardening at home or deadheading roses in the Rose Garden.  Like the shirts, we will be selling these aprons to our Volunteers at cost, estimated to be about $10.00 each.  We will also be selling these gardening aprons at the Great Rosarians program to help defray some of the event's costs.  The aprons will be printed with the Huntington "H" and "Rose and Shakespeare Garden" in a contrasting color.  Let me know if you are interested in purchasing this item as well.

Contact me by phone at  (626) 405-3507 or via e-mail at .


 I want to thank all the Rose and Perennial Gardens Volunteers and Docents who have shown up in this heat to mark their continuing commitment to our programs.  It takes true dedication to man (or woman) your post under these conditions!  All of The Huntington Staff recognize and appreciate your efforts in keeping this institution a viable entity into the 21st century.

Clair Martin


The other day while strolling through The Huntington Bookstore & More, I noticed a new rose publication I had not seen before.  Healthy Roses, Environmentally Friendly Ways to Manage Pest and Disorders in Your Garden and Landscape, is a long title for a short book!  Published by the University of California's Agriculture and Natural Resources Communication Services and written by Mary Louise Flint and John K. Karlik, this informative publication is only 32 pages long but packed with facts useful to the home gardener and to those of us who have to answer questions about the care and cultivation of roses for our visitors.

A "must read" for anyone who volunteers in our Rose Garden, this deceptively simple but informative, publication covers such topics as:

Weed management

Insect and mite pests

The common natural enemies of insect and mite pests

Diseases and other disorders

Illustrated with large format color photography of the problems, this is the "must read" rose publication of the summer.  Why not curl up in a shady spot with your favorite cold beverage and consume this informative publication in a short afternoon!  Conserve energy and learn something--that is The Huntington Way.

Healthy Roses is available in The Huntington Book Store & More.  You will find it in the rose section at the back of the store.  It sells for around $10.00 less your Volunteer discount.  Do not forget to wear your Huntington nametag to identify yourself as a Volunteer.



July 1, 2003 began the fiscal year here at The Huntington, making it the time for us to once again ask you to donate $5.00 to cover the cost of publication and mailing of Subrosa if you receive it via the United States Postal Service, otherwise known as snail-mail.

The arrival of new Docents with computer expertise and the equipment to support that expertise has allowed us to go to the new, improved format, with colored pictures, that we have enjoyed in the last three issues.  However, as that economics professor said so many years ago, "there ain't no free lunch."  We now find it necessary to purchase supplies of CD Rom's to archive each issue.   The file is now too large for diskettes. While we are ever on the alert for sales, it is still a drain on our resources.  So, if you are one of those great persons who receives Subrosa via e-mail and you would like to help support its staying on-line, your contribution will also be gratefully accepted.

Please make your check payable to:  The Huntington.

Either drop it off with Clair Martin in the Botanical Office or mail it to Clair's attention at:

The Huntington

1151 Oxford Avenue

San Marino, CA  91108

Thank you for your financial cooperation, as well as your much-needed and appreciated moral support.

Bea Whyld, Editor


'Madame Marie Curie' in bloom in The Rose Garden

Subrosa Staff

Editor-in-Chief:  Clair Martin

Editor:     Bea Whyld

Writers:    Martha Burkard

                   Katarina Eriksson

                   Dorothy Fansler

                   Clair Martin 

                   Bea Whyld

Guest Writers:  Andy Clark and Myriam Hu

Rome Reporter:  Helene Pizzi

Photographer:  Priscilla Wardlow