Friday, January 14, 2011

Ralph Moore's 104th Birthday

Today would have been Ralph Moore's 104th birthday. This is to say thanks, Ralph, for all of the knowledge you have shared with many of us, and a personal thank you for sharing with me a number of your most valued breeding plants. They are getting a workout here, I assure you!

I believe the photos shown here are all by Carolyn Supinger, Moore's general manager for many years at Sequoia Nursery. It would be at about this time of the year that Ralph would have been sowing the previous year's seed crop, as he is doing in the upper two images. In the third image it is late Spring and Ralph is weeding out unwanted seedlings to make room for the better ones. In the last two images, Ralph and I are talking about thornlessness in roses. If I am not mistaken, the plant I am looking at ended up being named 'Gina's Rose', one of the thornless shrubs bred from 'Basye's Legacy'.

Thank you Ralph, for all the glorious roses, and for showing the rest of us how to approach rose breeding with creative abandon.


  1. Hi Paul.

    Thank you for sharing with us these most personal and treasured pictures...what a beautiful way to remember him by, today!

    Have a wonderful day, and take care Paul!

  2. Hi George, I'm glad you appreciate the photos. I have so much "Ralph stuff" archived that it would take years to sort out and work with. He was a prolific writer as well; no idea where he found the time to write as much as he did on top of running the nursery. I should dig out some of the really old catalogs and scan them to post as PDFs. They are very interesting comments on the miniature rose industry from that time.

  3. A group of us gathered in Visalia, last weekend, to mark the anniversary of Ralph's birth -- and at the end, one of the comments was that Ralph would have loved the occasion.
    What a remarkable individual he was! I feel so fortunate to have known him.

  4. It's great that you two developed such a great friendship. We're lucky you have the memories to share and some insight on his breeding strategies.

  5. you ought to recount the tale of your first meeting with Ralph.

  6. Great Post Paul. That history needs to be preserved and shared and you're right on top of it.

  7. Thanks Paul for the posting. I love hearing stories about Mr. Moore and that period of rose history. Would you do a posting on your discusion with him concerning thornlessness?
    Would love to hear yours and his points of view. I hate thorns and as time goes on the amount of prickles is a factor in whether I would buy a particular rose or not.
    Jim Provenzano