Rose Book Review

Rose Book Review
“The Women Behind the Roses-An Introduction to Alister Clark’s Rose-Namesakes 1915-1952” is by Tilley and Andrew Govanstone. This delightful hardcover was released by Rosenberg Publishing. It is distributed in the U.S. by International Specialized Book Services (ISBS).

Rose lovers all over the world are sure to treasure this delightful hardcover. Alister Clark, of Glenara, Australia, was the country’s best known rosarian and rose breeder. He specialized in breeding roses for the country’s challenging growing conditions. His aim was to achieve a rose that would bloom year-round, and he came very close to meeting this achievement.

During his lifetime, Clark introduced around 140 rose varieties, many of which went on to become award winning roses. Many of these reliable varieties are still in demand today, and are destined to become heirlooms for future generations to enjoy. As a group, these are known as the Glenara seedlings. For the most part, almost all are suitable as cut flowers. This title will be particularly useful to floral designers.

This ground-breaking book presents profiles of the roses and the story of each introduction, and the remarkable women for which they are named. The authors spent over 25 years carefully researching this book. They cite their primary sources of information, and include leisurely lengthy quotes from original sources. In reading this book it becomes obvious that this was truly a labor of love for the Govanstones.

This is illustrated with many historic photos. There are also lush full color photos of the exquisite roses. This also features marvelous, historical watercolors of Glenara as well.

The in-depth profiles of the 65 women capture the personalities of these remarkable individuals. Each intimate portrait explains the subject’s relationship to Clark over the years. Some of the women were from the upper class like Clark. However, other backgrounds are represented as well, such as a nursery owner and the wife of a gardener employed by Clark. Several of the women are relatives of Clark, including several nieces. In addition to learning about the roses and the women for which they are named, readers also can learn about the history of Australia, particularly before the two world wars.

This title will be of interest to all rose lovers. It will be especially helpful to those living in warm climates as these roses were bred specifically for such conditions.

This has a complete, in-depth biography of Clark. This provides lots of details concerning his pursuit of his horticultural interests and his garden at Glenara. It also focuses on his work as a rosarian and rose breeder but also his work with daffodils as well.

This has a separate index of the roses.

For disclosure purposes I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

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