Number 47   March - April 2006


By Clair Martin

Each new rose season presents its own unique challenges and this year is no exception! Our cool and wet March now extending into April has delayed the peak bloom in our Rose Garden to the point where it now looks like the roses may not be at peak until after the first of May this year. In a ‘normal’ rose year we would be in full bloom by April 15th but this year who knows?

We have commenced planning for the 100th anniversary of The Huntington Rose Garden in 2008. It may seem a long way off but in event planning it is just around the corner. We are putting together a monthly series of workshops, garden tours, and programs celebrating this landmark in the life of the Rose Garden focusing on the history and culture of roses in Southern California. We will be introducing this exciting new series of programs in the near future.

Look for an announcement later this summer of a new English Rose to be named by David Austin in honor of The Huntington Rose Garden Centennial. We recently planted eight of this new cultivar at the entrance to the Rose Garden. With a classic old rose form and fragrance this new bright pink English Rose will be offered for sale in the Austin catalog and at our Spring Plant Sale beginning with the 2007 rose season. We are planning a naming ceremony now tentatively scheduled for early September where the new cultivar’s name will be formally announced and introduced to the gardening public. This new planting replaces the pair of ‘Dappled Dawn’ that flanked the Rose Garden entrance from the Shakespeare Garden. Currently unlabeled these new roses should start blooming within a month or so.

Our weekend volunteer program, the Huntington Rose Workshop, has recently reconstituted itself and beginning in June will meet on the third Saturday of the month. Workshop participants have agreed to take on the propagation of roses for a plant sale in conjunction with the Great Rosarians of the World lecture series. Workshop participants will work in the production nursery propagating and caring for plants designated for the sale. They will also organize and staff the yearly sale to help support the lecture series. We welcome new participants all you need is to bring your own hand pruners and gloves and show up at 9:30 in the Botanical Offices on the third Saturday of the month prepared to work and learn. No previous experience is required.

Our Tuesday Volunteer group, the Huntington Deadheaders, have been meeting regularly every week now for over 30 years and continue to aid the garden staff with deadheading and doing other light work in the Rose and Shakespeare Gardens as needed. Volunteering with this group is a great way to learn about growing and caring for your own roses and you get to work in a fantastic setting with fun and lively people who share your interests. If you have ever thought about working as a garden Volunteer this is a great opportunity to join a vibrant group helping to maintain one of the great rose gardens. Again, no experience is required; we will train you in our care methods on site. All we ask is that you bring your own pruners and gloves and wear garden appropriate clothes and shoes. The Deadheaders meet anytime between 9:00 and 10:00 in the Rose Garden and often work until lunch at around 11:30 a.m..

If you are interested in joining either group please call Curator Clair Martin at 626.405.3507 or via email to: to discuss your participation in one of our programs.

Marie-Luise Marjan

We will soon be planting out a new collection of roses from the Kordes and Austin nurseries along with more roses from India. Our garden continues to reflect the broader world of roses today and past.

I look forward to sharing a great rose year with all our visitors and Volunteers!


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

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