A last look at Sequoia Nursery

ranchgardenerAugust 17, 2010

I stopped by in May to see what had happened to Ralph Moore's old nursery. I found an archeological wonderland of sturdy old roses surviving after years of neglect. A truly amazing site to see these rugged beauties among the rubble of what had been the nursery.

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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Do you have bigger pictures? They are nice but hard to see. Is the property being sold?


    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 5:04PM
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Yeah I too would love to see the pics bigger.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 6:33PM
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Oops, just learning how to imbed photos. These are "bigger" views of what I saw last May. I did stop by in July and they were in the process of moving out the old house. All the still standing buildings (the greenhouses had long ago collapsed) had been listed for sale so I imagine that the property has been sold and will be developed shortly.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 10:17PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Grips your heart, doesn't it? Thank you for the larger pictures. Even more poignant. I want to weep and applaud at the same time. A long life very wisely lived, and now the soul has gone home, and left all that tumble of color behind.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 11:09PM
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I was truly amazed at the large rambling roses which were literally dripping out of the trees. The property was really quite large and there were many old stock plants dotted throughout the landscape. I did take a couple of cuttings (I know I probably should not have without permission but could not resist)of the pale pink rose which was cascading out of the trees from at least a height of 20 if not 30 feet. My cuttings did root and am waiting to have them bloom so that I can try to get the rose identified.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 11:40AM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

The big pink rose in the last two photos is Renae , according to Burling, who was Ralph Moore's right-hand woman for budding plants for many, many years.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 5:06PM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

p.s. BTW, Burling has her own nursery now that sells many of Ralph's roses, including Renae. That one is on her current available list for $10.50 for a band size or $17.50 for a gallon size. I have ordered from her in the past and she just charges the "real" postage costs for sending stuff out, so that is quite reasonable too. If you want the rest of her current availability list, just send me an email and I'll send it back to you by return email.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 5:12PM
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greenhaven(SW MI z6)

Startlingly sad....even though Moore's contributions were momentous to say the least, and one could say the nursery "paid it's dues" and deserves it's now-quiet state, it is just so significant. :o(

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 8:04PM
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aimeekitty(9-10, SW 18)

Burling's nursery:
You can email them and ask for a paper catalog! (or call them and ask what they have)

Here is a link that might be useful: Burlington Roses

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 8:53PM
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That line of Creepy is going to hurt someone.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 10:52PM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)


    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 11:14PM
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To echo kstrong: Creepy?

"That line of Creepy is going to hurt someone"??? Whatever is that supposed to mean, berndoodle?


And kind of creepy.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 8:18PM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

AHA! Creepy is an alternate name for Ralph's Creeper, which is the rose variety of the first pic in the series. But I still don't know why it would "hurt someone."

Here is a link that might be useful: Creepy on HMF

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 9:35PM
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flaurabunda(6a, Central IL)

I think it's because it looks large enough to take over a third world nation. Wowsers, that thing is huge!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 9:09AM
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I just went ahead and contacted Burlington Roses and they mailed me out the current availability list. Close to 300 roses are listed (not just minis). There was no charge for requesting the paper catalogue (the website does not have the list available online).

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 7:59PM
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That's really a depressing group of photos....anybody got any history about it? Moore died and nobody sold the nursery or bothered to keep it running?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 4:52PM
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Okay, I googled this and found out the nursery closed just two years ago on April 30th 2008 and was sold...proceeds and the breeding roses went to Texas A&M. And the last I can find, Ralph Moore is still alive??(101 years old in 2008) I'm amazed that it could disintegrate this fast...and why would anyone buying the property let all the buildings get completely trashed??

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 10:03AM
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The city of Visalia has greatly expanded and while the nursery might have been fairly isolated in the past, the large piece of undeveloped property now is fairly central and right off the freeway. I am not from Visalia but as an outsider I could not help but observe the big box stores and large churches which are nearby. I don't think there is much hope of it being left undeveloped for long as it is surely to become the victim of future urban sprawl.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 1:42PM
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alameda/zone 8

My Navy son is stationed in Lemoore, CA and I am going to visit in October - it is only 32 minutes from his base - I would love to go see this historic nursery before it is torn down......[I can hear my son groaning now......] Does anyone know if there are any rose nurseries near there that would be fun to see? Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 11:49AM
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kstrong(10 So Cal)

Burlington Roses is in Visalia also, and if you send her an email, I'm sure she would show you around. Look her email addy up on HMF.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 2:27PM
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iowa_jade(C 5b H 6)

I just found this!

Thanks for posting the photos!

Remember to support HMF roses!


    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 4:09PM
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alameda/zone 8

I ran across this interesting group of photos. Can anyone identify the red and pink roses in photo #3? I wonder if these roses are still growoing there or if the property has been developed. Truly a piece of history. I so enjoyed ordering from Ralph. He was an icon.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 10:59AM
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This is Ralph's Creeper outside the sales office along E. Noble Ave.

It's difficult to tell precisely where this is and what direction it faces, but it LOOKS like the red rose on the left is Cocktail and the standard is one of the unreleased seedlings, 1-72-1 X Rugelda. That should make the shot standing beside the greenhouses Burling used for propagation, looking toward E. Nobel Ave. toward the potted mini sales area.

This is Renae! It is over the picnic table area across the drive from the office, between his house and the nursery, behind his car port. Gorgeous rose!

This is standing at the lower end of the potted mini sales area looking toward the eastern green houses behind his house. The rose dripping from the trees is that Renae again. The pink climbing rose crushing the green house is Cl. Mlle. Cecile Brunner.

I haven't been by there in probably three years. The last time I drove by, the entire six acres were bare dirt with nothing growing. What it is now, I have no idea. It was too painful to check again. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: 1-72-1Rugelda

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 12:24PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

That just breaks my heart.
I shouldn't even have looked.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 1:44PM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

oh wow...that's just heartbreaking :( and to think that now its completely gone, really drives home the point that nurseries and gardens (both public and private) really need to be mainteined for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. Just think about how many plants were lost when that land was cleared. In light of the closing of Vintage Gardens, I'm very happy that those gardens are planning to be maintained so this doesn't happen again.

Funny note Re: Ralph's Creeper, (I has recently posted this quick story on Seil's thread a week or so ago, but it just fits in so well with this one). I was checking my pot ghetto on my front porch a couple of weeks ago, and there was one rose that had shot off a 3 foot cane into the flower bed in front of my porch and appeared to be trying to escape...the rose? Ralph's Creeper of course :) Vigorous little guy!


    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 2:16PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

But yet Sequoia and Mr. Moore live on, the essence of them, right in my garden, and probably in yours Jeri and Kim, and many others. They are right out there by my front walk, alive, growing...
'Precious Dream':

This post was edited by hoovb on Mon, Mar 18, 13 at 15:30

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 7:53PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I have been thinking about this thread today.

While I debate my order from Vintage (what to pick-I have 2 but need to pick 2 + alternates) I think about Burlington.

If we all only buy to help Vintage, do we in part hurt another nursery in the process? I have decided anything I buy from Vintage, I will check and make sure it is not on Burlings list. But I sure wish there was a list of Roses Greg has and Burling doesn't

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:04PM
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alameda/zone 8

Hoovb, what is the name of that gorgeous rose you have pictured? Truly lovely!

Sometimes when I am working so hard in my garden and enjoying the beauty there.......I wonder what will happen to it when I am gone. I turn 65 in April - my son doesnt care, no one else in the family does. So these treasures I have coming from Vintage and other treasures already planted - what happens to them? I think I will let the Houston Rose Society or the 2 gardening friends I have come get what they want. But - I do this for ME - NOW - so I just dont worry about it. Mr. Moore had an incredible life and made marvelous contributions that are growing in gardens everywhere. Like others, I am anxiously ordering roses from Vintage that cant be had elsewhere. But I am also supporting Burling with an order this year and there will be more in future years. Hopefully the torch will be passed to others trying to preserve beauty and history through these historical roses. I was sad but heartened to see those magnificent roses growing through the remains of Sequoia nursery. Hopefully these photos will inspirt others to grow these roses themselves. I have Renae on order and now want to order Ralph's Creeper - to put on a little island surrounded by a small pond I just had dug - am going to call it Isla Rosa and I hope one day it will have roses growing as lush as those in these photos.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:33PM
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roseblush1(8a/Sunset 7)

Just a heads up...........

Berling maintains the inventory for her nursery on her NURSERY listing on HMF herself. She is very, very conscientious about keeping it up-to-date. In fact, she won't let anyone else even touch her listing.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:50PM
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annesfbay(9b Sunset 15)

Yes, carrying on the torch--I have 2 tiny Renae's from Burlington that I plan on planting on either side of an arbor. I like to think of them as coming from that huge Renae in the photo. I would have loved to have visited Sequoia. It is funny to miss something you didn't know.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:57PM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

Yes, I have an order with Burling placed and it will be coming next month. She's always so sweet and her prices are very fair :)


    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 7:27AM
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I remember Visalia back in the 70s and 80s when my uncle lived there. After many years and two wives, he finally moved back to be near friends. How the roses could get by on no irrigation is a wonder because that place cooks in the summer.

This reminds me of the beautiful French drawings and paintings of ruins from the late 1700s. I always thought that would be a beautiful thing for a theme of an arboretum. Large trees, classical ruins and climbing/rambling roses. And a few pastured sheep just for the fun of it. As long as I'm on this particular fantasy, I want an island of 20 pet rabbits surrounded by a moat with a pretty little white filigree metal bridge with a gate at either end so the bunnies don't get loose to chew the flowers. Our local Sunday brunch spot used to have a and area of grass, trees and big shrubs between two restaurants where pet bunnies lived and it was wonderful. There was a little stream going through the center. Very Eastery. They tore the whole thing down to build a Howard Johnsons or something similar.

These roses were so beautiful. What a shame they couldn't have been worked around. It's probably something plain and ordinary now like housing or another shopping strip. Wouldn't it be great to buy a shopping strip, tear it down and put up roses? I'm sad it's gone too. My old school was 3 victorian to 20s era farmhouses with big mature pepper trees and rolling hills on the edge of UC Irvine. Now there's nothing there but a sports facility and a parking lot. We used to escape and go into the nearby pasture to the horse pond or hide in the mustard fields on listen to the birds. When places like these are gone and paved over for a parking lot it breaks my heart.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:07AM
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Sadly, she doesn't ship to Florida. I think maybe Andrew from Florida went to a lot of trouble with phyto certificate and whatever else shipping here involves in order to get a large number of her roses. I wonder how that turned out.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 12:22PM
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It is heartbreaking. Ralph Moore, perhaps the greatest American rosarian of our generation and this is all that is left of his nursery. His PINK POODLE (miniature, 1991) is my favorite miniature and a hybridizing triumph. A true mini (not some glorified dwarf hybrid tea) with nearly thornless stems and fragrant flowers. Yes fragrant! So many minis have no fragrance but PP is blessed with a sweat pea scent from it's Old Bush China parent. When they raze what is left of the roses and cover the ground with cement it will be like he never existed. Tragic.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pink Poodle at HelpMeFind Roses

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 4:35PM
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plan9fromposhmadison(8A Madison Mississippi)

Mississippi also requires a 'Phyto Certificate'. I suppose that will prevent me from ordering from Burlington, too. I liked the 'call and ask' option. And her list of roses on HelpMeFind inspired my confidence. Of the twenty or so I looked at, they all looked like rugged survivors, The photos and descriptions there were more informative than those on a great many other growers' websites (hint... hint... Guys, you are NOT getting much bang for your buck on those pitiful websites. Even some of the big retailers who could/should have a very polished presentation, do not. Every cultivar should have a whole-plant shot, in addition to the close-up. And descriptions are awfully spotty on most of the websites.)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 3:37PM
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onafixedincome(z8-9 CA)

I wish that whenever a nursery goes under, they would let plant fanatics come take cuttings and dig up the old landscaping, especially in the case of places like Vintage and Sequoia, where the plant lines can then be preserved rather than dozered and lost.

Last year I was given a dozen or so rosebushes which were around 50 years old or so. I've asked the former owners for cuttings from the remainder which they kept, for exactly that reason.

IDENTIFYING the roses I was given (they'd bought the place from an elderly rosarian who had meticulously manicured her treasures) is turning out to be a challenge, but that's not the point.

They're ALIVE. They're THRIVING. And they are very, very, very beautiful. That makes me feel good, because whatever they are, they won't be lost anytime soon. And anyone is welcome to take and propagate cuttings if they wish.

We all can do this kind of thing with our beloved roses, and even with our not-so-beloved ones....instead of throwing them away, ask around first.

Just my two cents...

And anyone know this rose? Classic 'plastic bag' from around 1993-ish and mislabeled as 'Peace', which is certainly isn't.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2014 at 2:53AM
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Just Joey?


It's impossible to say for sure without seeing more of the plant's habit and botanical details. Kim

    Bookmark   October 24, 2014 at 3:06AM
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seil zone 6b MI

Too pink to be JJ I think.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2014 at 10:50AM
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