Golden Gardens (1953)
New Miniature Roses from Visalia
Ralph S. Moore, Visalia

The writer has long enjoyed working with the garden dubs of this area and rejoices with them in the privilege of entertaining the members of garden clubs, from all over our fair state at the forthcoming convention in Visalia. I feel especially honored in being asked to write something of the work with roses which I have carried on here for many years.

Our section of California is being discovered, or perhaps I should say re-discovered, as a place where roses thrive. The early settlers brought roses with them, or at least roses arrived shortly thereafter, My grandparents grew roses here in their gardens and so I came by my love of roses naturally.

In the space allotted me, I should like to write about some of the new roses we have been developing here over the years. My first attempts at breeding roses date back to the late 20s. However, it was not until about ten years later that work was begun on what are now be coming known as the "Moore Miniatures."

Over the years. many thousands of crosses have been made and the resulting seedlings grown. tested and most of them discarded. In the quest for better roses two new climbers have resulted in the Floribunda class: Climbing Yellow Sweetheart (I953), a nearly thornless everblooming climber with yellow Cecil Brunner-like buds and flowers and the recent Armstrong introduction, Renae. The latter is a vigorous, thornless plant and is much freer with its flowers than the older Climbing Cecil Brunner and of a richer shade of pink.

The real interest, however. has been with miniature roses sometimes called "fairy roses." Until the introduction of our variety, Cutie, in 1952 all miniature roses were of European origin and they were few. Since Cutie, we have originated and introduced a number of these miniature roses and the breeding is going on at an accelerated pace.

Attempts are being made to breed into the miniatures hardiness and vigor, color and form not heretofore seen. Several wild species of roses and a number of hybrid teas and floribunda varieties are now bred into our varieties.

Some of the varieties originated here at Visalia and introduced by us are Centennial Miss, a very double, very fragrant little rose of rosy-red to wine-red. Pink joy is a clean growing bushy plant with dainty pink buds and double pink flowers. Especially lovely is Patty Lou, the first bi-color miniature. This little rose has nice buds, silvery-pink on the backs of the petals and rose on the top side, flowers are very double and produced freely all season long on compact thornless plants. Among our finest originations is Frosty probably one of the whitest of all white roses. Flowers are borne profusely all season in clusters on low spreading plants.

This past season we introduced one of the choicest of them all, the world's first everblooming miniature climber. Named Pink Cameo, this little rose has been acclaimed across the nation. Pink Cameo produces some of the most perfectly formed little buds and flowers ever seen. Color is rich rose-pink with very little color change from opening bud to fully opened flower. Pink Cameo starts to bloom when only a few inches high and blooms from Spring to frost. The miniature climbing plant grows four to five feet high when supported on a small trellis or post.

Miniature roses generally grow from eight to twelve inches high and are useful for beds of hybrid tea or floribunda roses. They may be mass planted, used in small groups for splashes of color or grown as potted plants. Miniatures make excellent small arrangements, corsages, etc. Wherever or however they are used, these tiny gems are sure sooner or later to win your heart.