About a year and a half ago, in a Christmas exchange, I received a rose cutting from a friend that lived in Arizona at the time. It wasn't just any rose cutting. It was from the world's largest rose tree (according to The Guinness Book of World Records) in Tombstone, Arizona - a Lady Banks (Rosa banksiae 'Alba Plena').
In 1885, Henry and Mary Gee, a young newlywed couple from Scotland lived in Tombstone, Arizona. When the Gees built a new home, Mary received a box of plant cuttings from her native country. In that box was a white 'Lady Banks' rose, which Mary shared with her friend, Amelia, who was a caretaker at the local boarding house where the Gees had lived prior to building their home.
|Image from CardCow.com|
Amelia planted the rose cutting behind the boarding house where it thrived and grew. Today, more than 100 years later, the rose tree is still doing well and covers its 8000 square feet support arbor. Its trunk has a 12-foot circumference. Cuttings are sometimes sold and ours is one of them!
This winter, it stayed in the conservatory. It will live its entire life there, because yesterday, I planted it in the ground! Before the conservatory was constructed, the south end of the pool house once had an espaliered Pyracantha. But somehow, I managed to kill it after a few years, in spite of them being notoriously invasive and tough.
Now, the 'Lady Banks' will be trained on the side of the building - inside!
|A note about the tools you see here: Clarington Forge provided me with the |
Strapped and Treaded Garden Spade (left) and the Planting Spear (right).
Our native soil is heavy clay, but it was no match for these heavy-duty tools!
|Later, after painting the wall, we'll reattach the wires for the rose to climb on.|