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Clark (1864-1949), Alister
'Clark (1864-1949), Alister'  photo
Photo courtesy of Jane Z
  Listing last updated on 24 Jul 2024.
Bulla, Victoria 3428
Born January 26, 1864. Died January 20, 1949.
There's a photograph of Alister Clark on page 106 of the American Rose Annual 1935.

[From fhe Australian Rose Annual 1949 page 60.  Obituary.  

[From By Any Other Name April, 2022, page 17, by Trevor Nottle: "Some 200 roses bred by Clark were introduced....."

[From Gardening with Old Roses, p. 17:] In the first half of this century Australian rose breeding was given a great boost by Alister Clark, who lived at 'Glenara' in Bulla near Melbourne. He sent two nurserymen the length and breadth of Europe to find all the Great Roses listed by William Robinson, whom he had met in England. Subsequently he used one of these, R. gigantea, originally from Burma, to breed a new range of climbers better suited to the hot dry landscape of Australia.
[From A Celebration of Old Roses, by Trevor Griffiths, p. 133:] Alister Clark, of Glenara, near Melbourne... worked industriously over many years, raising thousands of seedlings for little financial reward and often passing them on to non-profit organisations for distribution. He produced many types of roses... He used as one parent a tremendous Rosa gigantea for many of his creations... Many of Clark's roses are not hardy in the colder-climate countries.
[From Botanica's Roses, p. 677:] Clark worked with roses from the 1910s to the 1940s in Bulla, Victoria. He had over 120 releases, including many vigorous but tender Climbers with Rosa gigantea behind them...
[Ibid, p. 106:] Although many of Clark's roses were imported to such places as California before World War II, restrictions now prevent their distribution.
[Ibid, p. 164:] Alister Clark's aim as a breeder was to create ever-blooming plants that would continue to flower throughout the Australian winter, pruning being carried out in March to create a colorful display in the cooler months. 'Lorraine Lee' was his most successful attempt to capture this...
[Ibid, p. 79:] Alister Clark was an innovative breeder who used Rosa gigantea lines in the hope that he could harness the vigor, health, fragrance and repeat-flowering tendency of that species into garden roses...
[From A Hillside of Roses, by Susan Irvine, p. 78:] Unfortunately, after Alister's death in 1949 many of his roses were lost. He had released well over one hundred and twenty.
[Ibid, p. 78:] Alister Clark bred roses for the garden not for the show bench... [and succeeded] with 'Lorraine Lee' and 'Nancy Hayward,' and almost to the same extent with 'Squatter's Dream' -- in breeding roses that would bloom all year round... Towards the end of Alister Clark's long life he wrote... that he hoped some younger man might carry on his work... For it is with the second generation bred from R. gigantea that his success was achieved. The first generation crosses -- 'Courier,' 'Golden Vision,' 'Jessie Clark,' 'Mrs. Richard Turnbull,' 'Tonner's Fancy'... bloom only in the spring... 'Lorraine Lee' and 'Nancy Hayward' were both bred from 'Jessie Clark.'
[Ibid, p. 82:] Alister seldom named roses after men -- mostly they were after women -- or racehorses.
[Ibid, p. 105:] His rose breeding was fitted in as time allowed between racing, hunting, golf, fishing, shooting, polo playing, photography, daffodil breeding and supervising the care of his very beautiful ten-hectare garden.
Fran Cleland reports: In August (last month of winter in Australia) the Alister Clark Stakes, first group race of the year in thoroghbred racing and named for him, always got a garland of 'Lorraine Lee' roses.
[From The Ultimate Rose Book, by Stirling Macoboy, pp. 190-191:] he is best remembered for his first and second generation hybrids of the Burmese Tea Rose, Rosa gigantea. The best known are 'Nancy Hayward' and 'Lorraine Lee', indispensible items of furnishing in any Autralian garden for over forty years... 'Mabel Taylor', with its pale pink trumpet, is one of his [daffodils] that is still popular...

There is more to be read about Alister Clark in The Argus November 10, 1923, courtesy of the website

Various foundling roses which are thought to be Alister Clark roses are "Alister Clark's No. 10", "Canonvale Red", "Clark's Ochre Seedling", "Clark's Tea", "Eleven Climbing", "Glenara Bess","Glenara No. 14", "Glenara No. 27", "Hatchell-Brown Pink tea", "Miss Madden's Climber", "Terang Red Single", and "Wenzel's Road Red".

For more information, see Alister Clark's Roses in the October 2001 E-Zine.
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