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An old "modern" rose - Peace

3 years ago

Now seems a good time for a story, so here goes. When we moved into our house in 1989, there was a row of HT bushes along the driveway, which had been planted 50 ish years before by my DH's grandfather. The house had been a rental for 25 years before we moved in, and the roses were basically left to themselves. Most of them were barely surviving in deep shade. We dug those up, and put them in very large pots on our sunny patio. However, there was one rose bush which had cleverly sported to a climber (is that why roses sometimes sport to climbers - a survival trait from the wild in case they are being shaded out by other plants?). It had climbed 12 feet up, and was decorating the top of an old, huge, pomegranate bush. So, we left it growing up there in the sun, and waited. In the Spring, it exploded in very large yellow blooms, and my FIL informed me it was Peace. We live near San Francisco, where Peace was selected as a mascot of the first meeting of the United Nations right after WWII. So, we think that my husband's grandfather was easily able to get one locally in the late 1940s or at latest the early 1950s, which was when most of the other roses in that row were introduced. That made our now climbing Peace rose somewhere around 35 - 40 years old when we moved in (they say that HTs only live 10 years on average - don't believe it! And, it was also grafted on Dr. Huey, which I am sure of because I kept having to get rid of Dr. Huey suckers). Twenty years later, around 2009, when it was 55 - 60 years old, it got a horrible, fast case of downey mildew, which was for some reason attacking several of our roses that Spring. I watched it die from the top down, in only about 3 days. I kept cutting off the dying part, but the dying just proceeded down. I finally realized it was going to die completely. It had put up two new basil shoots that Spring, which were still only 6 and 8 inches long. I cut both of them off in a last attempt to see if I could root them. They were pretty soft, so I had few hopes. Ha! That old old Peace (they say it has "declined in commerce", so maybe being from an early clone was a benefit) was a trouper! One of the cut off basil shoots rooted!

The end of the story is these pictures which I took yesterday of the (now own root) climbing Peace from that rooted cutting, which is about 11 years old, and trained along a fence facing the sidewalk, about 70 years after its parent was planted:


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