‘New Dawn’ Rose Blossomed on Recent Garden Tour

Last month’s  Newburyport, Mass. garden tour continues to take center stage.

The tour, sponsored by the Historical Society of Old Newbury, featured several fine gardens. I loved many of the plants.

A  climbing rose, bursting in  flowers, called ‘New Dawn’, caught my attention. I also grow this rose.

Rose ‘New Dawn’ on recent Newburyport, Mass.  Garden Tour

Our property is lined at the front by a three-foot high stone wall that has a slope of ten feet down to the road. Over the years I have filled in the area in front of the wall with perennials and shrubs. At one spot at the base of the wall I planted  ‘New Dawn.’  I have trained it to climb up the wall, and its pink flowers now cover a small area of the wall.

The history of the  ‘New Dawn’ rose makes some interesting connections to my work on the seed and nursery catalogs of the nineteenth century.

One of my favorite public gardens Blithewold Mansion and Gardens,  in Bristol, Rhode Island, dates to the turn of the twentieth century.  The garden features a rose called ‘Dr. Van Fleet,’ that in June covers an arbor in the rose garden. In 1910 the Peter Henderson Seed Company, begun by its founder Scotsman Peter Henderson in the nineteenth century, introduced this rose and named it after Dr. Walter Van Fleet (1857-1922). Van Fleet, one of the world’s most important hybridizers of climbing roses, worked for the United States Agriculture Department in Maryland. Today the ‘Dr. Van Fleet’ rose at Blithewold puts on a glorious display of pink flowers in June.

‘New Dawn’ is a sport of the ‘Dr. Van Fleet’ rose. It shows a similar pink flower, with one difference: it blooms throughout the summer season. It received the first plant patent in the United States in 1930.

What I like about  ‘New Dawn’ is that it is an old rose that still performs well, and besides you can also link it to the American seed and nursery trade of the nineteenth century.

 

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