Mables Historic Rose Garden Wins
Awards As Test Gardens Flourish
Click to enlarge. Photo from Bradenton-Sarasota Rose Society
||SARASOTA, Fla. July 29, 2005 Throughout his 18-year
tenure with the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Ron Mallory, curator of
Mables historic Rose Garden, has grown accustomed to laboring among flower gardens
in Floridas sweltering summers. But through his devotion and attention to
horticultural detail, he has married traditional and innovative hybridizing techniques,
thereby allowing him to produce hybrid roses using methods shunned by larger hybridizers.
Accordingly, under his tutelage, Mables historic Rose Garden has received
prestigious accreditations from the American Rose Society and the Award of Excellence for
a Demonstration Rose Garden. It has also been designated as an accredited public rose
garden; only two others exist in Florida. Fittingly, Mallory recently achieved Consulting
Rosarian status by the American Rose Society.
The Ringling Test Rose Garden is also flourishing, allowing 137 varieties of roses to
benefit from Mallorys expertise just like the ones in Mables historic Rose
Garden. Its a great honor for us to be designated a demonstration test garden:
there are only 19 others in the US. That means we are sent hybrids to evaluate how they
grow, Mallory explained. They are then scored on points in order to be
selected as an All American Rose. There are millions of dollars riding on achieving this
designation. If the trial run is successful, then the hybrid roses will be patented.
Mallorys affinity for these fragrant, delicate blooms emanates from his youth.
When I was seven or eight years old, just after World War II, my mother had a
Victory Garden. One of my chores was to take care of it. I also took care of my
grandmothers rose garden. I enjoyed it so much that neither of them had to remind me
to do these chores. Thats how I became interested in roses. So at an early age, I
found something I loved doing and have been doing it ever since. It fascinates me to know
roses go back to ancient China and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and that ancient roses
only bloomed once a year. Now, modern roses bloom all year with just a 45-day rest.
The cultivation of a rose from delicate seedling to brilliant bloom is a difficult
process, but Mallory takes it in stride, saying that hes after a good garden
rose rather than a show rose. His passion and modesty ensure that Mables
historic Rose Garden wins awards and also means that the Test Garden flourishes.
One of Mallorys hybrid roses has been registered with the American Rose Society.
The first one that was registered was the Mable Ringling Rose, Mallory said.
The second is the Grandmother Emma Rose named after my grandmother. Id like to
name the third after a circus person, but I havent decided who yet. Ill have
to get permission from the family when I do. The Mable Ringling Rose is particularly
fragrant, smelling like a good perfume and having a fiery red hue with just a hint of
Mallorys success can also be measured on an international level. I feel
honored that three ex-presidents of the American Rose Society, as well as Dr. Tommy
Carnes, president of the World Federation of Rose Societies, have visited the Rose
Garden, he said. Also, on a personal note, I am quite proud of having earned
the designation of Consulting Rosarian by the American Rose Society. I took the test back
in January and just received my certificate. My job will be to assist anyone who wants to
start growing roses.
April, 2007. http://www.ringling.org/about_museum_news2.asp?id=383
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