The Year Has Turned and We Return to the Rose Garden!
See Our 2019 Dirt Days Below. We have begun again!
After a winter which gave most of us a welcome good soaking, the roses beckon. The many new plants from last year’s cuttings flourish in anticipation of finding new homes during the upcoming year. Their spring debut will take place at our first-ever Rosalia festival on May 18, 2019, which will be an extravaganza of the rose as decoration. It will also feature a sale of rare roses from several vendors and from the Friends’ collection. To learn much more about Rosalia you may go to this page on our website: http://thefriendsofvintageroses.org/events/
In addition to all the opportunities to help with the preparation for and on the days of Rosalia, the care and feeding of the whole collection continues as always. And we appreciate the generosity of our wonderful volunteers’ commitment to this project. We’d love to show you what we’re doing and welcome all additional hands to our bi-weekly gatherings. There’s so much to do and all sorts of tasks to accomplish. If you enjoy the satisfaction of doing battle with weeds we can certainly oblige you. And if you already enjoy or would like to learn from the beginning about making new plants from old, this marvelous, glorious collection is just waiting for you.
Everyone who comes to share the work gets hands-on experience and advice from one of the world’s great rosarians, Gregg Lowery, our curator. He will send you home after each morning’s work with precious knowledge to take back to your own garden, as a thank-you.
The spring and early summer display is a wonderful time to be able to work among our beauties, so please consider coming to join us soon. There is never really an end to the show, though, and you will enjoy the experience whenever you can come. An email to the address: firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your plans will help us to prepare for making best use of your time. Please do come!
P.S. If you have any questions or thoughts, please drop me a note and I’ll get right back to you.
Each month we organize two “Dirt Day” gatherings for those who would like to volunteer in the care of the rose collection. Dirt Days take place at the current site of the collection:
3003 Pleasant Hill Rd., Sebastopol, CA 95472
Dirt Days for 2019 have begun!
Below is the schedule of our volunteer days in the garden in Sebastopol. We call these “Dirt Days” and they run the gamut from weeding to potting, planting to mulching. Dirt Days begin at 10 am; we work until about 1 pm, then break for lunch. Some brave souls continue in the afternoon.
On Saturday, May 18, The Friends of Vintage Roses host a special event, Rosalia, an ancient festival of roses. Dirt Days this year leading up to the event will focus in part on the work we have to do to organize the event, prepare for flower creations, work on our sale plants to get them in the best condition, and much much more!
We need your help more than ever this year. A major fundraiser was begun in early December, but we are only a third of the way to our goal, to hire labor to turn around thousands of roses in pots and in the ground so that we can share healthy cuttings and budwood with our curator partners, folks who are replicating portions of our greater rose collection, in order to preserve them.
—Gregg Lowery, Curator
DIRT DAYS FOR 2019—DISCOVER THE JOY OF ROSALIA
|SUN, MAR 17||SAT, MAR 30||SUN, APR 14|
|SUN, APR 28||SAT, MAY 11|
|SUN, MAY 12|
|FRI, MAY 17|
Flower picking & bouquets
|SAT, MAY 18|
|SUN, MAY 19|
Celebration of Old Roses
|VACATION||SAT, JUN 15||SUN, JUN 30|
|SAT, JUL 13||SUN, JUL 28||SAT, AUG 10|
|SUN, AUG 25||SAT, SEP 7||SUN, SEP 22|
|SAT, OCT 5||SUN, OCT 20||SAT, NOV 2|
|SUN, NOV 10|
(potluck lunch and final
Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Linda Perry if you plan to attend. We do best when we know how many will be on hand. Those who can’t be here, please let us hear from you as well, with a shout out to the volunteers! We’re busy here preserving rare old roses.
About our Dirt Days with the Roses
Over 10 years ago a small group of friends started helping with maintenance in Gregg Lowery’s and Phillip Robinson’s old rose collection in Sebastopol. Dirt Days have become a regularly attended tradition. There are now over 100 volunteers who have actively participated in these work days at The Friends of Vintage Roses’ collection. These are held twice monthly from late winter to late fall, and they have made a significant difference in keeping the rose collection from disappearing. Roses have been planted, both in the ground and in pots; and new cuttings have been propagated, for sharing and for fundraising. Beds have been weeded, mulched and inventoried. In the process of this labor of love and shared delight, friendships old and new flourish and camaraderie makes the hard work great fun. After about three hours of work, the group relaxes over lunch and talk, about the roses, about gardening and about the world of old roses.
The Dirt Days volunteers have been a valuable resource for the maintenance of this collection and for furthering the interests of The Friends of Vintage Roses. If you are interested in joining our group of enthusiastic volunteers, please send an email to this year’s volunteer coordinator, Linda Perry, at email@example.com.
Here are just a few comments about our volunteer work days in the garden, our “Dirt Days” as Luanne Wilson nicknamed them:
“Although I’ve only attended a couple of Dirt Days so far, I was made to feel welcome at once. It feels good to work on the noble enterprise of preserving these heritage roses, the participants are fascinating, and the potluck is always delectable.” —Leslie“I’ll never forget the first time I met the collection and the garden that holds it. It must have been 1999. It was a warm May day, peak bloom. A beautiful romantic aria was playing. Suddenly I was in the midst of roses many of which I only really knew by name. The colors scents and sights of these beauties were almost too much for me. I actually became dizzy and had to sit down for a while before I could take it all in. It struck me then how very important to the world this collection was. Later as I became more familiar with the roses and the people who had brought them together and cared for them I knew that I wanted to do all I could to help keep such a wonder alive. I was there at the beginning of Dirt Days. Michael and I couldn’t make it to the day that Luanne and Carol were organizing so we came a few days earlier and spent the day weeding. After we were joined by a solid group of folks working together with a common cause. People have come and gone over the years. Friendships have grown. We’ve eaten an amazing amount of wonderful food at our potlucks. The roses survive and the garden evolves. I remain hopeful as all gardeners must. To me roses are a symbol of the promise of beauty. Together the Friends can fulfill that promise.” —Pamela
“I’ve been going to these events for a long time. Never once have I failed to have a good time. One highlight I remember was in the first year, perhaps the first big Dirt Day. I remember we got a humorous email from Jon Dodson sent to the group for the occasion. Life goes on, things change. This is one of the things I enjoy that contributes to the rhythm of my days.” —Paula