Another memento from the Ralph Moore archive, on his 104th birthday: a flyer advertising the introduction of 'Bit 'O' Sunshine', probably mailed out in 1956, the year of its introduction.
Interesting story about 'Bit 'O' Sunshine': back in the early 2000's, Carolyn Supinger, Sequoia's general manager sent me a list of Ralph's roses that she was trying to find plants of, so Sequoia could "bring home" as many of the Moore roses as were still around. Of course, many of the pre-1960 varieties remain lost and in all likelihood are extinct now. However, many "lost" cultivars did find their way back to Sequoia Nursery.
Shortly after Jerry Justice died, I was visiting with his nursery manager, Santos, who was sorting the inventory and dispatching it as responsibly as she could. I was sorting through a tray of 'Rise 'N' Shine's I was buying and in the tray was a half dozen plants that were clearly not 'Rise 'N' Shine'. I pointed this out to Santos who didn't know what they were. So, I took them home with me, knowing that Carolyn was looking for some of Ralph's older roses. Who knows, right?
I sent three plants to Carolyn at Sequoia, and she gave them to Ralph for identification. Well, guess what? Ralph said they were 'Bit 'O' Sunshine', one of his varieties from the mid-fifties. One other "lost" variety was found growing at Justice Miniatures that year as well: 'Strawberry Swirl', one of the early Mini Mosses Moore bred.
Many of the early Moore roses remain lost at this time, with little hope of recovery. After fifty years or more, there is slim chance that any of them are still alive in private gardens around the country. Still, it is a testament to Ralph that well over 3/4 of his 500+ hybrids are still grown and many are in commerce to this day. (In spite of the serious decline in people's interest in roses, especially the miniatures. )
As it happens, I have living specimens of all three of the roses listed in this flyer!