In an earlier blog post a few days ago I alluded to the fact that Dad had achieved a noteable success in his position at The Agricultural Institute at Kinsealy. That success would come in the form of rose bush propagation. A notoriously finicky plant that wasn't naturally attuned to Ireland's climate.
Rosa Laxa: Lindley, J., Rosarum monographia (1820)
My sister Ann recalls that at some point, while milling about for a worthwhile project, a co-worker had suggested that studying how to properly and successfully raise rose bushes would be just that project. Roses could be sold as bushes for gardens, to provide cut flowers for floristry, their petals are the ingredients for rose water used in both perfume and as a flavoring agent, even the fruit of the plant, known as a rose hip can be used for medicinal purposes and to make jam. While the virtue of multiple sales channels of the versatile plant was apparent, some unnamed co-worker opined that production of roses could not be done at scale in Ireland as there were multiple challenges that would need to be solved for a plant that is notoriously finicky. That opinion seems to have won the day at the Institute, however Ann advises that it served as a red flag to the bull that was Dad. While the Institute turned it's attention to other matters, Dad decided to pursue a side project to disprove the accepted wisdom.
The decision to "go against the grain" of popular opinion, which would become Dad's notorious moniker, would forever change not just the future of that plant for that little green island known as Ireland. But would change the direction and future of our little family forever.
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