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Historic, rare roses offered at special sale

Preservation group propagates rose varieties found, in some cases, nowhere else

Barbara's Pasture Rose is named for the late Barbara Oliva, who discovered it.

Barbara's Pasture Rose is named for the late Barbara Oliva, who discovered it. Photo courtesy Anita Clevenger

These old roses need new homes.

The former volunteers of the Sacramento Historic Rose Garden (formerly at Sacramento's Old City Cemetery) are still trying to preserve rare and historic roses, including varieties found nowhere else. Now, they have dozens of bushes, grown on their own roots and ready for transplanting.

Saturday, June 8, the group is hosting a rose sale at the home of Anita Clevenger, 877 53rd St., Sacramento. From 9 a.m to 2 p.m., shop for roses that you’ll likely not find anywhere else.

“Some varieties are small, such as ‘Serna House,’ a miniature China rose that blooms continuously,” Clevenger says. “Plants are $15 each, first come first served, cash only. We don’t ship.”

Funds raised will go towards rose preservation and … more roses.

“Proceeds cover our expenses and will also be passed along to other heritage rose gardens/groups,” Clevenger says.

Some varieties are in very limited quantities. For the best selection, shop early.

“Most of these (varieties) are listed in if you’d like more details,” Clevenger notes.

Each of these roses has a compelling back story to go along with their beauty and fragrance. Among the roses expected to be available:

‘Abbott & Burns’: A miniature China rose brought to California by wagon train in 1857.

‘Adorable Pink Polly’: A cemetery seedling, this grows into a 4-foot arching bush; pink, fragrant and adorable!

‘Arnold’: A rare Rugosa hybrid; large, single, scarlet red.

‘Barbara's Pasture Rose’: Named for heritage rose expert Barbara Oliva, this renowned pink Hybrid Perpetual looks similar to ‘La Reine.’

‘Belle Story’: A newcomer compared to other varieties, this English-style shrub rose was developed by David Austin; its heavy 4-inch blooms are peachy pink.

‘Celsiana’: An old Damask rose dating from 1750, it bears intensely fragrant clusters of light pink blooms in spring.

‘Dora’s Farmhouse Rose’: Discovered in the garden of a Modesto farmhouse, this is a dark pink Hybrid Perpetual, similar to ‘Health Food.’

‘Fiddletown Cherry’: A ‘found’ Tea rose discovered in Amador County, this light pink gem is very fragrant.

‘G. Nabonnand’: With a strong, sweet fragrance, this light apricot Tea rose was named for the 19th century French rose breeder Gilbert Nabonnand who created it.

‘Health Food’: A dark pink Hybrid Perpetual, this charming and carefree rose got its name because it was found “Across From the Health Food Store” in a Sierra foothills town.

‘Oneto Home Saffron’: Discovered by Fred Boutin, this small Tea or China rose stays small – under 3 feet tall – with golden yellow, fragrant blooms fading to creamy white.

‘Over the Fence’: A pink large-flowered climber of unknown parentage, this vigorous rose lives up to its name.

‘Perle d’Or’: Introduced in France in 1883, this fragrant Polyantha bears clusters of little apricot and yellow blooms.

‘Serna House’: A miniature China rose, this dark pink beauty looks very similar to ‘Rouletti’ or a miniature ‘Old Blush.’

For more details and photos:


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Garden Checklist for week of June 16

Summer officially starts Thursday. The good news: No triple-digits – at least until next weekend.

* Warm weather brings rapid growth in the vegetable garden, with tomatoes and squash enjoying the heat. Deep-water, then feed with a balanced fertilizer. Bone meal or rock phosphate can spur the bloom cycle and help set fruit.

* Generally, tomatoes need deep watering two to three times a week, but don't let them dry out completely. That can encourage blossom-end rot.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, melons, radishes, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

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