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'George Oliva' rose Reviews & Comments
Discussion id : 145-075
most recent 23 MAY 23 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 23 MAY 23 by Kim W Florida 10b Humid
High Country Roses sells this rose. Their website says that it's size is: 6-8ft high and 4-6ft wide. Moderate Fragrance and Continuous Repeat in clusters. Hardy to Zone 5. Wish I had room for it.
Discussion id : 112-986
most recent 10 SEP 18 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 10 SEP 18 by Andy Vanable
Vanajacqui – the 'George Oliva' Story
by Andy Vanable

I first met Jacqui a few years ago at one of our Rhode Island Rose Society (RIRS) meetings. She reminds me that I was stern and quite matter of fact with her at one of my many planting demonstrations, that I have done throughout the years. But, as anyone who knows me, I don’t sugar-coat the truth, especially when I talk about roses. I tell it like I see it! Jacqui and I have since had many discussions about roses and the people who grow them. Her curiosity and willing to listen (and learn) about roses never ceases to amaze me. Not long after I met Jacqui, I gave her one of my seedlings, and she promptly killed it. She was afraid to tell me, fearing that I would think differently of her. But instead, I took it in stride, and explained to her that killing it might not be her fault, and the seedling may have died no matter who may have been taking care of it (including me). But, in the process, I knew I had started getting Jacqui hooked on growing seedlings, and how having your very own seedling in your yard can be just as satisfying and rewarding to grow as any other rose.

Throughout the many months since I met Jacqui, I have watched her get more involved with roses, having fun growing them, and enjoying the company of the people who grow them. She quickly has become a part of this close-knit community we have in the District (and beyond). Lately, she expanded her rose-growing experience by including exhibiting and arranging. I may have had a part in this, by encouraging her to enter the Rhode Island Rose Society (RIRS) show even though she had no roses with what she called “worthwhile foliage.” I reminded her that there was a class in the show where foliage wasn’t allowed (rose-in-a-bowl), and she entered a bloom in the class and put it up to the head table. She started to get “hooked” on exhibiting, and is quite good at showing roses, taking photographs of roses, and making arrangements for our local, regional, and national shows. She has won at every level she has competed at – not too bad for someone who just started getting serious about growing/showing roses a few short years ago.

Throughout Jacqui’s tenure in the RIRS, she and I have had many discussions about roses and life in general. We found out we have a lot in common. We were both born a few years apart in the wild and tumultuous 1960’s. We both have a son and a daughter who were both born half-dozen years apart. We both have long-lasting, quality, and loving marriages, grow lots of roses, and enjoy taking care of the roses at the Roger Williams Park Victorian Rose Garden. I have tried to share with Jacqui all that I can about growing and enjoying roses to the fullest, and she is an excellent student.

A couple of years ago, I brought some of my seedlings that were in bloom to one of our regular society meetings. This meeting was like so many other meetings we have every year, and I couldn’t begin
to tell you what the presentation was that day, but I never miss an opportunity to share my seedlings with the other members (especially when they are in bloom). Jacqui was smitten with the seedlings, and while I had intended to give all of the seedlings to another rosarian in the District to test for me, Jacqui informed me that it was her birthday. Since it was Jacqui’s birthday, I decided to give a seedling to her as a birthday present, instead. I’ll admit that I also had an ulterior motive in mind when I gave it to her. I wanted to encourage her to grow seedlings and to replace the one that she had lost. (Not to mention that I didn’t have a good place to keep the seedling for the winter, and feared losing it to Mother Nature’s wrath). Jacqui has taken very good care of that seedling, and planted it, and loved it, and nurtured it to a full-sized rose full of hundreds of perfumed, purple/pink blooms ready to be shown to the world! She gave it the care it needed, and I know that if I had kept it, it would have been “just another seedling” that I would have to “deal with” through the winter. Who knows? Maybe it would be extinct now?

One day, after one of our society meetings, I went to Jacqui’s house to check out the seedling, see her recent rose additions, and to give her advice on her garden. We started talking and discussing the seedling, and possibly introducing her. The names that were discussed were (like Jacqui) fun and whimsical names. Later during that visit, I shared one of my stories with her about a long-ago tragedy in my life. When Jacqui was done reading, she wept. She is not the first person to weep after reading this story, but when I asked her about it, she told me that she had lost her father to a violent attack, when she was only eight years old. And, in a demented twist of fate right out of an Alfred Hitchcock film, her mother would not be able to take care of Jacqui (and her brother and sisters). My story had stirred up hidden emotions within her about her father. We both knew then and there that this little seedling would be named in memory of Jacqui’s father. She even had a named picked out and ready to go (George Oliva). Now, I can’t even think of comprehending a childhood without a mom and a dad. I have a pair of great parents who are still with us on this Earth. Generation after generation, mothers and fathers have special bonds with their children. And, there is nothing more special than the bond a father has with his daughter. The daughter is forever “daddy’s little girl” in his heart and mind, and no one better cross it! I am blessed with a wonderful daughter full of beauty, great common sense, a wonderful love of life, she enjoys roses, music, and everything that is good and just in the world. She has her own garden, where she grows vegetables and herbs. I see so much in her that is just like her mother, yet she is so much like me, too. We both share the same common core beliefs
in life, and act quite a lot alike. We both have an enthusiastic love of music of all generas through the many decades of the 20th Century up to present day songs. We both have shared our love of music through our favorite instrument that we both play – the oboe. This special father/daughter bond we share has been between us since the day she was born, and will continue until the day we both die.

Not long after Jacqui and I decided we would introduce the little seedling if it turned out to be worthy of introduction, I code-named her rose, Vanajacqui. While I haven’t grown Vanajacqui for quite a long time, Jacqui gives me periodic updates on him and his progress becoming the mature rose that he has become. Jacqui posts his pictures all over my Facebook wall, which have stirred more conversations among our friends than any other of my other seedlings I have pictured there. Jacqui, his rose mom (daughter), has taken very good care of him, and isn’t afraid to show him off every chance she can. He was even entered in 2016 Mini-National Photography Contest held in Pennsylvania.

This simple rose that Jacqui has lovingly nurtured into the mature rose that he has become, will never fill the void in Jacqui’s childhood without a mother and father. Instead, he is a living memorial for Jacqui, her family, friends, and rosarians worldwide of a life cut short – cut down in cold blood decades before its time. He is that reminder of a broken bond between a father and his little girl – a reminder of what should have been, but never will be. I’m sure George Oliva is looking down from wherever he is, and smiling at the great, caring, and loving lady Jacqui has become. His hands are stretching out reaching for his daughter through the canes bearing his name. Reach for him, Jacqui. He is there for you, now.

Jacqui, enjoy your rose, 'George Oliva.' Vanajacqui is official, now. Keep both the rose and his memory close to your heart. Even though he was taken from you and your family way too soon, may he live on in your heart, and through his namesake rose. It has been my honor to give you this rose, and name it in memory of the most important person in your life, your father. Without him, you would not be on this Earth, and what a great loss that would be. May you enjoy him through the years. And, now that I have a piece of him growing in my yard, I’m sure I’ll enjoy him just as much as you do. He is a great addition to our gardens and to all of the other rosarians who have him as well. May he continue to give memories that we can enjoy for the rest of our lives.
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