While confined to my sailboat, which I live aboard full-time, listening to the rain pellet the boat’s roof much like the sounds of rain on a tin-roof, I found myself thumbing through recently received rose catalogs dreaming of spring’s first flush. Upon pondering which roses would best suit this hot, humid climate of Texas while considering the limited space on board my vessel, I decided to preview photographs of rose gardens I’ve visited in days gone by. My cheeks swelled as my eyes remembered luscious petals of pink, apricot, yellow, and red. How I look forward to another year of walking the aisles of nurseries and the splendor of masses of roses growing side-by-side in a rose garden of my choosing!
Admist my smiling and rapturous memories of gardens gone-by, I stumbled upon a photo of a delightful, but unnamed beauty. Discovered and photographed at Portland, Oregon’s International Rose Test Garden in August of 2016, I fondly remembered her deep-pink precious petals beckoning me to capture her appeal.
Unlike the other plethora of roses throughout the lush, Portland garden surrounded by lording evergreens and art-worthy views, this petite gem’s “name” placard only read, “In Honor of Ingrid Rose, 2012”. Surely this isn’t the name of such a darling delicate rose, I pondered to myself that cooler summer day in Oregon. Each rose I captured behind my lens, I was sure to also photograph it’s placard identifying the rose’s name, species, and class among other listed credentials. Much to my disappointment, I left Portland not knowing whom I had just met. Over the years, I casually wondered if the rose’s name was ‘Ingrid Rose’ and tried to find through the internet a rose like her, but alas, no connection was found.
Today, however, while trapped aboard a gently rocking sailboat and experiencing the good fortune of receiving moderate WiFi signal despite the stormy weather, I decided to attempt to solve her mystery. Initially, I was hopeful the International Rose Test Garden may have a website with a list of all their featured roses, but instead I discovered a generic website with no list and not even an email to contact them along with a photo. Not that I blame the garden-keepers for there, at the top of the City, resides thousands of roses. I imagine keeping a current list available would be a full-time occupation in of itself.
After studying her petals, curvatures, and other botanical features, I typed in clues like, “button eye pink rose” and “pompon rose” and even “pink miniature roses” hoping to find her in Google images. Still no such luck. In my next attempt at identifying this attractive deep-pink rose with tiny petals seemingly lined in white edges, I thought perhaps Portland’s Rose Society could introduce me to this rose.
After visiting the Pittock Mansion in Portland, I knew such a society has existed for decades, if not nearly a century a by now, for they once met and still do meet at Pittock Mansion, a large once-home now open to visitors that overlooks the “City of Roses”.
Upon my WiFi making acquaintances with Google, my laptop produced the website of the Portland Rose Society. Immediately my eyes and finger-mouse on my laptop were drawn to the Photo Albums link, then the recent Mini Rose Show album. Much to my excitement, while clicking through the pictures, I found my roses’ twin! It even had a label, but the writing was too far away to see her illusive name. I immediately downloaded her photo and zoomed in to hopefully decipher the distant cursive writing on her tag, but still, I could not read it.
Despite my squinting 42 year old eyes, I could only make out the name started with a “M” and had perhaps a couple of “t’s” in it, but even that I could not say for certain. Nevertheless, my zeal and determination would not give up now!
In the background of my mysterious rose was a certificate with human names like an award of sorts so I used Google once again except this time to research the names of these alleged rosarians hoping their names could link me to the name of the mysterious beautiful rose. While I found a list of the miniature-rose-show’s winners with their names on it, I still could not find an image that matched the numerous roses listed nor any that started with “M” and had a couple of presumed “t’s” in it’s name. But at least now I knew for sure two important clues: 1) The mystery rose is indeed a miniature rose if it was featured in a miniature rose show and 2) the Portland Rose Society would be able to identify the rose if my own results produced unfruitful. Hope is a marvelous motivator!
Now I began researching “pink miniature roses”, “magenta miniature roses”, and the like, which produced photos of a similar looking miniature rose known as ‘Sweet Chariot’. While casually admiring the features of ‘Sweet Chariot’, a photo nearly identical to my own populated in the images results – on Pinterest, of course, another favorite site for dreaming gardeners such as myself! I nearly shouted for joy, in fact, my husband will testify I indeed DID shout for joy! The deep-pink delicate, tiny petals, which captured my heart while I captured her one summer day in Oregon finally had a name and it began with a “M” and had two “t’s” in it afterall.
Ladies and gentlemen, rose-lovers, and readers alike, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the mystifying ‘Marriotta’. A miniature mystery solved!