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Go, Lovely Rose

Articles: Go, Lovely Rose

Fred Howard. Photographer unknown

[sidebar]How small a part of time they share That are so wondrous sweet and fair!

Edmund Waller, from his poem, “Go, Lovely Rose”[/sidebar]

Fred Howard, who twice won the Gold Medal award for roses at the Bagatelle competition in Paris, France, before WW II, was among the most famous rose hybridizers in American history. An important nurseryman for many years in Southern California, he hybridized all kinds of plants in addition to roses. Yet, with a few exceptions, his work has disappeared from horticultural history; this is an attempt to understand why.

Howard was born in an old adobe house in Los Angeles on September 1, 1873, and joined a family of twelve, all of whom were avid plant lovers. Five of the children spent active lives in some aspect of the field of horticulture. He was educated at St Vincent’s College (predecessor of Loyola University) before entering, for the rest of his life, a successful career in the nursery industry. (The best source of information about him is found in the invaluable Southern California Gardens by Victoria Padilla, published in ...

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