Thursday, May 02, 2002 – 2:48 p.m.
I went over to the Raleigh Rose Garden at lunch today. I had been there last week and a few of the bushes were in bloom but not any of the hybrid teas. Several of the climbers had started as well as some of the bush roses. I took a number of pictures with my digital camera but had no real idea what actual names of the roses are. So, I went back today (again with my digital camera) and there are some blooms on a number of the HTs and the climbers are in full bloom. I got about 5 pictures done and the batteries died!
This actually worked out for the best because I then decided to walk over to the bookstore and buy a pack of batteries. As I was walking by the base of the Raleigh Little Theater, a lady came out of a storage room in the base of the building and she loaded some gardening tools in a wagon. So I asked if she knew if there was a master map that told what all the varieties were. She said there is and she would give me a copy!! I said that I would stop back by after I got more batteries (and had a bite to eat… it was lunchtime after all..) She said she would leave it in the office.
It actually gets better! When I came back and got the list, it told me much of what I wanted to know. It also identified a rose bed on a bank up next to the building as “Antiques”. After taking some more shots of some of the HTs that were blooming, I went over to take a look at what was there. That’s when I had my big moment. I noticed one bush with dark pink blossoms. Closer inspection showed that it had lots of little prickles on the stems rather that big thorns. Had all the reading paid off? Was this…. Rosa gallica officialis, commonly known as the Apothecary Rose?? YES! A period rose!! Right here under my nose!! I was able to confirm with the gardener that I had, in fact, correctly identified it! She also said that she would give me a list of the roses in that bed (the map I have only says “Antiques”) Once I get the pictures downloaded from the camera, I will link to the picture. I also plan to use the picture in my rose class.
I guess I should elaborate: I am going to teach a class on period roses and how they differ from the roses we commonly see today at Atlantian University the beginning of June. I taught it last fall but one of the things I really wanted to do was get some pictures of my own rather than use the pictures out of books. To see one for myself…. It made my day. The only thing better would be to have a specimen with me when I teach the class…. but that will have to wait until I have some from my own garden.