A 3-Generation Rose: The Story of ‘Ole Peggy’

This letter was sent to us last year, and it was handed around to a few people and finally ended up on my desk. This is the story of a single rose bush that, after 45 years, made its way back to its original owner. Our roses are interesting and loved by many people, but it’s those people, the gardeners who grow them, that really highlight why gardening is so important to everyone. The following letter is from Peggy in Kentucky, completely unchanged save the removal of personal information.

June 6, 2008    
Attn.: President Jackson & Perkins
2 Floral Avenue
Hodges, SC 29653

Dear Sir or Madam:

I want to share a story with you that involves a J&P rose bush.
Back in 1964, I was a young teenager, I found a J&P advertisement
in a magazine which boldly declared that the ‘rose bushes were
guaranteed to bloom within 4 to 6 weeks (don’t remember the exact
number but to me it was unbelievable) or you did not have to pay for
them”, So, without my parent’s permission, I ordered 4 bushes (a
special buy) because I knew they would not bloom in such a short time.
One day I came home from school and found the package of rose bushes
and instructions on how to soak them in this “special magic” solution.
I excitedly set about preparing them for planting and by the time my
Dad came home they were well on their way to being in the ground. He
inquired as to how I planned to pay for them and I announced assuredly,
that they would not bloom that fast and therefore, I would not have to
pay.

Time went by and sure enough, they bloomed; one white, one lavender,
one deep red and a bright pink, how beautiful they were. I began
getting notices from you, which I ignored, and eventually it was turned
over to the credit bureau for nonpayment. My Dad gave me a speech about
responsibility. He worked hard to support his family and did not have
extra money but, being the wise and loving Dad that he was, he
eventually paid the bill for me and made me pay him back.

Two summers later, we moved to New Hampshire and I sadly left the rose
bushes behind. My Grandmother dug up the deep red one and took it to
her house. She named the bush “Ole Peggy”. Years went by, I would see
the bush when I visited. I was happy it gave my Grandmother such
pleasure and that “I” had a special namesake in her garden. She passed
away in 1992, and the rose missed her greatly, then my Grandpa died
just last year at age 101. Everyone agreed that I could have “Ole
Peggy”. My Mom and sister carefully dug it up and brought it to my
house (I now live back in Kentucky). It was early spring and honestly I
did not think it would make it. I planted and pampered it and much to
my happiness, it now has nice healthy growth on it. I am anxious to see
if it will bloom this summer but I am missing your
“special magic” solution,’ so maybe not!

Sincerely,

Peggy

If you have a gardening story that you’d like to share or pictures of our roses in your garden feel free to send us a letter at the address below, and we might publish your story too!

Attn.: eCommerce Dept.
Jackson & Perkins
2 Floral Avenue
Hodges, SC 29653

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