I have this wonderful old rose. I wish I could spread the scent out to you. The silvery pink color in the rose is beautyful. The bush gets so lush and full. But more so than the beauty of the rose in the vase, is the beauty of the memories that they bring to me. This rose and the vase have a little history behind them. I hope I can bring some of that to light for you. I hope I can figure out the most of the story it still holds secret.
One problem with my history is in the lack of History of this rose. Lack of history, because I lack the name of this rose. I have been wondering for some time what the name could be. It is definately a very hardy rose. I have also wondered, when it was planted. When I got the sucker starts, I had not thought to ask. The only one who might have known the name of the family rose might have been Sylvia's brother, Ray. He had an interest in all the roses. I think, he may have started some from suckers, himself.
After the son Dwight and his wife Sylvia more or less took control of the farm, they added their own touches in landscaping. The wife might have added some small very hardy red rugosa roses to the front yard in a horizontal line with the house, entirely on her own? In the back, she left the pink roses. She had great respect for Herman and his ideas and memories. For that reason, I think she kept to the master plan that Herman and Annie [with her grandparents] layed out.
I know for a fact that Sylvia would have liked to have removed those pink roses in the back.
Even though, they were pretty in the summer along the side walk by the old country wire gate. The fence was divided in two by two gray and white posts and the white painted curly cued metal gate. There was a pink rose bush on each side of the walkway with the gate in between. A perfect vision of practical rural country with a little prettines thrown into the picture.
It's not an entire pretty picture,as I see it. I know this rose bush. Into this picture creeps the rose habit of trying to take over the area. I know sidewalk did help keep it in check.
I think what she didn't like about the rose placement, was the fact that the rose branches would catch on the clothes or worse the skin as she or her children would walk beside it. through the gate. Also, it did require a bit of pruning of the suckers, since it was a hardy rose. If you ever have had suckering plants, you know what I am talking about.
But the rose in my estimation, was so worth the labor. Because the scent of this rose is heavenly. Every time you passed through the gate to the farm area, you wafed in the the scent. In the morning, I think it was like a gentle well wish to you on to your way to your task. And a pleasant greeting of the inhale of the scent as the farmers returned from the barn or the field at the end of their work day.
You don't find that great scent with the line of the hardy red rose that they planted in the front of their estate. That of the the hardy red rugosa rose. It came in a cherry red or a pinker red. [Nowadays, one can find it even in white] Rugosa Rose ‘Grootendorst’: Wonderfully fragrant large double blooms of pink or rosy red. It Grows 3 to 5 feet and is hardy to zone 3. You find the hardiness and tameness with those. I realize now that Sylvia tried to have an arbor effect in the middle of the line of red roses with two fan trellises on each side of the walk through the middle.
I have an old photo, which shows this perfectly. I just need to find it. Then you will see
in the old photo of the farm in the time of Annie and Herman; those roses were tame enough to stand in line and not sucker away. I, myself would have tried to put the pink ones there as they would have been perfect against the white fan trellis. [ Or even an arbor, but there wasn't alot of money in those days for those kind of things. ] You could add climbers next to the fan trellis or like Sylvia did with morning glories. The pink rose certainly can grow tall and luscious enough. It would have been so pretty there.
But I know it would not have been practical. Let me illustrate that thought. If you can imagine yourself alone, with twenty crawling infants all lined up in a row. Now, imagine your task is to keep them straight in a line all in that row. How many would be there in that row after an twenty minutes? Maybe one or two little contented child is laying there dreaming. Otherwise, the others would have crawled away in search of who knows what. You would be going off after each one and bringing them back; only to have another do the same. It would be never ending. It would be quite a comical situtation. That is how it would have been if the pink silvery rose had been lined up there in a long line the width of the front yard.
Then too, as those suckers popped up in the yard further away, you would have the task of removing it each time you mowed the lawn. More than likely it would be the barefoot child, who would have found it first.
The rose by the gate in the back yard probably served as a reminder to a younger child, that there was no passage for them over that post to the other side. They were to be inside the fence where they could be safely playing, while the others tended their chores. The gentle scent reminded them as they neared the gate.
Later a mulberry tree took root and became a climbing platform for Sylvia's children. It didn't take them long to realize that they could easily go down from the tree to the outside of the yard. Which was of course on the other side of the fence. But by that time, they were old enough to help with the chores. They were old enough to not need a fence to be kept safe.
The big mulberry tree with its long branches eventually passed so much shade over the one rose on the northern post, that it soon passed on. What ever the reason was, Sylvia the gardner, did not replant the rose.
Later on, she had the Mulberry tree choped down,. The Meyer children loved climbing the tree and argued to keep it. She won her point for it going. It blocked the yard light. Maybe the real reason was it because it dropped mulberries on the sidewalk. With the tree gone, she could have replanted the rose bush opposite the other. But she didn't.
I have wondered why that rose stayed there in that spot on the west side next to the gate and side walk. Other roses had lost their spots!
Perhaps Herman prefered the nonscented scarlet colored rugosa rose at the east side, instead of the light pink rose with scent, which was on the west side. Perhaps it was planted in that spot in the west by Annie or her grandparents. The decision mystery itself, I am sure was part of the memory of the flower.
It could have been planted by the previous owner of the farm. The farm had belonged to another family before Herman and Annie purchased it. I am told that they visited once and heard about the mishaps and the changes that the farm had gone through. The changes in the buildings and the trees were noticed. They told how they had planted this tree and that one. They marveled in their old age with their old memories, how now the new width and height of the still standing maple trees have reached. The trees were now huge and gave more shade than they had when they began the farm. The new owners would proudly show them around and ask the questions they were curious to hear. I wish I knew, if the old owners had planted the pink rose. If they had loved that rose too. No doubt they could have taken away a start of it to their new home. It would also have been a sentimental keepsake of their old home. A perfect keepsake which would bring up memories of the old days on the Sunnyslope farm. [ I don't know either, if they called it Sunnyslope farm too.]
This photo of people in the life of Annie and Herman, August and Anna does not enlarge. I am going to leave it this way. Later, I will add on one that opens and enlarges. It has those of Sunnyslope farm and those of Iowa. August, Anna, Annie, Herman, Lyle or Dwight, Lily( Meyer) Carter. The others I am not sure about.
Annies grandfather, August Seil and his wife, Anna Vogel had a wing in the old house to themselves. I am not sure exactly what August did on the farm, but I heard he had a green thumb. Especially great was his knowledge of the Grapes. Maybe the roses.??
I suppose the rose stayed where it was because of the old habits and the memories.
I am sure the pink rose had memories to Herman of the older days, when they were all there together. It could have had ties of Annie memories, and her memories that she had that I will never know about.
Memories she and he had of Iowa. Her mother, step siblings, or old friends back home in Iowa, or new friends in the in the plains of Minnesota. It could also have memories for Herman of his home place in Iowa. Perhaps his or her relatives had the same rose. Maybe they brought it with them in the early nineteen hundred's, when they married and settled at the Sunnyslope farm.
I am not sure, if I have mentioned that Annies mother, was the daughter of August William Seil. And her mother was of the Korn family that came from a line that tied to Schmidt, and Culeman. The Culeman had gone from Hildesheim to Gross Thondorf in Uelzen. It involves the names Coleman, and Schmidt and maybe ten others.
The Seil information is limited. I think the family of Annie and Herman had prefered it that way. August was born at Dahlenburg. I have some information on his father, but not much. His mother was a Brookmann. I don't know yet, when she came to America. She was blind, while she helped him with his household in Iowa. She was still living with him in Iowa, after he had married Annie Vogel. After his mother died, the rather newly married old couple moved to Minnesota to live with the newly married Herman and Annie. When he first immigrated to america; August Seil stopped for a bit at Joliet, Will county in Illinois before moving on to Iowa. Some of it is still a mystery. I have a post still coming with this history.
I hesitate to mention that Annie was born  illegitimate to Lizzie Seil. Lizzie came from Germany with Annie still unborn. Lizzies father did not really know her. He had left when she was a baby. Lizzie married and the best solution for Annie and Lizzie was decided that August was to raise Annie. He was already married to Anna Vogel. And so he was like her father. Anna herself had had no other children. I would imagine too, she was like a mother for Annie. Annie married, when she turned eighteen. Her mother died not long after her marriage. Some of the children were left behind were not old enough to stay with the father. So they also came up from Iowa to Sunnyslope farm to live with August, Anna and Herman and Annie.
Annie developed some form of Diabetes. Her half sisters are shown in many photos as friends and helpers. Some of the children were raised along with the Meyers' own children. Such a big family it seems to have been. Not just the Seil side. Hermans relatives came to the area to live. His brother. Gollwitzers. Martins, and friends from Iowa lived in the neighborhood. Mosel, Borchert, others too numerous to mention now.
Those were the family and friends of those who knew the story of the pale pink rose. Maybe the rose was passed around between the farmers wives. Perhaps it sits in an old cemetery plaguing the caretaker to this day. So there is a good chance others in the area of southern Minnesota might know the name of the rose. [Or iowa.]
I have thought to myself 'what rose was popular back then'. I have browsed lightly into this subject. One idea pops into mind was a rose called ? ? Meyer rose. Some day, I will spend a little more time sifting through some rose books. And I will be looking on the internet sites to see the dates of origination of some other roses, that I think will resemble this one. Maybe that will help to pin point the possible time of planting. The time factor might help me identify the plant. There is always puzzle solving, isn't there?
If your reading this, your probably a relative. Maybe you know more about the rose, or you have seen it somewhere. I hope you can email me and let me know. Not just about the rose only, but maybe you have found something familiar about the vase. Maybe you know the story of the vase. write me at arootdigger at gmail. com
I know I am a day dreamer. I have sure daydreamed here a bit. What else can a child that was gladly a book worm be. I have wondered how it was in the rather mysterious ancestors lives. Those with these possesions that they left behind. I think they would be glad to know that a child they would never have thought about has had a big appreciation for the pink rose in the vase and the memories they hold.
I hope you have too. Maybe by now you understand, why I have kept that ugly old vase and still. pamper the old rose. I proudly share my rose. I have done so, because I know of the beauty of my families souls that made them hold on to these keepsakes of memory. There is beauty in the eye of this beholder and I hope in yours too.
Until the next time,