Friday, 17 January 2014

New York, New York

So good they named it twice, according to Gerard Kenny. This was the final leg of my trip and I had a good feeling about what I was going to find there.... However, getting there in the first place was to be an adventure all on its own due to the adverse weather conditions. As a result of the snow fall my first two flight into JFK had been cancelled but I did manage to get there, even if it was 20 hours late!

I arrived at my hotel at about 1am after getting into what I would describe as a highly suspicious mini cab and nearly crashing into an ambulance. I have never been so pleased to collapse onto a bed in my entire life. I was exhausted.

Whilst in NYC I was lucky enough to spend some time working with Stephen Scaniello who is the president of the Heritage Rose Foundation (among many other things). One of the projects that Stephen has been instumental in is the Heritage Rose District of New York, it encompasses the area between West 122nd and West 163rd. In roughly the centre of this area is the Trinity Church Cemetary which is the final resting place of Mr Harison (of Harison's yellow rose) and Mr Boll who bred 'Madame Boll'.  As far as I'm aware this is the only rose district of its kind in the whole of the USA. If  you ever visit NYC then you can download a walking tour map and take yourself around the Heritage Rose District. 

Grave of Mr Harison

My time in New York was also taken up with the Cranford Rose Garden which is in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and is managed by the wonderful Sarah Owens. There is a great range of roses from ancient right up to modern in this garden and is a feast for the eyes at blooming time. Despite it being mid winter it was a feast for my eyes at this time of year as I could see the pruning and training methods and all the work that goes on over the winter. This was especially interesting to me as I like to compare what we do at Mottisfont with what others do, this way I can pick up tips or try slightly differing methods. I am constantly learning and never assume that the way I do things is the correct or best way.