The Rose Riot is on its Way

That went fast.

Late winter to early summer in three weeks. And, with it, everything is growing out of control. We generally have a little more time to do seasonal work. Last year it was cold and rainy through June 18th, the day of Anne’s Celebration of Life. This year, for the past two weeks it’s been sunny and in the high 70s. I’ve even had to water already. In the Pacific Northwest!

Cantabrigiensis started blooming a few days ago and today looks amazing. This is usually the first rose to bloom. The other spinosissimas are following and I noticed the Austin roses around the house are ready to burst.

Because of the heat and lack of rain, pruning quickly turned into dead wood removal and tying up lose canes. The roses on the pergolas, especially pergola 2 which holds many Barbier varieties, have been particularly troublesome this year. The bounty of wildness and cascading blooms were built upon the deadwood of the year before for almost 5 years. People loved the look but roses need to be revitalized by removing old and damaged canes or they will fizzle out. In addition we’ve had two unusually long cold winters that caused die back. We started seriously pruning and clean up in April on Pergola 2, but were not able to complete the task before the heat. With the blackberry vines growing with a vengeance from last year’s removal and the spinosissima transfer project, we’ve had to divide our time between all three tasks.

The great thing is that the ramblers are very forgiving. I’ve gone into priority mode, paying attention to those roses who have recently been rediscovered after removing berry vines or brush or, for whatever reason, are not thriving. Most of the ramblers have large roots to find their own water, have enough sunshine, and have outcompeted the weeds that grow around them. They will be fine for a little longer.

The spinosissima rehoming project has been on hold for the past week because of the high temperatures, but today it was overcast and cooler. We took the opportunity to move another wingthorned rose. This one was much easier to get out and we quickly brought it back to the property, put it in the hole we had dug prior, put in a layer of phosphate rock and soil to help with root growth, watered it well, and filled in the hole. I believe that this is the R. sericea pteracantha. There are seven sericeas being moved in total and while one can tell that they are sericeas by their thorns, it is difficult to discern the individual varieties until one has observed their bloom and other characteristics. The tags that identified them are long gone. However, Leonard kept a listing of all of the roses in his garden so by process of elimination and observation I am confident we will be able to identify each rose.

Last week we moved the El Areana rose, a Geschwind hybrid of Harrison’s Yellow (pre-1910, former Austria-Hungary). It was a beast, taking two full days to carefully dig out the roots. However, it was worth it. In her book of Ramblers, Anne says that it was lost many years and discovered growing in Norway in 2003. Anne imported this rose and because it was a spinosissima hybrid though that Leonard Heller should have it for his collection. Above you can see the picture of one of the flowers and the entire rose bush shown in July of 2011 in Leonard Heller’s garden (photo by Anne and used in her Rambler book).

The third picture is of El Areana, after a slight trim, as we began the task of moving it. As Len said, “Anne gets her rose back.”

I was more than worried about moving her in the heat and she has shown signs of stress. I was relieved today when I went out to check on her and found two new canes and new foliage.

A Chance Virtual Meeting…

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Donald Rogers from A Reverence For Roses, Inc. while participating in a Central Florida Heritage Rose Society meeting via Zoom (technology does have its bright moments). He mentioned that he has about 50 of Anne’s roses at his nursery.

People have been asking me how they can get some of Anne’s roses and/or help participate in conservation efforts. While part of Anne’s legacy is to ensure that her roses get to nurseries and public and private gardens, my efforts will take some time to get up and running. In the meantime, you might be interested in contacting Donald and his wife, Jan.

They have a special interest in preserving and distributing heritage roses and sell own root roses propagated on site.

Until next time…

I’ll leave you with a few special moments of joy from this past week at Anne’s Gardens.

Shown above from top left: Rosa moyesii (Geranium) Anne’s most anticipated rose; clematis – perhaps manju; a moss rose; lilacs on the front fence; the Austin’s off of the front porch; Allard (from the Leonard Heller collection); and Rick’s friend, an Anna’s Hummingbird.

Published by teddiemower

I oversee Anne's Gardens for my mother-in-law, Anne Belovich. This is a family project to ensure Anne's rose collections, gardens and legacy continue for generations to come. I am a science and environmental educator, researcher, teacher, author, creator of homemades, and traveler. My husband Rick Mower, Anne's only son, is a retired professor of microbiology, former sailor, avid food gardener, and great cook.

8 thoughts on “The Rose Riot is on its Way

  1. Good morning, 

    I enjoyed your newsletter this morning. My name is Ann — only without an e. 


    div>I was wondering if you could help me identify the rose


    1. Hello Ann without the “e.” 🙂 I’m glad you like the blog. I try to keep up but my heart is in the garden, as you probably understand. I’m not sure what rose you are referring to – and, I’m not an expert yet. I’m learning. However, what is needed to ID a rose is to look at the entire plant and lots of practice. We can do this. The way the roses grow, the thorns, shape and color of the foliage, how long the canes are, if they are repeating or one time bloomers and when do they bloom in a specific area, how many flower petals and how they are arranged, how large of a flower they produce, and many other characteristics give clues. If you have a rose society in your area, they have many certified experts who will help you. If you know when it was purchased and from where that information is also helpful. It is tedious work at first, but with time it becomes fascinating – like a puzzle or solving a mystery. Good luck. Let me know what you find out.


  2. I loved the photos of one of Len’s roses sticking out of the back of the van. When Heritage Roses Northwest went to his house years ago, I took a similar photo. Only the rose and van are different. Way to go, digging out big roses!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh they love him. They fly around him while he is working in the vegetable garden. I think its because he ignores them. I come in and start to talk to them and they fly away.


  3. Hello
    I’m so glad I found this blog. I’ve been planting roses for many years in Arcata Ca. and have since moved back to Littlerock Wa. where I grew up. Moving back has been great for my roses. I’ve been interested in preserving old roses for along time. We have family property on Lake Tapps been in the family since the 40’s my great great grandmother, great grandmother, grandmother, mother and aunt all have planted roses on the property. I’m in the process of collecting samples of the heirloom roses. I’m glad others are doing the same. Is there a way to purchase rose cuttings from you? or share our cuttings?

    Thank you

    Heather Sorter
    Littlerock Wa.


    1. It’s wonderful to meet you Heather! California is a great place to be involved in Heritage Rose conservation. Many of mom’s friends were located there. However, we have a growing group of heritage rose preservationists here is Washington too. Thurston County isn’t that far away after all.

      If you have time, join us at the Soos Creek Botanical Gardens ( this Saturday (June 3rd) from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM for the Heritage Roses Northwest Annual Old Garden Rose display. We are bringing cuttings from our gardens and I’m bringing some spinosissima runners to give out. These are delightful people to hang out with – all of us share the interest of conserving out heirloom roses.

      We are not equipped – yet – to share cuttings outside of our work days and events that we attend, such as the Heirloom Rose Society and Foundation. We hope to be able to open the gardens to visitors and collectors in the future, but we are in the process of restoration now.

      Consider joining the Heritage Rose Society Northwest. To join and receive the newsletters, contact Margaret Nelson at



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