jacqueline9CAOctober 26, 2011

Wow! My head is still spinning from visiting this botanical garden (it is in No Cal in Glen Ellen, which is near Sonoma) and a attending a talk there by Dr. Wong, who is the foremost expert on old Chinese roses in China.

I had never been to the garden, and knew nothing about it. It turns out that it is located on land that used to have a quarry (duh), so there is a beautiful little lake, and the garden is hilly, with fabulous views. We got there about an hour before the talk, and just wandered around the garden. Looking at the plant labels, I noticed that they ALL appeared to be from China. Turns out that the whole garden is a collection of plants brought back (I think mostly as seeds) from China over the last several decades, propagated, and planted. Amazing. There were species roses that I didn't realize were roses (some had only 3 leaves, some looked like ferns, etc)!

Anyway, if you can get there run, do not walk.

Dr. Wang's speech was amazing - he has been discovering/re-discovering species roses and hybrids from 1,000 years ago in China - including ones that folks thought no longer existed. He is writing a book, and I want it, I want it! I feel like I did when the tea rose ladies from Australia came over here and told everyone about their book - I almost burst waiting the next 5 years until it came out, but it was worth it.


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anntn6b(z6b TN)

Thank you so much for the news that Dr. Wang is writing a book.
I priced the cost of attending his speach in NYC and just sort of chuckled to myself.

It sounds like it was a wonderful trip.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 11:10AM
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bluesibe(NoCa 9a)

Jackie, thanks for the info. I'll have to try and plan a field trip there. Never heard of Quarryhill before.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 11:38AM
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Quarryhill's a wonderful place. Best in spring!!

But I sure wish I could have made it to that talk.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 12:07PM
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Jeri - I am planning on going back in the Spring, but it was wonderful to see it in the Fall - all sorts of bushes and trees were covered with fruit/berries, and leaves were turning. There was one species rose I forget the name of (of course) that was absolutely laden - covered the entire bush - with HUGE (half the size of a medium sized lemon) bright yellow hips, which were covered with spikey hairs. We were told the sell them to eat in China. Can't wait to see the flowers that produced those hips!


    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 2:01PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

Spikey hairs and big and yellow suggests that its R. roxburghii (single form), as R.r. is used as a fruit in Japan.
Another possibility is R. laevigata, whose hips are also used as food/medicine.
Round hips would be roxburghii, sort of stretched out, narrower away from the stem - laevigata.
R. bracteata also makes spiny hips, but I've never heard of them being big enough for food (other than for critters)

Both are singles; roxburghii comes in at least three colors as a single (Phillip and Rix pix). Laevigata from what I've read is always white.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 2:17PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Wow, never heard of the place. Looks nice.

Here is a link that might be useful: QH BG photo gallery

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 3:05PM
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jackie thansk so much for letting us know of this beautiful garden and hoovb, for posting the photo gallery where there are really great slide shows. I felt like I was in their garden for a few minutes.
I took the spring-summer slide show trip and was amazed to see a deep blue Tibetan clematis, followed by (slide 32 and 33) the R. roxburghii hips, as yellow and spikey as you said they were.

The spring-summer slide show only takes c. 2 minutes and it's well worth the time, even R. setipoda has a cameo.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 6:06PM
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Thanks for the report! I was disappointed not to be able to go -- something important came up. I definitely need to make a trip there at some point. Do let us know when the book comes out, please.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 11:47PM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

I loved Quarry Hill. The design of the garden is really beautful. The plants are exciting. I think fall is a great time there with so much leaf color and the rose hips were wonderful. We were so lucky to hear Dr. Wang speak. The research he is doing is fascinating. He was also charming and humorous. Also I saw many of my most loved rose friends.
I bought a little Katsura tree there. There were several growing in the garden. Besides being a lovely tree in the fall they exude a scent that smells like cooking strawberries.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 10:04AM
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How large does the Katsura tree become?


    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 1:18PM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

I think it gets to be 40 feet.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 10:09AM
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Do you know if Dr. Wang might have given permission for his talk to be either recorded or transcribed? There might be enough interested persons willing to pay a reasonable fee for a copy to defray his travel expenses entirely.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 10:39PM
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It is my understanding (to my vast disappointment) that no permission was given.

!Que lastima!


    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 11:31PM
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You are correct, Jeri. In fact, an announcement was made at the beginning of the talk specifically asking that no recording of any kind be made. There was an explanation - they said that much of the content/data presented in the talk was new information/discoveries, and that Dr. Wang was writing a book about it all. Of course, that made it even more fascinating to listen to!


    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 10:07AM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

We can only hope that he has a publisher lined up and that he writes quickly.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 3:53PM
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jill_perry_gw(z9 CA)

I posted a blog entry about the talk at Quarry Hill, the garden, and Dr. Wang's visit to the Heritage if any of you are interested.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jill's blog

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 4:36PM
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