Category Archives: Plants in historical gardens

Favorite Utah roses of 1917

For rose growers in the Intermountain West who are fans of Downton Abbey or the WWI era, I found a list of roses recommended for Utah in 1917 from the Logan Republican newspaper (March 6, 1917, “Planting of Roses,” Emil … Continue reading

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First and last blooms

Chapeau de Napoleon (AKA Crested Moss) just finished its bloom, making it the last of my once-blooming roses to complete its show. And what a show it was!                         … Continue reading

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Heirloom apples in Utah

Apples were among the most important orchard trees grown by Utah’s pioneers, judging by references to them in historic sources and by the number of trees surviving in old lots today. Though Utah’s climate can be harsh–both cold and dry–many … Continue reading

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Pioneer apricots

We’re just enjoying the last of our apricots, so I thought I’d celebrate with a post about apricots in pioneer Utah. Early Utah nurseryman Joseph Ellis Johnson listed several types of apricots in his garden journals, circa 1870: Blenheim, Kashia, … Continue reading

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Cemeteries in southeast Idaho

A couple of weekends ago I escaped from the blistering heat to go on a treasure hunt in the mountains of southeast Idaho. I had heard a rumor that a pioneer cemetery in the area had an old red rose … Continue reading

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My mutant Botzaris rose

When I first saw Redoute’s illustrations of proliferous roses — rose flowers sprouting directly from other rose flowers in a bizarre, beautiful chain — I thought they were some kind of nineteenth century practical joke, but according to UC Davis, … Continue reading

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Portlandica, the Duchess of Portland

One of the roses I ordered this year was the Duchess of Portland (which I’ve heard is more properly called Portlandica) and I have to sing her praises now. This rose first appeared in the late 1700s, and many experts … Continue reading

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