We are starting to have beautiful weather here in South Louisiana and many people are spending their free time in the garden.

Now I do not have much of a green thumb but my mom and husband are really into gardening. So I have picked up a few things from hearing their conversations.

The other day they were having a conversation about roses and I couldn’t help but listen to the story that they were talking about. I even googled what they talking about it because I wanted to know more.

Have you ever heard of a “Peggy Martin” Rose?

If you are like me and have no idea what I am talking about don't worry I will help you out.

Peggy and her husband M.J lived in Plaquemines Parish on Peggy’s family land that was purchased in the 1950s. It was the perfect place for a fisherman and a gardener to live. However when Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005 everything changed.

Peggy and M.J knew that most likely everything was destroyed but what they found when they returned to their home was more than they could handle. Saltwater had risen over 20 feet and stayed for several weeks, destroying everything in its path. This included the house, the shrimpboat, and Peggy’s beautiful garden which was filled with over 450 roses. Amid all the destruction and chaos Peggy noticed a little green on a rose that was located by the shed.

Peggy said, "When I realized it was still alive, I thought 'My God, how did this live through the storm? Did God do this for me because so much was gone?' "

That one rose survived Hurricane Katrina, a category 3 hurricane at landfall with winds of 120 mph, heavy rains, and a storm surge of at least 12 feet high. This one single rose was no match to this beast of a hurricane that caused so much damage and pain. Peggy was amazed that this rose was still living and did the only thing she knew to do, she cut it and took it with her.

This rose was an 18- year-old thornless rambler that came to Peggy as a pass-along from a friend who had also received the flower the same way. No one could ever identify the rose and they still can’t to this day. The rose is beautiful and is described as a rose that needs room to breathe. If you give this rose a few years it will provide you with gorgeous roses that just won't stop blooming.

 

This plant is not only beautiful but it helped the Gulf Coast when times were not so good here. There were several nurseries that donated $1 per sale of this rose to the Peggy Martin Survivor Rose Fund which is managed by the Greater Houston Community Foundation. This foundation was formed by a friend of Peggy’s, Dr. Bill Welch, who received one of these flowers as a gift.

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