A far-ranging collection of essays on gardening and life, meant solely to relieve this gardener’s daily frustrations and lamentations over gardening in general and particularly gardening in Kansas. Though I am an old gardener, I am but a young blogger (apologies to Thomas Jefferson).
One of the first Rugosa hybrids I ever grew, at my old town garden, was the crimson Ralph Moore cultivar 'Linda Campbell' (trademarked 'MORten'). I had just begun my search for hardy roses to survive Kansas and had not yet jumped on top of the Griffith Buck or Canadian Roses, but I had happened across mention of the phenomenal breeder Ralph Moore and his many unique cultivars. My 'Linda Campbell' came directly from Moore's Sequoia Nursery when it was still in business, and the specimen that I now grow is a sucker from that original purchase. All on its lonesome out on the prairie, it lights up the entire end of my garden bed in the hottest of summers.
'Linda Campbell' was introduced by Moore in 1991 and named after a friend. It's namesake was a two-term President of the Denver Rose Society, ARS Life Judge, and was involved in her husband's rose business (High Country Rosarium, now named High Country Roses and located in Utah). A cross of the salmon miniature rose 'Anytime' and the pink Van Fleet heirloom 'Rugosa Magnifica', this bright red rose with yellow stamens lacks perceptible scent, for those who care about such things, but it is also a disease-free performer in the Northern garden. 'Linda Campbell' blooms continually with clusters of 8-15 semi-double blooms highlighted against that dark green barely-crinkled foliage, and she is entirely self-cleaning on her own. Fully cane-hardy in my Zone-5 garden, Linda stands about 3-4 foot tall and spreads around to 5-6 feet when left on her own, but she rarely suckers and is nearly thornless. The picture of the young bush, at the left, hardly does justice to the glory that she is in mature growth. She has a nice upright habit and never makes a nuisance of herself except to brighten up her area of the garden every time you look.
Ralph Moore, who is known to rosarians as the "Grandfather of the American Miniature Rose," dabbled in breeding various different rose strains for over 50 years. Sequoia Nursery, which he opened in 1937 as a general nursery, became his center for breeding miniature roses. His work in miniatures was monumental, but his breeding programs of striped roses and moss roses also form the foundation for much of the work still going on in those areas. Alas, the world lost him in 2009 when he passed at the age of 102 and Sequoia Nursery closed the same year. I've since seen pictures of Sequoia Nursery as posted on the Internet only a year later and it is sad to see the disrepair that only a year has brought in this former mecca of the rose world. There are rumors, though, that Moore's breeding stock may have been transferred into safe-keeping and that the tremendous potential of his breeding lines may not yet be lost. 'Linda Campbell' is a testament to his genius and should be grown in every rose lover's garden.