'Out of Yesteryear', bred by Ralph Moore, California, 1999.
Ralph Moore is one of the true geniuses of Rose breeding and will be remembered as being one of the most whimsical and creative. Perseverence is one of Ralph's greatest qualities, and this rose is the result of great patience and persistence. Rosa bracteata is a difficult species to breed with, and very very few hybrids have been created. With 'Out of Yesteryear' that difficulty may have been resolved, for this is proving to be a valuable rose for further breeding. (It has already sired a yellow climbing Moss hybrid, and three of Ralph Moore's 2002 introductions. In 2003 there will be another 2 Moore roses introduced from crosses using 'Out of Yesteryear'.)
As a shrub, 'Out of Yesteryear' grows as a four by four foot shrub (somewhat larger in southern climes, I expect), with reasonably limber canes that could be easily trained as a small climber. Blooms are produced singly and is large clusters, and are sweetly scented. Once established, it repeats regularly after an impressive late Spring flush with at least a few blooms on it continuously throughout the season. The foliage is a remarkable deep glossy green and has excellent disease resistance. This rose needs to be grown more often, especially where summers are hot, which brings out the best in the blooms. I consider this to be a most exceptional rose, and I grow to love it more with each passing year! You can get this rose from both Sequoia Nursery, where it was bred, or The Uncommon Rose.
And from the January 2003 American Rose article by myself: "'Out of Yesteryear' is considered to be the most significant hybrid as a parent of the new generation of Hybrid Bracteatas. It was created by crossing the wonderful medium-yellow miniature 'Sequoia Gold' with 'Muriel'. As a garden shrub it is one of the best of the Bracteata hybrids, having embodied some of the finest R. bracteata traits in a manageably sized shrub. Although it is a thorny plant, fortunately it does not have the foreboding hooked razor-like thorns that the species does! The foliage is wonderfully glossy, dark green, completely mildew-proof, and clothes the shrub fully and densely. The plant itself is a beautiful thing even when not in bloom, and has excellent vigor. It starts to bloom a bit later in the spring than some roses, but once it begins, there is rarely a moment's pause between blooms. The flowers are produced in clusters of 3 to 7 or more at the ends of new canes, and along laterals of older growths. There are also a few blooms produced singly on smaller branches. The individual blooms are 3 to 4.5 inches across, deeply cupped in form, resembling some of the David Austin roses. In warm weather, there is a delicious, fruity fragrance (almost like ripe peaches!) that is quite a treat. 'Out of Yesteryear' can be thought of as a shrub-like 'Sombreuil' (Climbing Tea, 1850), with better disease resistance and in a much more compact form.
"When 'Out of Yesteryear' was born at Sequoia Nursery, Ralph was quick to experiment with it to see if it would be of any value as a parent. Ralph has grown several hundred self-pollinated seedlings from 'Out of Yesteryear', but few of these have been kept for evaluation. Ralph said to me about these seedlings: "All had the same glossy foliage but I kept only one plant which had double white flowers, smaller than 'Out of Yesteryear'. I finally discarded it too as it was not good enough." Although it has not been explored extensively as a seed parent, it has certainly proven itself as a willing and talented pollen parent!
"When Ralph first talked to me 2 years ago about his Bracteata hybridizing, he was most emphatic that I should acquire 'Out of Yesteryear' for breeding, as it was proving to be an excellent breeding plant, passing down some valuable qualities to its offspring. He says, "Nearly all first generation hybrids of 'Out of Yesteryear' have been once (Spring) bloomers. A few of the climbers have repeat bloom. Only a very few are repeat blooming bush types. So it isn't easy!" Perhaps not easy, but certainly worth pursuing. If Ralph Moore hadn't taken these difficult paths in his decades of breeding work, many of the most miraculous roses would never have come about."
Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2006