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Let me introduce you to one of my favorite roses, Distant Drums.  It's a Dr. Griffith Buck rose.  Back in the day when the hybrid tea was all the rage, Dr. Buck set out to create roses that didn't need spraying or fussing over.  His roses had to be able to withstand the blistering prairie sun of summer, but they had to be equally successful at shrugging off the bitterly cold winters.  Oh, and they had to withstand the fierce winds of the plains, too.  Those were lofty goals.  One could easily hybridize a rose that would withstand high temperatures, and Canada has done an exemplary job with their Explorer and Parkland series of creating roses that can survive cold winters.  But, to have a rose that could do both?  And not require special care? 

Dr. Buck planted his roses, and the only attention he gave them was water and cultivation.  Those that survived the winter he used further in his attempts to hybridize a wide variety of roses that were suited to the prairie, had scent, and would fit into most gardens.   

I haven't lost my marbles.  Saint Francis keeps track of them for me.  But, back to Dr. Buck.  He was a professor at Iowa State during his rose breeding years.  He freely gave his roses away to family and friends, and he rarely got a patent.  His association with Iowa State began in 1946, and he retired in 1985.  Shortly after his retirement, Iowa State destroyed all of his breeding stock--the work of a lifetime!  It was only because of his generosity with his roses that people were able to give cuttings from their gardens to save his work from extinction.  Many of his roses have been preserved, but, sadly, some of them have been lost.  It's taken time, but Dr. Buck's contribution to the world of roses has finally been acknowledged, and many of his roses are now available in nurseries.

I love Distant Drums for its unusual coloring.  It starts out with carmine buds then opens to reveal a butterscotch-colored center.

Some blooms are strongly colored, and some are delicately tinged.

It makes for an attractive bush with the wide variety of shades.

Distant Drums has the added bonus of fragrance:  myrrh.

I love this time of year!  Thank you for visiting my garden. 

Date: 2012-04-25 11:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, they are gorgeous... how fortunate that you have these. Were they in your garden when you moved to this house, or did you purchase them...

Date: 2012-04-25 11:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I purchased Distant Drums out of my admiration for Dr. Buck. I have several of his roses.

Date: 2012-04-25 03:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can see why, they're beautiful!

Date: 2012-04-25 05:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
With our mild winter, my garden is thriving this year!

Date: 2012-04-25 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What a beautiful rose - how very sad that the university did that to his breeding stock, it must have made him feel very unwanted, at least by them.

Date: 2012-04-26 10:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's hard for me to understand how a university could do such a thing. Of all people, those who had worked with him for decades should have realized the value of his work--at least respected the worth of his breeding stock.

Dr. Buck lived only five years after his retirement. I wonder if it seemed to him that his life's work had come to nothing. If only he could see now that his roses are touted by Martha Stewart!

Date: 2012-04-25 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yay for Dr. Buck!

I always love visiting your garden. :-)

Distant Drums is so lovely!

lol @ St. Francis holding your marbles

Date: 2012-04-26 10:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You are always welcome! Our yard is a bit rough right now because of several projects, the floods of 2007 (we've never gotten around to leveling out the backyard from our impromptu river!), and last year's blistering heat which killed a great deal of our grass. But the roses look pretty good!

Date: 2012-04-25 08:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Now I know a good bit about roses but that is a rose I knew nothing about and it is a bloomin' beauty! What gorgeous colouring and shading it has!
It is very hard to get "pedigreed" roses here in Spain but I'll search my favourite UK suppliers for that one. It sounds like it might do well during our hot blistering summers.

But WHYWHYWHY did Iowa State destroy his stock? That's criminal!

And I love Saint Francis guarding your marbles.

Date: 2012-04-26 10:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There is a very interesting story about how Dr. Buck was turned on to roses, and it has to do with Spain! In fact, he named several of his roses Spanish names out of respect and affection.

Griffith J. Buck (1915-1991), affectionately known as "Griff," was a rose researcher/hybridizer at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, and professor of horticulture at ISU from 1948 to 1985. As a youngster, Griff once paid a quarter to the local YMCA to get a pen pal, but none of the persons he wrote to sent a reply. He decided on a whim to simply write to a name and address he found in a library book. It happened to be that of a rose nurseryman in Spain, Pedro Dot. Dot received the letter and asked his niece, Maria Antonia, to respond and to include notes and tips on rose growing. She told Buck how to hybridize roses and urged him to give it a try. The resulting friendship would span three generations with the Dot family. Pedro Dot became his mentor, and Buck eventually named a rose after him. (See 'El Catala,' "the Catalonian," below. Dot was a very proud Catalonian.)

Actually, I've read that Dr. Buck was given a school assignment to write a pen pal and picked out Pedro Dot. Whatever the case, they became friends, and Pedro Dot was his mentor.

It's astounding that a university would destroy a lifetime of work of one of their professors!


Date: 2012-04-26 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What a wonderful story about his friendship with the Dot family. It was meant to be!

Date: 2012-04-25 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Beautiful! I love roses that have more than one color. Wow, your roses are blooming. We've got a ways to go before we see any roses around here!

Date: 2012-04-26 10:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's been in the mid-nineties here! Too hot, too soon. And we have June bugs already!

Date: 2012-04-25 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love the colours in them!!! Beautiful!

Date: 2012-04-26 10:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's such a beautiful and unusual rose.

Date: 2012-04-25 11:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ALREADY!??!?! It's not even May and your roses are blooming like that?!?!?


I love Dr. Buck's roses, too. If I can ever fight back the *(&*^*()*( shrub honeysuckle that has now swallowed the well, I'd love to plant the front yard in roses. But first I have to find a way to get rid of that *&^()(& honeysuckle!!!

Date: 2012-04-26 07:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It was 95° yesterday! We have June bugs!

Date: 2012-04-26 10:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's been in the mid-nineties here! There's no way we'll have peonies for the gravesites for Memorial Day.

Good luck with the honeysuckle! That's got to be better than the bindweed I've been fighting for the last decade.

Date: 2012-04-26 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can barely keep up with anything more than creative planters. I appreciate those who can.

Date: 2012-04-26 10:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm not doing much more than roses. They didn't even get pruned this year, but most don't seem to care except for Lafter. I'll let her bloom and then I'll try whacking her back. I had hired a girl to help me, but she said gardening was dirty work, and she didn't come back the next day!

Date: 2012-04-26 06:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's an exquisite rose.

Date: 2012-04-26 10:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It really is. The coloring is lovely.

Date: 2012-04-27 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's beautiful!

Why on earth would Iowa State destroy his breeding stock??

Date: 2012-05-01 11:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I can't imagine. It's horrifying to think of destroying decades of research.

Date: 2012-04-28 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lovely photos! :-)

Date: 2012-05-01 11:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you kindly!

Date: 2012-05-01 02:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What beautiful roses! And how sad that some of his roses were destroyed. :( I'm glad not all of them were, though. And I love visiting your garden. :)

Date: 2012-05-02 05:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sure you'll be seeing more of my garden...


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