Rose of the Month #17
By Gaird Hamilton
The story behind this seventeenth rose in our “Rose of the Month” series begins in a unique manner which I will offer for background since it does show one of the values in rose tours. In July of 2005, Pat and I went on our Humboldt Rose Society rose tour which traveled to the Coos Bay area of Oregon where we joined with the SWORS(South West Oregon Rose Society) rose tour. What a great opportunity it was to visit the gardens of fellow rose growers who have to deal with about the same kind of weather that we do. The gardens were lovely, the trip was pleasant with the beautiful scenery that abounds in our part of the world.
That night we stayed at a nice motel in Coos Bay and had a fine dinner right in our motel. The next morning, Sue Silva’s brother, Ed Kreutzer, who is also a member of both societies, lead the way and we traveled the short distance to Shore Acres. Shore Acres was the estate of the Simpsons who founded Simpson Timber Company. It is located overlooking the ocean where Mr. Simpson could watch his lumber barges heading out of Coos Bay harbor, bound for the major market areas. The Simpsons had wonderfully landscaped gardens which made it a worthy candidate to become a state park, which it now is.
There are many lovely types of gardens, plus a very large pond covered when we were there with blooming water lilies. They also have lots of roses, which of course makes it even more interesting to our members. This is a tourist destination which should not be missed by anyone who feels the joy that walking in beautiful scenery and gardens can bring.
When we were there, in spite of it being in the middle of July, it started to rain. It was not bad enough to stop us from our tour, but it certainly made us aware of the weather that these roses must be able to deal with. Right then, with our digital camera getting too wet to take clear pictures, we came upon long rows of the new AARS winners planted together in a good effect. Most of them looked quite nice, but one rose stood out as being the best of the best. That rose was labeled “About Face” and it was a grandiflora of many petals which are dark orange on one side of the petal and light on the other. The effect is to make it stand out as a very distinctive rose.
Well, from Shore Acres, we went on to the rest of the tour in Bandon where we joined in a pot luck and some more lovely roses and rose growers. It was a fun trip and one that I would recommend to others. The point of this story however, is that we used this experience as a means of finding a great rose for our garden. When we saw one on sale at Miller Farms in Mckinleyville, we grabbed it up and planted it in a nice spot right at the East end of our house and right next to a young plant of “Solitaire” . The reason for planting them close to each other is that they both are very healthy with really nice glossy foliage, the colors go together, and they are both TALL roses. This year, “About Face” grew to about 9 feet tall. I suppose that it could be pruned shorter, but we loved it anyway. We are pleased with our find.