Monday, January 2, 2012

Heritage Rose District of New York City Project

Rosa Mundi is the official journal of the Heritage Rose Foundation

Rosey friends always seem to bond readily. Their love of roses even if they’ve never met in person creates a strong kinship. One of my rosey friends is Dr. Malcolm Manners, chair of the Horticultural Science Department of Florida Southern College and a member of the Central Florida Heritage Rose Society. On Saturday Malcolm sent me an email which I’m sure went to all of his rosey friends, requesting that I tell everybody about his NYC historic rose project and the need for funds to get the students and the roses up to New York this spring. Part of that fundraising effort is a Rose Sale at the FSC campus in Lakeland on January 28th. Hundreds of roses, grafted and own-root, will be for sale. They were all propagated by the students, intended to benefit the NYC Heritage Rose District. So I thought I would let Dr. Manners tell you about it himself by posting his official announcement here.

Sale of Old Roses for the Heritage Rose District of New York City Project

Since October 2009, the Florida Southern College horticulture program has been working with the Heritage Rose Foundation and the office of the Borough President of Manhattan Scott M. Stringer in developing the "Heritage Rose District of New York City."  The Heritage Rose District covers an area of northern Manhattan from Washington Heights through Harlem, and is the first of its kind in the country. Created entirely with donated roses and volunteer labor, this is more than a beautification project. The district is a celebration of the historic and cultural roots of these neighborhoods showcasing roses that grew there a long time ago. To date, over 500 heritage roses have been planted on more than 25 sites that include community gardens, cemeteries, historic properties, cultural institutions, and universities. The majority of the roses planted in the District are from the rose collection at Florida Southern College.
As a service-learning project, our classes (HRT 1000 Plants and Society and HRT 2100 Introduction to Horticultural Science) propagated more than 400 plants as own-root cuttings.  In April 2010, a group of four students (Mitch Varnum, Rachel Lichter, V.C. Hollingsworth, and Kenny Ray), our greenhouse manager Dewayne Hameline, and I carried them in suitcases, as checked luggage, to New York. Members of the Heritage Rose Foundation, community gardeners, girl scouts, local school children, senior citizens, and the Manhattan Rose Society joined us for an unforgettable weekend of fast and furious planting.
This was only the beginning. More planting days are scheduled and FSC continues to supply roses for the project.  Currently, we are propagating several hundred, including varieties that we've never grown at the college. As word of our involvement spreads, old-rose lovers from around the country have begun sending us cuttings of varieties we did not have, from their private collections for us to grow for the district. 
We hope to take another group of students back to New York in spring 2012 to plant the next crop of roses and to conduct rose propagation workshops for local community groups and school children. As you can see, the District continues to offer a great opportunity for our students to use their horticultural training to provide a valuable community service.

How you can you help? 

Obviously, sending students to New York is not cheap.  The trip will involve airfare, 2-3 nights lodging, and meals. The cost is estimated to be at least $600 per person.  Students will likely be expected to pay part of their own way, but we're hoping to bring that cost down as much as possible. 
There are two ways you can help us to defray the costs of this trip:

1. Purchase roses at our upcoming sale of rare Heritage Roses, to be held on the FSC campus January 28, 2012, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Many of these roses will be grafted to 'Fortuniana' roots, and as such, are available nowhere else in the USA.  Others will be own-root plants, but again, often varieties seldom seen for sale. Nearly all of them are from our rose mosaic virus certification program, and so are free of that disease.  Proceeds from the sale will be used to cover travel expenses for the project.

2. Help sponsor a student by sending a tax-deductible donation to the Heritage Rose Foundation with the designation ”Student travel to the Heritage Rose District of NYC”.

For more information about the Heritage Rose District, here are three sites worth checking out:

(While I'm always cautious about recommending a Wikipedia link as authoritative fact, this article is quite good in explaining the project, and it includes a good map of all the plantings completed so far.)

The Heritage Rose District of NYC facebook page, for the most up-to-date information on the project:
The website for the Heritage Rose Foundation:

Please feel free to contact me ( or cell 863-513-7073) if you have any further questions.
Thank you for helping to make this valuable educational project a reality!
Malcolm M. Manners, Horticultural Science Department, Florida Southern College
111 Lake Hollingsworth DR,  Lakeland  FL  33801-5698

We'll have about 300 plants grafted to 'Fortuniana' and another 300-400 own root.  The grafted plants are mainly 2-gallon size, with a few 1-gal and 3-gal.  Most of the own-root stuff will be in smaller "band" pots, but a few of them are also 1- 2- or 3-gallon size.
Hope you can make it, and feel free to spread the word among rose friends if you like.
So feel free to tell anyone you may think would be interested.  Hope you can make it.


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