My mother’s parents lived on a farm in Surrey for most of my life. As a child we came to visit every summer and went to the beach, the big city and if we were lucky eat fresh cherries off the tree. Later I had a job near were my grandmother lived and would visit her often. it was during this time that we discussed her garden and i would help her with it. It seemed every plant in her garden had a story, who she had received it from, how she learned about it and took care of it. Of all the plants she had collected in nearly 50 years living there, the roses where her favorites. She took particular pleasure in the big rambling rose which grew over the barn and bloomed once a year. It, she proudly told was Dr. Van Fleet and had the most beautiful blooms of all. She was right, it was beautiful and what is even better is it’s ‘sport’ the New Dawn Rose which was discovered in 1930.
Every year at this time I see new Dawn rose in all it’s glory at the Memorial Rose Garden next to the Sidney Library. I have enjoyed visiting the garden through the year and the roses there are kept in perfect heath and beauty. It is a formally laid out rose garden. The arbor which the New Dawn Rose grows up was constructed the Town of Sidney Parks Department as a memorial to the late Robert(Bob) Jackson who developed the Memorial Rose Garden. It is not surprising that the ‘New Dawn’ Rose was selected to be featured as it was selected as the worlds most popular rose in 1997.
Dr Walter Van Fleet (1857-1922) was the developer of the ‘New Dawn‘ Rose indirectly. He developed the very famous Dr. Van Fleet and released it in 1910. His intention was to create more hardy roses which would grow well in the colder North American climate where he lived. Over time he selected Rosa wichuriana(the ‘Memorial Rose’), a white rose as one species to work with. This rose contributed it’s lax stem habit and lovely semi-evergreen disease resistance. The cross is (R.wichuriana x Safrano) x Souv. Du Pres. Carnot, the later two not in common cultivation anymore. ‘New Dawn’ Rose was a sport which shared most of the ‘Van Fleet’ attributes but is said to be re-blooming and be slightly less fragrant.
A ‘sport’ is a change in the plant at a cellular level. Some are very stable and can be propagated easily and others are not strong enough or stable and disappear. Finding a branch or plant that has changed in this way has lead to the introduction of many new forms of plants particularly those with variegation or double flowers. The ‘New Dawn’ Rose sport was more subtle and someone must have watched very carefully to have noticed the that it changed.
New Dawn Roses are vigorous and need to be placed carefully so they do not run over weaker growing plants. It grows 20-25ft(4-5m) and is perfect for growing over an ugly fence, up and old tree or in a more formal setting. It is a clean and healthy plant which tolerates less than perfect conditions. it takes poorer soil and more shade than many other roses. I be can planted on north facing situations. It is rated at zones 5(-20c or -5f) through 9. To promote re-blooming and healthy growth it is best to remove(deadhead) the spent blooms and give it a light pruning after it’s first flower flush. It makes a fine cut flowers with it’s long stems.
To learn More About ‘New Dawn’ Roses :
All you need to know about ‘New Dawn’ Roses: http://www.backyardgardener.com/plantname/pda_5428.html
Where to find the Memorial Rose Garden in Sidney, B.C. http://virtualvacationguide.com/guide.php?setpanorama=476
Van Fleet’s Roses: http://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/23/garden/garden-q-a.html
Plant ‘sports’ also known as chimeras: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/tisscult/Chimeras/chimeralec/chimeras.html
Until We meet Again Later This Week…..