Written by Harald Enders for Anne’s Celebration of Life. Published with permission.
Teddie’s note: The last six months of Anne’s life she was focused on trying to put together a book about American Bred Roses. She was very concerned that she might not complete it as if this would render her entire life an incomplete one; as unfinished and therefore not aligned with her self identity of being tenacious and goal oriented. She hated loose ends. We appreciate Harald Enders’ words that helped us understand the larger story that pushed her to continue to work on the book at a time when her body was making it difficult to persevere.
I first met Anne on her – I think – second trip to Europe and its rose gardens in 2011. Previously we had exchanged literally hundreds of emails, most of them concerning roses, but as we got to know each other better, they grew into a real friendship.
The year before, in 2010, we had started what we called our “Rose Project”, the export of about 140 super-rare ramblers and climbers (mostly of U.S. origin) from Germany to her garden. Anyone who has tried this knows the enormous difficulties this involves. With the help of quite a lot of committed people, among them the director of the Europarosarium Sangerhausen and the leading Dutch organic rose nursery, we managed to accomplish this and now those rare roses are part of the Anne Belovich Rose Garden. Indeed, any collector of roses must consider Anne’s dedication in successfully completing this project with a mixture of admiration and, I have to admit, quite a bit of envy too.
What did I admire most about Anne? Of course, her kindness and deep knowledge, but there was more. Behind her kindness and mastery of her subject were hidden an iron will and an exemplary self-discipline. I had never heard of, much less known, a woman in her nineties doing five miles a day on the treadmill at the local gym before.
Sangerhausen Rose Garden consists of 35 acres and is not perfectly flat, so we organized the rental of an electric cart for her use. She was pleased and at the same time frustrated at how slow it went. I’ll never forget Anne’s joy when we found the gearbox so she could easily double her speed – and therefore lose less time going from one rose bed to the next one the list. Naturally this made it difficult to keep pace with her!
I know that Anne was a woman of science. But somehow, I find comfort in the idea that there might be the slightest chance that Anne is sitting and eating ice cream with Mr. Walsh and Dr. van Fleet, discussing the pros and cons of their roses, accompanied by the sound of Max, her so much beloved husband, rigging up some new rose trellises for her heavenly rose garden.