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Gardner, B.C.

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Rose breeder   Listing last updated on 24 May 2014.
Los Banos, California
United States
… internet contact information
Bernard C. Gardner passed away Thursday 27 Nov 2008.

In the early 1990s, Marissa Fishman of Greenmantle Nurseries, wrote me saying "Barney Gardner wants to get in touch with you!" I'd collected the Coffee Roses, brown, gray and green roses, for quite a few years and had written my article about them, of the same name. Barney had grown virtually every one of them when they were new introductions! He had lost them over the years and wanted to see about regathering them in his garden.

We corresponded and became friends, visiting each other a few times over the years. Barney had raised quite a few seedling roses from the 1960s forward and had even had his Dream Dust introduced by Dr. Dennison Morey through the Dr.'s Country Rose Gardens. Bareny had been interested in what he termed, "Lay-down Roses" for years, well in advance of anyone else in the market. He was literally pioneering ground cover roses. He stopped when he took one of his seedlings to Jackson and Perkins in the late 60s or early 70s and was kept waiting for a very long time. When the men who accepted his plant returned to him, they demanded to know where he got it. He assured them it was of his own raising. They insisted it was identical to one they had under development and refused to believe it was his rose and not one of their unreleased ones. He took great offense at his integrity being questioned and didn't pursue introduction further.

We exchanged roses for a while. He had seedlings which he'd not done anything with and graciously shared them with me. Several, I thought of sufficient interest to share with Vintage Gardens, Sequoia Nursery and Ashdown Roses, with Barney's permission.

Three of his roses are listed here on Help Me Find. Tantarra is his brown (Coffee Rose) seeling he'd held for a number of years. It's actually like Julia's Rose, but on a better shaped and behaved plant. Dream Dust was an early lay-down (ground cover) in shades of pink. Barney had lost it, but in reestablishing old friendships there in Los Banos where he lived, he found an old friend who had bought the rose when introduced because it was an example of a "hometown boy, made good". The old friend still grew the rose, and Barney obtained cuttings. He rooted them and shared one with me. Dream Dust was actually an interested rose.

Barney's best (in my opinion) lay-down rose is Loyal Friend. He said he'd sent me everything he felt was of any value, but had this "one seedling, which hung around like a loyal friend". I grew the rose and assured him it IS a very nice shrub/ground cover. I also assured him Loyal Friend would be the perfect name for this rose. I asked for and Barney gave his permission for me to share his roses with anyone whom I felt would enjoy them. This is how these later roses made it into commerce. Barney didn't follow the Internet, so it was up to me to keep him informed about those carrying his roses. He found it surprising others loved his roses. It pleased him greatly.

There were several other roses Barney sent me, of which no breeding information nor photos exist. The first was a semi double, pink shrub we called, "Barney". Another was a shrub seedling of Alpine Sunset, one of his favorite modern roses. It had large, semi double flowers in a shade of saturated, hot orange-red. He called it, "Inez", as his friend Inez told him it was the shade of lipstick she wanted. Another of his very interesting lay-down roses he sent was "Fallen Snow". Originally, it appeared to be a miniature with small, double blooms in such a clean, clear shade of pure white, he said it hurt his eyes to look at it in the sun. The plant bloomed continuously, as well as grew like a weed! I remember a letter he sent which was a parody of a "B" Science Fiction movie, chronicaling what may have been had Fallen Snow been the creature in such a film! It went on for pages, with the Air National Guard bombing the ever-encroaching plant as it ate the town and surrounding hills. Very funny!

Fallen Snow had rather glandular peduncles with heavily serrate foliage and pretty, lacy sepals. The very full blooms evolved into a beautiful pink in cooler weather. The plant grew densly and covered as much real estate as it desired. It was a rather interesting plant.
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