Monday, June 28, 2010

Lee Sherman, the Grande Dame of Roses


Lee lovingly strangling Joel

Describing Albuquerque rosarian Lee Sherman is a challenge......funny, irreverent (check out her hilarious 'Lazy Slut' page at her site!), warm hearted and loved by many, a touch decadent (loves her cigarettes and gin and garlic), loving wife of 47 years (she lost Joel on New Year's Day this year, see below the obituary written by their son Mark), tidy, a tree-hugging Liberal who shares my deep loathing of George Bush and his many high crimes, a passionate birder, and an obsessive collector of Old Roses, especially Hybrid Perpetuals and Bourbons. Years ago, rosarian and breeder Mike Lowe (now passed away) bred a striped rose in her honor, 'Sheerstripe', as she is totally mental about striped roses. I got to see and SMELL her collection of over 600 varieties of roses just past their peak several years ago before I moved back to Tampa....breathtaking! Many a rosarian has visited her lovely "garden of roses" as Mike Lowe called it if I recall right, plus she has had ARS tours there too. She grows all her plants organically in a wonderful wild profusion of roses and perennials and annuals and herbs.

I am proud to be a graduate of her "Lazy Slut School of Gardening" and for years have proudly displayed my beautiful framed diploma on my wall. We met on-line in 1996 due to my co-hosting the 1997 Heritage Rose Foundation Conference in Denver where we met in person. She gave an incredible number of gift subscriptions to my self published news letter 'The Garden Doctor' the last year I put it out. She has mailed me seeds and pollen to use in my own rose breeding work.

She is a gem of a human being, and a crowning jewel for rosedom. Be sure to check out her website below and sign her guestbook. If you and I are lucky, someday too we will be "Lazy Sluts"! John

SHERMAN -- Joseph M. Sherman passed away on January 1, 2010 at the age of 88 and is survived by his wife of 47 years, Lee Woodell Sherman; along with his three sons: Joe, Adam, and Mark; and one grandson, Patrick and one sister, Natalie. Joel, as he preferred to be called, was born in New York in 1921. After a stint in India flying cargo during World War II, he decided at a young age that he would determine the conditions of his labor and therefore set out to create a life that did not revolve around work, rather his life was about living. He was often heard saying that he worked only enough to buy scotch, cigars, and steaks (other living expenses came as needed, but were not a priority). As a result, he took up photography. He lived and worked in New York until he moved the family to Alexandria, Virginia, where he continued his photography and opened a marine supply store. In 1973 the family moved to Albuquerque, NM, a place where he could enjoy the sunshine throughout the year. He continued photography and other personal business ventures, until he started working for the City of Albuquerque, from which he retired in the mid 1980's. Memorials can be made in his name to The Make-A-Wish-Foundation. No memorial services will be held at his request. The family would like to thank from VistaCare Hospice, especially Leann, Bernice, Sandy, and Larry.

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