Saving Roses of Yesteryear
The Rose Rescue began 20-25 years ago as many of us noticed increased changes as people moved in, purchased old, empty lots and began rebuilding where others had once lived. Simultaneously, the old roses, lilacs and narcissus of past springs also disappeared.
Members of the Calaveras County Garden Club formed a sub-group calling ourselves Roses of History and started trying to save old roses, if only one at a time.
Finding a new home where the old roses would be cared for was one difficulty we faced early on. Many of the roses from the Copello’s property went to beautify Copello Park across the road. The pink moss rose pictured is a Copello survivor which happened to end up with me. There are several others as well in my “rose thicket” where temporarily planted roses took deep root.
The other pictured old rose is Austrian Copper R foetida bicolor. Initially a sport of R. foetida, it became known and loved in its own right. Austrian Copper is unique in that it’s bright coral red on its face and the reverse is the pure yellow of its parent. Occasionally it will sport a branch or a few blossoms of the original yellow, as shown. A very interesting rose, spectacular when planted where it will be back lit. A one time a year bloomer. The specimen I have was rescued from the Tarbot house lot in the path of the Angels Bypass.
Roses continue to be rescued throughout Calaveras County. If you see one that’s about to be destroyed or have one on your property please use the contact information on this website so we can arrange to have it saved it.
~ Rusty Rolleri