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Cemetery Roses

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Re: Cemetery Roses

Post by Bemo on 7th November 2009, 02:46

roseman wrote:... I know some people that place a whole dead fish in the ground and cover it and plant on the top.....
thats an old swedish custom Very Happy , they call it graved salmon, but taste better than the other fermented delicacy called [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] pale It's only consumable in a bundle with a bottle of aquavit 'Merry'

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Re: Cemetery Roses

Post by rosemeadow on 30th November 2009, 22:23

The last trip down to Sydney I got photos of nearly opened buds of the two main cemetry roses I was following. The buds looked promising. I wasn't able to get back to see them till almost two weeks latter. The buds were very disappointing and hadn't opened and dried out. I didn't even take any photos that morning. Here are a few photos of the buds when they were showing promise. Eigther the misty weather or lack of water and heat spoilt these blooms. I got some budwood/cuttings to hopefully be able to grow in my garden and give them more water so they can bloom properly.

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The second rose, a thornless rose on the Reverend's grave
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I have got some cuttings and hopefully I will be able to grow them on in our garden and give them more waster.

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Re: Cemetery Roses

Post by IanM on 14th November 2010, 13:28

Hi, I use to love visiting cemeteries looking for old roses. I live on the Darling Downs in southern Qld. where there were once many old roses in our cemeteries. Unfortunately around ten years ago, there was a sudden desire to "clean up" all of the old cemeteries around here. I am not sure if government funding was responsible, but I know that a lot of unemployed and community service people were suddenly given the job to clean up old cemeteries.
The results have been a mixed blessing. On the one hand we now have extremely clean and tidy cemeteries. On the other hand, there were never any restrictions on what plants were to be regarded as weeds. Most people do not have a clue about such things and when presented with the task of "cleaning up" a place they took this very literally to mean anything green that is above the height of a lawn grass!!
The unfortunate result is that virtually none of our cemeteries on the Darling Downs now have any roses in them.
I recall an interesting China rose that was growing out from under an old pioneer grave at Warwick Cemetery. The grave belongs to one of our first settlers. I often admired it but could never ID it. There were other old roses around other nearby graves as well. I decided to re-visit a few weeks ago, only to find a neat and tidy cemetery, all mowed, and Roundup had been applied for at least a metre around each grave. All of the old roses and other shrubs were gone. No trace that they had ever existed.
It is heartening to see that there are still roses left in cemeteries down south. Clearly Qld. must be the only state that suffers from the "clean freak" epidemic that pervades our modern culture.
The Toowoomba Drayton Cemetery also had some old roses. Only a couple remain that I know of. One is semi-epiphytic and clinging to a date palm. I think the only reason that it has survived is that it has managed to weave itself into the notches in the palm tree. Council workers keep it chopped back to the trunk, but it is just clinging on to dear life. I took a cutting years ago and I think (but am not 100% sure) that it is Cramoisi Superieur. At least the flower was a good match. However the rose is completely spineless.
I guess I should go back one day and collect a bit before it too gets rubbed out by Roundup. There is no problem taking cuttings from cemeteries up here and no permission is ever needed, because the sad truth is that they are not valued up here. Sad
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Re: Cemetery Roses

Post by Admin on 14th November 2010, 13:50

I find that a little like desecrating a grave. These old roses would have been planted as per the wishes of the desceased person or the family of the desceased person. I don't believe anyone has the right to touch them. Maybe this is something the Heritage Rose Society could look into.

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Re: Cemetery Roses

Post by IanM on 14th November 2010, 14:11

I agree entirely. There is also the possibility that they may be wiping out something very rare or even unknown.
The irony is that there has been a huge increase in vandalism of old pioneer cemeteries since they have cleaned them up. No doubt when they were once all overgrown with thorny roses and inhabited by snakes and spiders, few people ventured into them. Now they have made them very easy for the public to access. There is no excuse for vanadlism of course, but I sometimes wonder if by cleaning up old cemeteries they are merely making them more accessible to these juveniles who like to go on rampages through the cemetery yard at night.
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Re: Cemetery Roses

Post by Balinbear on 14th November 2010, 21:11

Ian

It all comes down to the requirement in Queensland to have a Bali inspired garden.

The attitude appears to be "Old Roses? You must be a queer mate"

Bloody Jamie Durie!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Cemetery Roses

Post by IanM on 14th November 2010, 22:31

Haha! Yeah that's the attitude alright. I'm sure if anyone brought an old rose to the attention of Council cemetery staff up here, they would go out of their way to remove it. Rant
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Re: Cemetery Roses

Post by IanM on 15th November 2010, 23:30

Had some spare time in Toowoomba today so I took a look around the old Toowoomba/Drayton Cemetery. Things were not quite as bad as they seemed on my last visit... at least not as bad as the complete devestation of the roses at Warwick Cemetery.

The recent rains have revived some of the old roses, including the spineless one that is growng out of the hollow tree. Turns out it is in an old pine tree, not a date palm as I had thought. I am always amazed at how it has followed all the cracks and hollows in the tree. I think I can ID it as an Old Cardinal rose.

I also found a very old tea rose - sort of a creamy-very light apricot-white colour with recurved petals. It may also have had some pink before becoming sun-faded. Not sure of ID.

There is another old Centifolia (??guess) still surviving in another part of the cemetery, but it rarely flowers. Perhaps is struggling due to competition from all the trees and is in a bit of very hard, infertile soil.

Also know of a single red rambler (possibly Altissimo), but I never got down to that end of the cemetery to look for it again. It is always hard to find. I stumbled on it one day but then had a job to find it on my next visit. I will have to try to find it again.

There were originally 7 old roses in the cemetery, now only 3 or 4 survive there. There are a couple of modern Floribundas as well.
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Re: Cemetery Roses

Post by Admin on 15th November 2010, 23:34

You would know 'Altissimo' the instant you saw it. It has long straight rigid canes that can be self supporting as a shrub if grown right. Mine is grown flat against a wall in a fan configuration. It has unmistakeable red single flowers but its growth habit of strong straight stems is almsot as diagnostic.


Last edited by Simon on 15th November 2010, 23:43; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Cemetery Roses

Post by IanM on 15th November 2010, 23:41

This one grows fairly flat on the ground with a few semi-arching canes. I doubt if it could ever support itself. So probably not Altissimo. I first thought it might be a China rose, but later ruled this out for reasons that I can't recall now. I think the leaves were very green and rounded - a Kordesii perhaps?? The flowers themselves were truly single and perfectly formed.
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Re: Cemetery Roses

Post by Admin on 15th November 2010, 23:44

How big are the flowers? 'Altissimo's flowers are larger than your hand. 'Altissimo' also has about 7-8 petals, not the usual 5 of most singles.

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Re: Cemetery Roses

Post by IanM on 15th November 2010, 23:49

Testing my memory a bit here. Flowers were probably about the size of your palm or a bit smaller. Petals probably 4-5.
I seem to recall that Dortmund was another possibility at the time. I will have to get some photos if it is still there. Looks like I'll have to do a return visit on the next cool, cloudy day! Smile
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Re: Cemetery Roses

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