Secret Garden Musk Climber, discovered by Joyce Demits, California.
On a spring trip to California this spring, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden in San Jose. My host, Mel Hulse gave me the royal tour of the enormous collection, and I had only time enough to get an overall impression of this fantastic garden. During the tour, Mel showed me one of his favorite roses, the recently acquired 'Secret Garden Musk Climber'. This rose, presumed to be a R. moschata hybrid, was discovered in California by Joyce Demits a few years ago. I will quote Jeri Jennings from the ARS article about the rose:
"Joyce Demits, of Fort Bragg, found this rose, along with another, equally-unknown rose of Noisette-type, in an old garden near Sonora, California. She tells us that it will reach twenty feet or more, in maturity. It is, she says, not reliably cold-hardy below Zero, but in a mild climate, it blooms continuously, and appears to be completely disease free. Not surprisingly, Joyce notes that the rose is very Musk-like in its botanical characteristics (and, of course, in its scent). "
Mel hopes that the 'Secret Garden Musk' will gradually make its way into commerce over the years, as it is a wonderful shrub that has excellent qualities in the right climate. I am looking forward to seeing it perform in my own collection, as I was very impressed with it when I saw it in San Jose. In the future when my plant is big enough to propagate, I will share cuttings with interested Rosarians.
Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2003