I am fascinated with the stories surrounding plants and the Peggy Martin rose story is one of the best. Also known as the Hurricane Katrina rose, she is a vigorous, thornless climber with clusters of pink flowers and is extremely easy to grow. Blooming in the spring and again in the fall (even in our Texas heat) this rose is resilient in many ways.
The story begins in 1989 in New Orleans when Peggy Martin was given cuttings from a thornless climbing rose. Very active in the New Orleans Old Garden Rose Society she showed it to Dr. William Welch of Texas A&M in 2003 who was most impressed by the rose. He left with cuttings but little hope that it would survive in the hot, dry Texas climate.
Survive it did, quickly covering his 15-foot fence and blooming both in the spring and fall after the second year. He was most impressed with this “un-named rose”.
In 2005 Peggy’s home was under 20-feet of salt water for 2 weeks following hurricane Katrina. When she was finally able to visit her property she found the rose bush still alive and flourishing. Dr. Welch reconnected with Peggy a couple of months after the hurricane and learned of the survival of the rose bush. He had already been convinced that this rose deserved to be marketed and used funds from a Horticulture Restoration Fund to make it happen.
He came up with the idea to name it the Peggy Martin rose and to also use it as a fund raiser with a $1.00 per plant donation going to the Garden Restoration Fund. Several rose growers got on board to help grow and market this unique rose. This rose has become a beautiful symbol of survival and a testament of resiliency.Read More