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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. 
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