My Hero, Griffith Buck

  • Post published:06/23/2010
  • Post comments:4 Comments
Applejack at the End of the Road 6-13

Dr. Griffith Buck (1915-1991) is my hero because when he was working at the Iowa State College after the Second World War he began hybidizing roses that were hardy and disease resistant. At that time (and still today) rose gardeners knew they had to spray and coddle their roses.  Buck was a man ahead of his time; nowadays many poison sprays for roses are being banned for environmental reasons and other hybridizers are working on disease resistant rose hybridgs.


When he began hybridizing he ran into problems and called on Wilhelm Kordes, a famous German rose hybridizer for help and was soon on his way to developing a whole family of disease resistant roses. Applejack was perhaps his  first success.  I can attest to his hardiness, vigor and health here at the End of the Road. I planted other Buck hybrids in our early days here, but I think due to poor planting on my part, they died.

Hawkeye Belle

Last year I began planting Buck hybrids again.  Carefree Beauty is not yet blooming, but Hawkeye Belle, a pale pink, planted this spring has its first bloom.  I will post more photographs of my Buck roses as they come into bloom.

The earliest blooming roses in my garden are the rugosas – and they are naturally disease resistant.


Apart is one of my favorite roses, big and fragrant. It took a real beating the winter of the ice storm and is just now recovering, but it has sent out new shoots, right in the middle of Champlain, a Canadian Explorer rose, who has always struggled. I haven’t solved that problem yet.

Belle Poitvine

Belle Poitvine is similar to Apart, so of course, I love her, too.  You can clearly see the heavy ridged foliage that is typical of rugosas.

Mount Blanc

Just so you can see that not all my roses are pink. Mount Blanc is almost as double as Apart and equally favorite.  All the roses will be ready for admiration at the Annual Rose Viewing this Sunday.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Kate

    What a great post. I’m always so impressed with people who find a flower they love and make it a mission to do such things. I’m a huge fan of Rugosa Roses because they’re so easy to care for… 🙂

  2. Pat

    Kate – As you can see I am a lover of Rugosas as well. I have more than those I named here.

  3. Karla

    I worked for Dr.Buck when I was at ISU. Also took classes from him. Remember boiling geranium that was no longer needed. Did not want them to get into anyones garden. He had some of his early roses at Hort. Garden

  4. Pat

    Karla – thanks for coming to visit. My first rose garden began a little more than 35 years ago – and Dr. Buck’s roses were my earliest varieties.

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