The Huntington Rose and Perennial Gardens Newsletter
Number 35                              March - April 2004
Subrosa is published by Docent, Volunteer, and Workshop members of the Art Gallery, Herb, Rose and Shakespeare Gardens



Great Rosarians Of The World IV with Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix

Tree Heather In The Shakespeare Garden:  Erica canaliculata

The Huntington "Deadheader" Award

Botanical Notes on Patagonia

New Roses Of The World

A Mystery In The Herb Garden

Meet A Docent:  Marty Burkard

Herb/Rose/Shakespeare Visitor Statistics -- 2003

Saturday Rose Workshop

A Special Thank You

Mark Your Calendar -- Make Plans To Attend

Herb Garden Update




by Clair Martin

For the past four years, The Huntington has set aside the fourth Sunday in January to honor the world's great Rosarians.  In 2000, we initiated this endowed program entitled Great Rosarians of the World Annual Lecture Series.  Our goal for this series is to both honor and provide a forum for the women and men from across the globe who have contributed to the love and appreciation of the rose and its history and place in the world's gardens.

Our previous honorees have included:  Peter Beales, 2001, for his work popularizing and making old garden roses available to a wider audience; Ralph Moore, 2002, as one of the founders of modern miniature roses; Miriam Wilkins, 2003, the founder of the Heritage Rose Group in the United States; and this year's honorees, Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix for their legacy of garden books and media popularizing gardening in general and roses specifically.

On a cool but sunny Sunday in January nearly 400 rose lovers from all over the United States and Canada gathered at The Huntington to honor our speakers for the fourth program in the Great Rosarians of the World Annual Lecture Series.  When this annual lecture series was conceived in 2000 I don't think anyone envisioned just how successful it would become in such a short time!  Thanks to a change in the National Football League's schedule we no longer have to compete with the Super Bowl!

This year we decided to expand the program by scheduling a banquet on Saturday evening and then on Sunday a rose sale, a lunch, and garden tours.  Thanks to a corps of dedicated and hard working Volunteers the two-day event was a huge success!   Huntington Staff is often heard saying, "We couldn't manage the kind of programming we do without our great Volunteers." Events like this simply reinforce the truth of this statement.

The "California Gold" dinner and entertainment was developed around a Gold Rush theme.  Over sixty diners enjoyed a country style banquet of Sonora Pass Beans, Angel's Camp Cornbread, El Dorado Nugget Bar-B-Que Chicken, Columbia Mother Lode Tri-Tip Steak, Hangtown Jack's Golden Apple Pie, and Murphy's "Spit-In-Your-Eye" Coffee.  The Cottonwood String Band, an Orange County quartet who specializes in Civil War era music, provided entertainment and everyone was astounded by the lilting sound of a musical saw.  In keeping with the theme the committee decorated the tables and bar in glorious 49'er style.  Dress was casual with many diners wearing cowboy boots and hats.


From left, California Gold table setting from the Saturday night dinner; Martyn Rix, Clair Martin, and Roger Phillips displaying their Great Rosarians awards

Sunday's events started off with a sale of rare and unusual Huntington propagated own-root roses on the new plaza just in front of the Entrance Pavilion.  The plant sale was a resounding success with many roses selling out!  The lunch was held in the Ahmanson Classroom where over 80 participants enjoyed a Greek Feast provided by Continental Burger, a local Pasadena bistro.

This year we were lucky to have a large contingent of American Rose Society members who were attending a conference the same weekend in Pasadena participate in the event.  Their new President, Marilyn Wellan, Vice-President, Steve Jones and nearly 40 additional members of the ARS joined us at the lunch, garden tours, and program. 

Honorees Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix enthralled the nearly overflow audience of rose lovers with their masterful PowerPoint presentation of their life's work with roses and books.  Both Roger and Martyn were very brave to share photos of their early days in university.  They both commented that it had been difficult to find photos where they were represented with hair!

Their program covered their early years and the nearly thirty gardening and horticultural books they have written individually and as a team.  Their electronic program also included snippets of video of the pair discovering roses by the wayside in France and a trek up a mountain in China where they found one of the parents of modern repeat-blooming roses, Rosa chinensis spontanea, which has only recently been rediscovered in the wild.  For many in the audience a highlight of their presentation was a video of Roger interviewing the late Old Rose expert and author Graham Stuart Thomas in the midst of one of his gardening masterpieces, Mottisfont Abbey's Walled Rose Garden in full summer bloom. 

Roger and Martyn are truly deserving of the title Great Rosarians of the World.  And at the end of their presentation we presented them with the newly commissioned Great Rosarians trophy, designed by our friend and fellow rosarian Helene Pizzi.  Their program was followed by a reception on the Garden Terrace with fabulous cakes and coffee.

Great Rosarians awards designed by Helene Pizzi

Our fourth Great Rosarians of the World Lecture was a resounding success with a complex schedule coming off like clockwork!  This was the best-organized event of this ongoing series thanks to more than forty volunteers who pitched in and made it work seamlessly.  

The Great Rosarians program is the only endowed lecture series held at The Huntington Botanical Gardens.  This event continues to draw participants from all over California and now even points east.  Everyone who helped produce this event can be very proud of the success and their contributions.  

Roger & Martyn have graciously provided us with a DVD copy of their PowerPoint program and we plan to edit it with live video of their presentation and provide it for sale on DVD at some date in the future.

Plans are already well under way for our next Great Rosarians lecture in January 2005.

Clair Martin, E.L. and Ruth B. Shannon, Jr., Curator of the Rose and Perennial Gardens


Erica canaliculata

by Myriam Hu

Heath or heather, they are all in the same botanical family, the Ericaceae.  The large heather in the Shakespeare Garden is an Erica.  Ericas have dense, needle-like leaves that rarely need trimming, just shaping.  Heathers are variable in form, structure of their flowers, and conditions under which they grow.  The genus Erica is a highly complex one with hundreds of varieties.  They are found from the southern-most tip of Africa to the northern-most tip of Norway.  The hardiest heathers are native to northern and western Europe and are widely used as shrubs or ground cover in the cool summer humid regions of California and the Pacific Northwest.  South African species are tender to frost, which makes this group suitable for Southern California.

The large shrub heather in the Shakespeare Garden likes its microclimate here because it can grow in conditions similar to those found on the southern tip of Cape Province, South Africa.

Erica canaliculata is an evergreen shrub.  Canaliculata is botanical Latin for channeled; here referring to minute longitudinal grooves on the old stems.  Its common name is Christmas heather.  The blooming season for E. canaliculata is fall through spring, however, it blooms most profusely in Southern California December through January, thus its common name.  It makes a wonderful blooming winter landscape shrub or a small tree, with its cloud of mauve pink blossoms, attracting instant attention as one strolls around the Shakespeare Garden.

The flowers of some species of Erica are large and tubular, while those of others are small and cup or urn-shape; they may be hairy or smooth, sticky or dry, inflated or narrow; they may be any color except blue, ranging from white to deep red or yellow.  The plant can grow almost as tall as 6' or more with a 4' spread, or it may scramble up on wet rock ledges like clumps of soft mosses.

According to our Head Gardener, Katarina Eriksson, this evergreen heather does not need to be pruned.  In late spring, just beat or shake the dead flowers off and trim away the dead wood.  Then shape the plant as necessary since it leans and twists as it grows.  Sometimes, if it gets too much water when it is young, and just becoming established, it will take on a leggy look.  It will then need trimming in order to develop the desired shape.  It cannot tolerate hard pruning down to just the wood.  Pruning this severe will kill the plant.

Planted next to the Christmas heather is a white-blossoming heather native to Europe.  It has crowded, tiny needle-like leaves, and abundant spikes of bell-shaped, white flowers.  This hardy shrub is only about 2' tall.  It is also in full bloom in the winter here in the Shakespeare Garden.  The blossoms on this heather are rather attractive as cut flowers and can last up to two weeks in a vase.

Although the climate in many parts of Southern California is quite similar to that found in parts of Cape Province, E. canaliculata is rarely seen in public or private gardens.  Nor can this exceptional shrub be found in any but the more specialized nurseries.  In spite of this, I think that E. canaliculata is a marvelous, unusual, winter-blooming, landscape plant; and I look forward to the day when it is more widely known and enjoyed.

The Huntington Shakespeare Garden was originally created in 1959 as a collection of plants that were mentioned in Shakespeare's writings.  There are several species of Erica planted in the Garden since heath/heathers were mentioned in his plays.  One such reference is from The Tempest:

Gonzalo:  "Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, anything.  The wills above be done!  But I would fain die a dry death."

Should you want to learn more about this outstanding plant, I suggest you use the following resources:

Ericas of South Africa, Dolf Schumann and Gerhard Kirsten in collaboration with E.G.H. Oliver.

Erica in South Africa, H. Baker

Sunset Western Garden Book, Edited by Kathleen Norris Brenzel.

Myriam Hu, Co-Chair of the Rose and Shakespeare Docent organization


This year Dorothy Fansler and Nancy Ferguson were presented with the prestigious Huntington "Deadheader" Award at the California Gold Banquet as part of the Great Rosarians of the World on Saturday, January 24.  This award recognizes "Outstanding Volunteer Service in The Huntington Rose Garden" and acknowledges Dorothy and Nancy's years of dedication to the Rose and Perennial Gardens and their participation in our Docent organization.

The Deadheaders Award was initiated in 1993 and Dorothy and Nancy are two of only fifteen Rose and Perennial Garden Docents to be so recognized.


From left, Dorothy Fansler and Nancy Ferguson with their Deadheader Award plaques

Please take a moment the next time you see them and congratulate them for their recognition and their years of service to our organization.

Clair Martin


by Andy Clark

Unwelcoming gray skies and light rain greeted my wife, Joan, and I when we arrived in northern Patagonia, Argentina, one afternoon last November. Weather in the Andean region is quite changeable, however, and the sun broke through during the brief trip by van through the Patagonian steppe from the airport to our destination, San Carlos de Bariloche. Known to everyone as Bariloche, the town climbs the hills at the southeastern end of the windswept, deep blue waters of Lago Nahuel Huapi. Some sixty miles long, this is the largest and most easterly of the chain of lakes that stretches westward over the Andes and into Chile. Encircled by a national park, Bariloche is known as "La Cumbre de los Andes" (the heart of the Andes), and the region is famous for its skiing, fishing, hiking, and natural beauty.

It was springtime in Bariloche, and I had wondered if some of the first roses might be out. But it was still too early for them. They had been pruned back hard and were just beginning to leaf out. Nevertheless, many other plants, bushes, and trees were in bloom, and in the very clear air and bright sunlight of Patagonia their colors were intense.

A particularly striking yellow-flowered shrub was in full bloom not only in Bariloche, but also in the countryside, where many of these very large bushes grow together. Although a fellow traveler identified the plants as Scotch broom, (Cytisus scoparius), a local guide said they were called retama. These bushes could not be bridal broom, (Retama monosperma), however, which has white flowers. The possibility remains that the plants are Portuguese broom, (Cytisus striatus), which, being yellow-flowering, are often confused with Scotch broom. In any event, the plants I saw all appeared to have similar flowers.  See the picture below for this beautiful plant.

Nothing fascinated me more than the trees. An afternoon's bone-shaking excursion in a four-wheel drive vehicle to the upper slopes of a local mountain, Cerro Lopez, introduced me to the region's forests, which are largely evergreen and characterized by cypresses and nothofagus (southern beech) trees: alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides), ciprés de la Cordillera (Austrocedrus chilensis), ciprés de las Guaytecas (Pilgerodendrum uviferum), coihue (Nothofagus dombeyi), lenga (Nothofagus pumilio), and ire (Nothofagus antarctica). The cypresses grow at the lower altitudes, and the nothofagus trees flourish higher up. Alerces, comparable to the North American sequoia, grow to a great size and are among the world's longest-lived trees (a Chilean alerce has been dated as 3,622 years old).

On another day, a trip by bus and boat took us to the higher elevations of the lakes and temperate rainforest west of Lago Nahuel Huapi, within a few miles of the Chilean border, where the nothofagus trees are dominant and the benign lichen Usnea barbata ("old man's beard") often hangs from their leafy branches. On Cerro Lopez the lichen blew gracefully in the breeze, while in the rainforest it hung motionless from the trees, like wet hair.

I finally saw roses on the way to the rainforest. No flowers, unfortunately, but the bushes themselves were impressive: very large, dense, and growing in wild profusion by the sides of the roads. The roses are known locally as "Rosa mosqueta", and, a wide variety of cosmetics, oils, jams, jellies, and tea are made from the hips; popular products available in the shops and supermarkets of Bariloche and on the web. Taking the name literally, I thought that "R. mosqueta" had to be the musk rose (Rosa moschata). This may not be so, however, for the botanical name associated with them in Patagonia is Rosa eglanteria (= R. rubiginosa), the sweet briar or eglantine rose, which is a single, pink rose related to the Rosa canina or dog briar (see below for more information), and presumably introduced into Patagonia by the Spanish.

But the identification of "Rosa mosqueta" with R. eglanteria was far from certain, as pointed out in a report on wild roses in Chile published by Purdue University in which the researchers state that "Rosa mosqueta" is the common name for at least three wild species: R. moschata (musk rose), R. eglanteria, and R. canina (see J.P. Joublan,, "Wild Rose Germplasm in Chile," on the web at

Editor's note:  The genus Rosa is not native to any part of South America.  In fact roses have never crossed the equatorial barrier without our help.  All roses found growing in gardens or in the 'wild' south of the Equator were first transported by man and planted in gardens from which they escaped into the wild.  Rose evolution has taken place only in the Northern Hemisphere because the seeds of roses require a long period of cold before they can germinate.

A second bus tour of the region afforded us the opportunity to see one of the most unusual trees in the Patagonian Andes, the arrayan (Luma apiculata or Myrceugenella apiculata), belonging to the myrtle family. It occurs as a tree growing to about 12-15 meters and as a large shrub throughout southern Chile and southwestern Argentina. In California and in similar Mediterranean climates it is cultivated as an ornamental.

Perhaps the most extensive grove is a pure stand of arrayanes in the Parque Nacional Los Arrayanes, located on the Quetrihué Peninsula in Lago Naguel Huapi and accessible only by boat. Visitors are first led by a ranger on a walk through the grove on a wooden boardwalk--slippery and broken in many places--and then allowed to traverse the walk on their own. We were there on an overcast, intermittently rainy day, which turned out to be a plus, for the damp streaks on the bark of the arrayan enhanced the hue of its lovely cinnamon-colored bark, the tree's most distinctive feature. The bark exfoliates, and where the old bark drops off, light-colored new bark is visible. An oddity of the arrayan is that its bark always feels cold to the touch (even when dry). An evergreen tree that has many medicinal uses, the arrayan has aromatic dark green leaves, four-petalled white flowers in the late spring and summer, and black berries in the late summer and autumn. Its hard, durable wood is used for tool handles and for other domestic and agricultural implements. The trunk of the arrayan may be single or multiple, and it is often twisted into unusual, anthropomorphic shapes. The effect of the soft light and shadows of the quiet forest that rainy afternoon was magical--the arrayanes seemed like animated, living beings. On the way back to Bariloche a brief rain shower was followed by a magnificent rainbow: the perfect finish to a special day.

The most exceptional tree native to this region is the pehuén or araucaria (Araucaria araucana). One of the world's rarest trees, the araucaria is a prehistoric species with a lifespan that can exceed 1,000 years. I saw my first araucarias growing as ornamentals in Bariloche's civic center and in the town's gardens. I had never seen a tree like this! The pehuén is an evergreen conifer with spiky, triangular leaves that are closely packed in a spiral and attached directly to the branches; its bark exhibits a distinctive honeycomb pattern. In English the araucaria is known as the monkey puzzle tree (see picture below). The name refers to the imagined dilemma a monkey would face in climbing the araucaria's spiky branches, a story undoubtedly concocted by a European who did not realize that monkeys do not inhabit the regions where the araucaria is indigenous.

There are male and female araucarias. The males produce flowers that mature in December, and in January the pollen fertilizes the female trees, which develop large globular cones containing 100-200 large, edible seeds that take 16-18 months to ripen. These seeds were the principal food of the Pehuénche, an indigenous Andean people who take their name from the tree, and who still regard the araucaria as sacred and harvest its seeds.

The araucarias I saw in and around Bariloche were all immature examples, with the characteristic overall pyramidal shape of a pine tree. It is only when they are about 100 years old that the araucaria drops its lower branches and assumes a distinctive umbrella shape. I did not have the opportunity to see any mature specimens, which grow to 40-50 meters. They occur in the wild as pure stands or in nothofagus forests. The araucaria dates back to the Jurassic period, and 190 million years ago it was the dominant tree from Brazil to Antarctica. Today its range is limited to the coast of central and southern Chile and to the adjacent Andean region in Chile and Argentina. In former times, the excellent quality wood of the araucaria was used for veneers, flooring, and barrels. Its tall, straight trunks were ideal as ship's masts. Now the pehuén is a threatened species. It has been declared a national monument in Chile, where it is sometimes known as the Chilean pine (pino chileno) or araucaria chilena.

If we had been aware of the marvels of the Patagonian Andes, then we might have arranged to leave Bariloche by boat, taking two days to traverse the picturesque lakes through the mountains to Puerto Montt, Chile, and then departing by plane from Santiago. As it was, however, our trip ended unremarkably: a taxi to Bariloche's airport, followed by more than 20 interminable hours on planes and in airports until we were home in Los Angeles again.

Travel Tip:

If you travel to Bariloche as we did, breaking our journey in Santiago de Chile to see the sights, you should know that U.S. citizens who arrive by plane and enter Chile are charged a fee of $100.00, payable in U.S. dollars or traveler's checks only (this does not apply if you are merely changing planes or if you arrive by means other than by air). The bright side is that this fee entitles you to enter Chile without further charge for the life of your passport.

Sources consulted:

E.H. Sanz, G. Valente,, Arboles y arbustos nativos de la Patagonia andina, Bariloche 2001

A. Lewington and E. Parker, Ancient Trees: Trees that Live for a Thousand Years, London 1999

Andy Clark, Rose Workshop Volunteer


(Some for Lazy People)

by Helene Pizzi 

This is the most exciting season of the year.  We have tended to the roses in the past few months, pruning, removing dead wood, tying the climbers up and snipping them into shape.  We have watched the new buds form, swell and burst forth with new tender green leaves and rich Bordeaux ones where China 'blood' is in their background.  All begins to move in a crescendo of nature that we know will not let us down.

Some bloom first, then one by one others open until we are surrounded by an explosion of beauty, color, fragrance, all radiating pure pleasure.  They certainly are a good lesson for man; these roses come from all over the world and yet thrive side by side in harmony.  They have been dragged around, mixed, crossed, imported, exported and worked on by hybridizers from Canada to India to Australia to Japan.  They grow together, regardless of their backgrounds, borders and crosses mix them without clashes. 

The new roses that are introduced every year have undergone a ruthless selection and have been bred for disease resistance, fragrance and exquisite form.  Keith Zary's roses compete with those of Italy's Barni and France's Orard and Germany's Kordes and England's Harkness and Denmark's Poulsen and Belgium's Lens and so on in our European Rose Trials each year.

We are watching new forms closely here in Europe, and are more than ever captivated by the Ground Covers (occasionally still classified as a Shrub and competing with giants ten times their height).  These low horizontal growing roses are seen more and more as the breeders realize that they belong to a category of roses for the future and we see new Ground Covers from all of the European breeders at the International Rose Trials.  Of the most interesting perhaps are those from Kordes, and Tantau from Germany, Chris Warner from England, and Barni from Italy.  They, and almost all of the European rose breeders, have been concentrating on very low growing ground hugging roses (at the same time, never neglecting other categories on these breeders 'best selling lists') that in many cases grow so compactly they will work well to suppress weeds.  The new Ground Covers are extremely disease resistant and have harmoniously sized small leaves and blooms. The roses in this category grow well in retaining walls, planters, containers, and many are excellent when grown in hanging baskets, making them very useful in small gardens, terraces and balconies.


From left, Kordes 'Weise Immensee' and Kordes 'Red Ribbons'

Climbing roses are beginning to be more and more popular once again.  Austin, Harkness and Chris Warner (with his Miniature Climbers) from England, are often seen competing with wonderful Climbers from Delbard of France, Kordes from Germany, and others.  Again, these roses can be very useful when gardens are small as they can give a vertical dimension of color and scent without taking any more ground space, and can be grown up into trees and allowed to produce cascades of bloom.

Floribundas and Shrubs will be more and more popularyou can place your bets on those two as solidly on those 'best seller lists', mentioned above.  They make excellent landscape plants, provide months of bloom and color and are being bred for easy-care-break-the-gardening-rules landscape plants.  More and more disease resistant, these roses often will never seem to care that you have forgotten to prune them or have hacked them off roughly with pruning shears.  All hybridizers are working with these two categories in their breeding programs.  We are seeing more and more easy care landscaping roses, roses that are just right for many of us with packed schedules or also they are great for lazy gardeners.

Let me end this with an idea that our dear rosarian friend Roger Phillips shared with me.  Roger, like most of us, has a whirlwind busy life and there is never enough time for Roger.  In the grounds of his country cottage in southern England he planted many of his favorite roses in a way that he can simply leave them to fend for themselves.  Occasionally he mows paths through the grass and lets the weeds and grass grow with the roses as they wish.  "That is how they grow in the wild and they have proved to be tough survivors," Roger told me with a mischievous smile.  All the gardening stress is gone for Roger, and now and then, when he feels like it, and when he is in the country, he gives the grass a quick mow.  That is it!  "If a rose survives and thrives like this, great, if they die, well, I'll replace it with a different rose."  The roses give him a fabulous show in their free state.  I keep looking at my high maintenance little garden and am considering following Roger's formula!

Whatever though, aren't we lucky to be surrounded by beautiful roses, and to continually be amazed at the exquisite beauty and fragrance of the new roses that we see each year?

Helene Pizzi, Subrosa Rome Reporter


by Bonnie Monfort

There is a sculptural art form in the center of the Herb Garden that is described as a wellhead.  It is so classified as a "sculpture" by the Art Division of The Huntington where its formal description is listed as 'wrought Iron wellhead with grapevine design'. 

The wellhead is dated to the 18th century and was accessioned as purchased on October 11, 1922, although this date is in dispute.  No bill was ever found, though it is common knowledge that Henry and Arabella often made purchases in large lots.  We do know that the wellhead came through P.W. French & Co.  There is also a possibility that the wellhead is German in origin.  The picture at left was taken of the wellhead in the Herb Garden prior to 1975. 

The Herb Garden complex is now enhanced by the installation of four tall black arches on each side of the garden, framing and highlighting the wellhead and the beds surrounding it.  These arches will be covered with purple leaf grape vines (Vitis vinifera 'Purpurea') further enhancing the entire area and repeating the grape motif of the wellhead.


From left, the wellhead as it looks today and the new arches that were installed in February 2004

My suggestion:  Enjoy the beauty of the wellhead and the plantings that enhance that bed during the various seasons.  Especially, be sure to take in the beauty of the area when the various basils are in full glory.  Just remember, as with so many other beautiful objects in our lives, we are not sure of the details of its history.

Bonnie Monfort, Herb Garden Docent and Plant Sale Propagator


Editor's Note:  Since we are a divergent group of Docent/Volunteers and very often do not encounter each other in the Gardens, the decision has been made to share bios of Docents, Staff, and Volunteers from time-to-time in Subrosa.  We hope this will aid all of us in recognizing and getting to know our co-workers in the Rose and Perennial Gardens.

by Dorothy Fansler and Priscilla Wardlow

For our first interview in this series, we chose a docent who has contributed much to The Huntington Rose Garden, Marty Burkard.  She has served as Docent, Co-Chair of the Docent organization, Mentor for Docents-In-Training, Deadheader, Pruner, a member of the team that established Subrosa and continues as a Contributor.   In addition to all those activities, Marty also shares her decorating and banqueting presentation skills with special visitors to our Institution.

Marty, a lifelong resident of the Pasadena area, became a Rose Docent in 1995, but she has virtually spent her life with plants.  Her parents, Hans and Rosa Burkard, emigrated from Switzerland in 1927 and her father began work at a nursery in Altadena.  In 1938, he and his partner opened Burkard and Cole Delphinium Nursery at the corner of Orange Grove and Lincoln in Pasadena, where the nursery continues in the family today.  Mr. Cole left the business within two years of its beginning, but his name remained on the business until Marty's brother joined the nursery and it was renamed Burkard Nurseries.  Marty shared with us her wonderful memories of working in the nursery as a child.  Among her many duties, she was a pot washer and after washing enough pots, she would be given the privilege of walking to the Village Market and having an ice cream cone (for 10 cents!)  The photo below shows Marty at age five holding a rose.

Talking about her childhood revealed the differences between the nurseries then and those of today.  Marty said that her father's nursery began growing only delphiniums, later adding pansies, and even later adding gerberas and other plants.  Flowers were grown in long beds and customers would pick the plants they wanted from the beds.  They were then dug up, wrapped in burlap, and delivered to the customer's car.  Eventually, prepackaging of the plants made the logistics of the sale much easier.

Marty is so involved at The Huntington that it is sometimes easy to forget that she has had an extensive education and distinguished career in the field of dental assisting education.  Marty was educated in the Pasadena Unified School District, first at Lincoln Avenue Elementary School, then Washington Junior High, and John Muir High School/Community Junior College.  While in Junior College, she took courses in dental assisting and upon graduation, she became a dental assistant.  She worked in general practice for 8 1/2 years, at which time, she was encouraged to become a teacher at Pasadena City College (PCC).  To accomplish this, she went to UCLA summer teacher training three consecutive years to obtain a Class A credential in dental assistant teaching.

While at PCC, she wrote a textbook, The Dental Assistant, gave seminars, and became active in several dental and educator associations, holding leadership positions, including President of the California Association of Dental Assisting Teachers.  During this distinguished career, Marty received several awards, including being named Woman of the Year in 1973 by the California Industrial Education Association.  In 1988, she received the prestigious Ralph Story Service Award, given by the Faculty Senate, Pasadena City College, for significant contributions to the College, to the community, and to the field of education.  Marty retired in 1993 after 32 years of service at PCC.

We have Celeste (Lindgren) Smith to thank for introducing Marty to The Huntington.  After her retirement from PCC, Marty spent a year traveling and deciding what she wanted to do with her newfound free time.  Celeste told her about the Garden Docent program at The Huntington.  Marty was interested, but wished to focus on one garden only.  When the Rose Docent program was initiated, Marty was a member of the first class, where she met Bea Whyld.  Marty and Bea co-chaired the docent program for four years, after which, Marty continued to play an active leadership role in the Rose Garden.  She is currently head of the Propagation Program and sits on the Board of Garden Volunteers.  In recognition of her contributions to the Rose Garden, Marty received The Deadhead Award in 1999 for outstanding Volunteer service in The Huntington Rose Garden.

Marty continues to divide her time between The Huntington and world travel.  She has been to many interesting places, including Antarctica and Egypt and she has plans to go to Machu Picchu in Peru this fall. 

Marty's family is a big part of her life.  She has an older brother (who, truth be told, was hoping for a puppy, rather than a little sister), two nieces, two nephews and ten grandnieces and grandnephews.  They are often recipients of Marty's wonderful sense of humor, which she feels is a continuing theme of her life.  From the time of teaching classrooms full of stressed-out students, to juggling her many interests today, humor has been a mainstay and Marty's quick wit and wonderful practical jokes are a delight to all who know her.

Much to our good fortune, Marty continues to make The Huntington a focus of her life and we look forward to sharing many good times and events with her in the future.

Dorothy Fansler is Co-Chair of the Rose/Shakespeare Gardens Docent organization.

Priscilla Wardlow is a Rose/Shakespeare Docent and Subrosa Photographic Editor.


TOTAL 2003


The above statistics reveal the tremendous effort made by Docents in the Rose and Perennial Gardens to enhance the enjoyment of our visitors.  I want to thank each of you who were involved in this activity during the year 2003 and look forward to a very interesting 2004.



My thanks to all the Volunteers who participated in this year's Great Rosarians of the World Annual Lecture.  It was an unqualified success!

(Left to right) Carol Brown, Andy Clark, and Tauna McCabe

We plan to continue making the Rose Sale a major focus of the event and to accomplish this goal I hope that the Saturday Workshop Volunteers will participate in a project to begin propagating roses from The Huntington Collection beginning in April and May.  At our next meeting on March 20 we can start organizing and decide which roses we will be offering at the next sale.  Having a printed inventory was a great help this year and with some advance planning we can print out labels with prices and information to help us make the sale more informative and fun for all.  We could also generate a catalog of the sale with color pictures if we start organizing early enough.

Over the years our Saturday volunteers have taken on various projects but propagation has always been very popular.  If we focus on producing 300 to 400 one-gallon size roses for the sale we can make a significant contribution to the costs of producing the event and provide participants with some of the more unusual roses in our collection.

Let's meet in my office in the Botanical Center on Saturday, March 20 at 9:30 AM to start organizing for this project.



The merchandising talents of several Docents came to the forefront prior to and during the Great Rosarians of the World program.  The "Great Rosarians" shirts we had for sale were displayed on a mannequin, complete with hat and wig, loaned by Betts and Michael Hall.  Dorothy Fansler provided the skirt and shoes.  Our mannequin was the best-dressed member of the Botanical Offices for several weeks.

Many thanks to the three of you for sharing your resources, your enthusiasms, and your talents.

Bea Whyld, Rose/Shakespeare Gardens Docent and Subrosa Editor






There will be a walk-through with Clair Martin covering the Garden area that surrounds the Loggia and the Huntington Art Gallery.  This exercise will be in preparation for stationing Docents in this area on First Thursday, March 4, and each First Thursday thereafter.  Anyone interested in participating in this new activity should meet in Clair's office in the Botanical Center at 9:30 A.M


The Shakespeare Study Group will meet at 9:30 A.M. in the Johnson Volunteer Room -- Botanical Center to hear a discussion by Paul Zall on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.  This is the first of a four-part series that will be concerned with the study of this work.

Please call Dorothy Fansler 562.696.7509 or Myriam Hu 818.790.0374 if you plan to attend.  All Docents and Volunteers are welcome.


A Rose Review meeting will be held in the Ahmanson Classroom -- Botanical Center at

9:30 A.M.  There will be a number of important topics on the agenda, including the following:

-- The introduction of the new table setup in the Rose Garden showing the various rose flower forms.  This display will be an attraction to the visitors to the Rose Garden and will give Docents more information to answer questions.  All Docents should be present to learn to use this new tool.

-- There will be no Spring Rose Festival this year.  Docents will be asked to sign up for special touring hours on Saturday and Sunday during the First Full Bloom period.  The Rose Festival will be held on October 23 and 24, 2004.

-- The idea of touring in the Shakespeare Garden during the pruning period in the Rose Garden has been advanced by several Docents.  This idea will be investigated and discussed.  Plans will be put in place for the 2005 January -- March period.

-- Other topics of interest -- Bring your ideas.

The meeting will be followed by a lunch served in the Richards Courtyard and will consist of salads, bread, drinks, and fruit.  Cost will be $8.00 per person, payable in advance.  Payment by check should be made payable to The Huntington and mailed or dropped off on Clair's desk by April 19, 2004.

TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2004

At 12:00 Noon, a brown bag "lunch and learn" Shakespeare Garden seasons review will be held in The Ahmanson Classroom, Botanical Center.  Docents and Volunteers for all disciplines at The Huntington are encouraged to attend.  A flyer is being developed and will be distributed to advertise this event. One of the highlights of this meeting will be the showing of Priscilla Wardlow's collection of fine pictures taken over the course of the year in the Shakespeare Garden.  These will undoubtedly elicit many comments and questions.  We urge all--Garden, Galleries, and Library Docents/Volunteers--to attend.


Eileen Felbinger, Herb Garden Docent Chair, reports as follows:

"I have gotten a part-time job at Burkard's Nurseries in Pasadena and will be working all day on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.  I may possibly be adding Sundays as well later on.  To add to my already full schedule, I'm taking a class in Computerized Landscape Design at Pierce College on Tuesday nights through the beginning of June.  I am going to try to continue as Chariman of the Herb Garden, but will be unable to attend the Review Meetings and you'll probably notice that I have not scheduled myself in the Herb Garden for March.  I hope you will all bear with me as I try to adjust to becoming a working woman and a student again."


Subrosa Staff


Clair Martin


Bea Whyld

Photographic Editor:

Priscilla Wardlow

Rome Reporter:

Helene Pizzi


Andy Clark


Dorothy Fansler


Myriam Hu


Bonnie Monfort