"The Bismark School Roses"

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Long ago and far away in those wonderful days of yesteryear, a school teacher on the Texas frontier convinced the children in her classes to plant roses around the schoolhouse. The name of that teacher is now long forgotten, as are the names of the children, but the roses remain to this day.


Bismark School Roses

The roses were planted around 1890, around a school house that has long since vanished. The school property is still visible as is the adjoining cemetery, but the most spectacular thing is the line of roses that borders the gravel road.

Bismark School Roses

I first heard about these roses in April of 2001 from kind lady in north central Texas who e-mailed me with a hot tip. A flurry of e-mails and telephone calls ensued, and in a matter of days my wife and I were heading up Highway 16, clippers in hand.

It was a very worthwhile trip, and we met some wonderful people who were as interested in the preservation of "treasures from the past" as we are. The true identity of the roses has not been established, but they are clearly beautiful and well worth saving - both for their beauty and for their historical significance.

The roses are moderate climbers that will scramble into low overhanging branches, and without support them form a huge mounding hedge. They tend to sucker somewhat, and are obviously hardy - having survived more than 100 years with essentially no care.



Bismark School Rose closeup

The flowers occur in loose clusters along long flexible canes, and are very double and "cabbage" shaped. They appear to be once blooming, but I have not had an opportunity to observe them other than in the Spring. Fortunately the roses are easy to propagate, and cuttings are available from the side of the road. We took a number of cuttings, about 15 of which survived, and we plan a significant "island" of the "Bismark School Roses" in our display garden.

Suffice it to say, if you want to see an amazing sight, visit the "Bismark School Roses" during late April when they are in full bloom.

For more information, contact -

Joe Cooper
Mailbox E-Mail

Last updated 08/04/2006.