These roses have reached their final resting place! Originally, they were in the rose collection of nationally recognized rosarian Carl Porter Cato (1913-1996) of Lynchburg.
Through many years, he had salvaged cuttings or entire plants from some endangered situation and nurtured them back to health and maturity. When his own health began failing, however, he entrusted the roses to the care of two local rosarians. These same roses are grouped here as a reminder of the gentle man who studied each prickle, leaf and petiole, adored each blossom, and, more than anything, wanted to share his passion and their beauty with the world.
"Come into my garden?I want my roses to meet you."
Achievements in the world of roses:
In 1975, Carl Cato was one of four original founders of the Heritage Roses Group, which is "a fellowship of those who care about Old Roses." Others were Lily Shohan of New York, Miriam Wilkins of California, and Edith Schurr of Washington. Membership continues to have national appeal.
Cato was an early editor and printer of the Heritage Rose newsletter which has become a publication with international circulation. His original format has been preserved.
In May 1975, Cato was first host of the National Heritage Rose Day which was held at his beloved Quaker Cemetery in Lynchburg.
Several rosarians, including Cato, were credited with the important re-discovery of the Musk Rose (Rosa mochata plena) and a Noisette rose thought to be Champney's Pink Cluster, which led to their eventual re-introduction into commerce.
Cato established the Old Rose Collection at the Quaker Cemetery, Fort Avenue, Lynchburg. He was also the advisor for the restoration of the rose garden at the home of Harlem Renaissance Poet Anne Spencer, 1313 Pierce Street, Lynchburg; Mr. Elder's Rose Garden off Monument Terrace, Lynchburg; and the Old Rose Collection along the rose wall in the Confederate section of this Old City Cemetery.
Rose cuttings taken by Cato are now flourishing in public and private gardens across the United States, including the National Arboretum Rose and Herb Garden in Washington, D.C., and the Huntington Botanical Garden in Pasadena, California.