Prior to the 1905 exposition Portland city leaders asked all residents to plant roses in their front gardens in hopes of being branded the “Rose City.”
The exposition committee decided on a hardy hybrid tea, “Madame Caroline Testout.”
Famed French hybridizer Joseph Pernet-Ducher sold his beautiful rose to a dressmaker who named it after herself. The Madame Caroline Testout (pronounced “testoo”) a hardy hybrid tea rose has large pink petals with clear silvery pink edges.
The Madame Caroline Testout rose was introduced to the U.S. in 1892 and the city of Portland imported thousands that were delivered door to door by the Portland Rose Society members in 1902.
The plan worked and Portland became the Rose City. Historians claim that almost a quarter of the city streets were outfitted with rose hedges. A few still exist in the older neighborhoods. Recently the garden section of our newspaper listed locations to see the roses, one of those was in a nearby historical graveyard.
It is amazingly quiet in the graveyard during a late morning on a weekday, only retired folks are out and about.
Madame Caroline Testout looking very well under glass