Friday, April 29, 2011

"York Street Yellow"

Denver rosarian Toni Tichy, who passed away several years ago, passionately studied and promoted roses at Denver's Riverside Cemetery owned by the Fairmount Corporation, her beloved giant climber "Mr. Nash" (sold by High Country Roses in Utah) plus this lovely remonant shrub she'd noticed on York Street some blocks north of Colfax on the east side. I got to know the elderly black woman who lived there...I forget her name but in her youth she was a famous ballet dancer. The bush was dense, maybe 5' X 5', totally cold hardy, and remontant from June through the first hard freezes. It set vast numbers of walnut sized bright yellow hips with seeds that germinated freely after a few months of cold stratificatio. Before I left Denver I mailed cuttings to Heather Campbell at High Country Roses so that folks all over could enjoy this gem. When I bought one last year I felt I was likely throwing away my money, assuming it would need winters much colder and longer than south Tampa could offer. But it is VERY happy in a Restricted Drainage Container Garden, my fancy name for a large black plastic tree pot with a used plastic grocerty bag drawn half way through each and every drainage hole to restrict but not block drainage, a strategy I use for other roses and veggies in this 6 year long drought. The blooms can reach 5 inches across and often occur in mini-candelabras. The scent is a light, sweet, slightly spicy Tea perfume. Its pollen was readily accepted by "Fairmount Red" and 'Seagull' and others in my Denver breeding work. So far, as in Denver, no disease issues, which surprises me.
When I showed a branch to Stephen Scanniello and others when I co-hosted the 1997 Heritage Rose Foundation Conference in Denver in 1997, they agree with Toni's and my idea that it might be a Brownell. In Denver it rooted easily from cuttings so I will try here.
I love this rose and am so glad I risked the money on this unlikely candidate for hot muggy Tampa, and hope lots of folks order one to try in their respective areas and share the results. Heather also sells my cemetery find "Fairmount Red" and "Fairmount Proserpine" and my own hybrid 'Four Inch Heels' (Great Western X Othello).


"For some people, happiness is too mild a sensation". unknown

"The only normal people are the ones you don't know well". unknown

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