Roses have been my passion for the past 35 years. Most of the people who come to my blog at first will know me through our mutual love of roses and the community we’ve built while sharing this love.
I’ve wanted a website for my books for quite a while, but never had the time to learn how to develop one. My daughter-in-law shared the idea of blogging and as a writer the idea was appealing. This platform will allow me to have the best of both, a website for my books and a blog to share mini-stories about roses, adventure, our family and community food endeavors, and special moments with friends.
My first roses were planted right after Max and I built our house in Stanwood, WA, about 1987. For a birthday present, my sister Sydney and niece Sue gave me a book on rose gardens and the Hybrid Tea, “Elina”. I soon bought another book that covered David Austin’s lovely new creations and decided to purchase “a few.”
Those Austins that I was able to find were planted around the house where you can still see most of them today. I was hooked on roses as soon as they began to bloom. I didn’t know anything about them, but they exploded in color and brought a beautiful aesthetic which framed the house nicely. All were modern roses.
After building our house I started Victoria Country Homes, a custom home construction business. This left very little time for anything else. I heard about a rose celebration, with exhibits,
speakers, and a great sale on roses at Heirloom Old Garden roses in Oregon. I was torn between work and learning more about old roses, but I put the concrete, stud walls, and anxiety ridden customers on hold and drove to Oregon.
The roses won because it was a good sale, but it was so much more. I looked at the exhibition gardens, attended all of the presentations, and came home with my truck overflowing with Rambler bounty along with Gallicas, Hybrid Perpetuals, and Bourbons. My head was racing with new knowledge and ideas. You can still find many of these purchases on the fences and in some of the specialized garden beds.
Heirloom hadn’t turned to selling mostly modern roses yet, as it does now. I turned to Vintage Gardens in California for many of the non-imported heritage roses in my collection and they
have always treated me well. I bought my modern roses for the formal garden from Edmunds in Oregon by mail order or my local favorite Christianson’s Nursery where they always say, “Don’t tell me you need more roses!”
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how fortunate I was to have my husband Max’s support. There was grumbling about my obsession, but he dug more holes than he wanted to. Max was also very talented in building rose infrastructure from my designs. He loved the other side – hosting parties, a small get together, or a casual lunch in the formal rose garden.