Monday, 16 December 2013

Californian Adventure part 1....

After saying farewell to New Zealand and undertaking another long haul flight I landed in California, USA for the second half of my Rose studying trip. The weather was glorious with perfect sunshine and temperatures that meant I could be in shorts and t-shirt in December! I'm not trying to rub it in to all you guys in England because after a couple of glorious days California was hit with unseasonably cold weather, which meant I went from looking like this:

Quite literally over night, to looking like this:

And I have been cold ever since! However I shouldn't complain and it certainly hasn't stopped me from getting on with all the stuff I have lined up. So, I have based myself with the infamous Gregg Lowery of Vintage Gardens and I'm so grateful for the time he has given me. If you're reading this Gregg I'd like to say a massive thank you.

Gregg very kindly showed the operation they run at their Rose Nursery and I found their propagation techniques very enlightening, he even offered some advice on propagating 'Roxbughii' which has proved a bit of a problem for us at Mottisfont. I can't wait to put this new found knowledge to the test, and I'm sure David Stone will be interested to see what the outcome is too. For those of you who know about Gregg and Vintage Gardens you will appreciate how much of a privilege it has been to spend so much time with him. I made a promise not to publish any photos of the garden or nursery on the blog at his request, so you wont get to see them at this stage I'm afraid.

 For anyone unfamiliar with this place then I will give you a quick run down. For a lot of us in the UK Vintage Gardens is idolised, not only for the great rose growing climate of northern California, but for the types of roses grown and the sheer volume that they have growing in this magical place. The cataloge, or rose list produced by Vintage Gardens is vast, I have read entire books with less pages in them! So I'm sure you can imagine that being there in the flesh is like going inside Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, everywhere I looked was a rose that I had only ever read about. In one particular case a rose that I had forgotten about which stirred up great memories for me, going back to when I started my horticultural career at Wolvercroft World Of Plants many, many years ago.  

The knowledge, skills and information I have received from the guys here, isn't something that can be purchased. It is the result of friendships and people with similar interests and passions sharing their own (very personal) experiences with these ancient plants. I consider myself very lucky to be able call Gregg and Steve friends of mine.


  1. Have a great time in USA. Happy birthday for last week and happy Christmas for next week.

  2. Hope you have a lovely Christmas and look forward to seeing you soon and learning loads!

  3. Thank you Kat and Matt. Merry Christmas to you!