2006 American Rose Annual

Dona and I had the honor of being the Guest Editors of the 2006 American Rose Annual, which we based on the theme “The Rose in America" - a theme selected and implemented by us.

In planning the Annual we observed that the year 2006 marked the 90th anniversary of the release of the first American Rose Annual in 1916. In his Editor’s Preface that year, J. Horace McFarland wrote:

“This, the first American Rose Annual, is sent forth in three-fold hope: that it may serve to deepen interest in the rose in America; that it may aid in joining rose workers to The American Rose Society; and that it may bring to the Editor aid in making future issues much more helpful and adequate.”

McFarland’s desire to “deepen interest in the rose in America” was pursued not only in that Annual but also in his work that followed. In 1923, McFarland picked up the theme in his book, "The Rose in America" and he continued to advance the cause of The Rose in America in the Annuals he edited through 1943.

The year 2006 also marked the 20th anniversary of the Proclamation signed on November 20, 1986 by President Reagan, declaring the Rose to be The National Floral Emblem of the United States of America.

Central to the theme of “The Rose in America" is the Rose and so we presented a variety of articles on the roses of America. Steve Jones cataloged the native American species roses and Patsy Cunningham told us in “Yankee Doodle Roses” of the roses of New England. Dr. McFarland was a great fan of climbers, growing hundreds at his famous Breeze Hill gardens in Pennsylvania, so it was appropriate that Bill Kozemchak of Pennsylvania should discuss the climbers of America. Jeri Jennings took us on a tour of the byways of America in search of its found roses and finally, and for no other reason than they deserved more respect, Jim Delahanty gave us the definitive treatise on American polyanthas.

McFarland was one of the first Americans to sound the call for environmental and scenic protection and was an avid supporter of public parks and gardens. So we featured on our cover the new Veterans’ Garden of the Mesa Community College Rose Garden. The designer of the garden, LeRoy Brady, joined with Dona to recount its history. From Kansas City and the heartland of America, Sarajane Aber with John Quick, celebrated the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden. And, Charold Baer of the Portland Rose Society extolled “The Realm of Rosaria”, Portland – “The City of Roses”.

Another interest of Dr. McFarland was in promoting the breeding of roses in America. To do likewise, Ray Guillebeau introduced us to the American hybridizer, John Sheldon, while Suzanne Horn described the amazing work of Jim Sproul. And for those who would be amateur hybridizers themselves, Michelle LeVan-Steklenski provided a practical explanation of how to do it.

Commemorating the rose in America, Dick Streeper explained the All-America Rose Selections, Marilyn Wellan gave us a history of American rose emblems and Diane Schrift remembered recent American rose commemoratives. Cliff Orent provided an explanation for those who wonder how one gets their name on a rose.

America is a land of ingenuity so we asked Bill DeVor to explain the cutting edge developments in rose production at Greenheart Farms and Nor’East Miniature Roses. John Mattia showed how he produces his ingenious American rose art with PhotoShop and the digital camera. And Doug Helberg pondered whether America has it own rose arrangement style. Finally, Aurelia Scott entertained us with a diverse group of America's rosarians.

Our work on the 2006 Annual is an example of the approach that I believe is needed to encourage others to grow roses. As ARS Vice-President I pledge to work on projects of this nature as we all together seek to deepen interest in the Rose in America.