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Article: Rose Rustling: Rounding Up Old Roses: You are so right

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Forum: Article: Rose Rustling: Rounding Up Old RosesReplies: 4, Views: 31
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Clarksville, TN
(Zone 7a)

June 17, 2013
2:20 AM

Post #9561820

People do seem to disparage many of the old roses. But they have a charm all their own. Your Elderberry Wine is lovely. I rustled this one from an old, abandoned property here. We later determined it is Alba Semi-plena, the White Rose of York. It has taken hold in my yard now and is growing and blooming nicely this year.

Well, it doesn't look like the photo will load. Not sure why.
Greensboro, AL

June 17, 2013
5:32 AM

Post #9561931

It really is not smart to dig up old roses where ever they may grow when a few cuttings are all you need to replicate that plant. And the same is true of the old camellias here in south growing in the yards of country estate. Yet every year we have droves of plant rustlers who seem to think they have a right to enter private properties with their shovels and buckets -- only to destroy historic plants that no longer have a name. Below me is a bed and breakfast, whose 'guests' make a regular practice of raiding the yards of the historic properties in my neighborhood. Do they think no one is watching?

In this historic town, the heritage plants have nearly been destroyed by visitors who seem to think this is a legitimate pastime. So thanks for reminding plant people, they don't need to destroy plants on historic properties. Just ask, usually the owner would be glad to share a cutting or two--and give you a little history lesson to go along with it.


Clarksville, TN
(Zone 7a)

June 17, 2013
5:49 AM

Post #9561944

That's a shame. I couldn't imagine even trying to dig up the White Rose of York and others I've found or seen here. It would be nearly impossible and take at least a small bulldozer. I only take a couple of cuttings from the abandoned roses I find. And always ask if there is anyone to ask lest anyone think by "rose rustling" I mean it is okay to do what you described. It's not.
Greensboro, AL

June 17, 2013
9:33 AM

Post #9562234

I can see that in some cases it may be a fine line. As an archeologist, I have participated in surveys throughout Tennessee, northern Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and S. Carolina. And it is very often that we find old roses --and other plants as well--at abandoned house sites. In some cases, those sites will be bull dozed to make way for major construction such as highways, reservoirs, nuclear plants, etc. What I do is mark the sites that have historic plants, map, photograph and record. Normally the plants --such as bulbs--are lost. But roses are so gregarious all you need is a cutting and a zip lock bag. On a few occasions relatives have even come to us to ask what was at their parent's or grandparents house. And in a few cases I have been able to give back cuttings to the families who lost their ancestral home sites to modern construction.
Hadley, PA
(Zone 5a)

June 18, 2013
8:35 AM

Post #9563381

Thanks, everybody for your comments. The Elderberry Wine rose is actually darker than it appears in the photo, but my camera doesn't like dark flowers, and always tries to brighten them up a bit!

I have alba semi-plena too, and agree that it's a lovely rose. I also had the apothecary rose (which some call the Red Rose of Lancaster, though mine was far from red!) and rosa mundi at one time, but they have since gotten shaded out. The white roses such as semi-plena and Rambling Rector seem to tolerate the shade better than most. Those were all roses I purchased rather than grew from cuttings, however, so they had a headstart on the rabbits!

I agree that you shouldn't try to dig old plants unless you have permission to do so. The possible exception might be suckers that are going to get mowed off anyway, which frequently happens in cemeteries.

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