Not Your Typical Flower
She’s thoughtful and resilient. She has goals and dreams. She’s passionate about things that matter. She’s the sort of friend that quietly inspires and supports, and her strength makes other people strong. But she didn’t become the Plant of the Centenary overnight. It was a journey, and it’s a story that continues to unfold even now.
Her story began in Donald and Rozanne Waterer’s Crooked Acre garden in Somerset, UK in 1989. From an early age Donald was enthused by the family history of breeding first-class hardy hybrid azaleas. He worked in the family nursery and eventually took over the business. Upon retirement, Donald and Rozanne (a keen gardener like her husband) continued with their passion for plants in tending their garden. Rozanne Waterer was particularly fond of hardy geraniums and had 25 to 30 different varieties planted in the garden. Being plants people, and with Donald’s background in breeding, they continued to make selections and crosses with the plants at hand. One day Rozanne noticed a plant that was different from the others. It was a stronger grower, with larger leaves and flowers. The next year it came back on its own and flowered non-stop from June until the first hard frosts in November!
The Waterers were becoming increasingly excited about their find and sought the advice of Geranium expert Graham Stuart Thomas, who suggested they contact Adrian Bloom, a well-known plantsman, to see if she was truly unique and worthy to bring to market through his nursery, Bressingham Gardens.
Rozanne began her years of preparation at Bressingham, where she was nurtured and tested under the watchful care of Adrian Bloom and his new plant development staff.
Although Rozanne had her times of struggle (a story for another time), she was persistent and strong, with dedicated friends cheering her on and supporting her.
Rozanne made her first public appearance in May of 2000, and the very same year, she stepped out onto the world stage at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May. It was a big year for her.
Publicity and Awards
The years following, Rozanne has matured into the sort of plant everyone respects and loves, winning numerous awards, including the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit in 2006, the Perennial Plant Association Perennial Plant of the Year in 2008, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Plant of the Decade for 1993-2002, and the Plant of the Centenary at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2013.
In spite of her success, Rozanne strives to live a simple, balanced life, supporting those around her. As a flower that’s won numerous awards, it’s important that she keep her head about her. After all, nobody likes a show-off.
These days, Rozanne spends her time doing things she loves. You can find her in the garden, soaking up the sun, or jetting off to some new land to explore. She loves spending time with her friends and has a decent group of folks she likes to converse with on social media. For her, Facebook is a place where friends can gather to learn from one another, and as a problem-solver, Rozanne does what she can to help the people in her community.
She loves the journey of life and all of its ups and downs and happy surprises. Even the storms bring important lessons, all things she hopes to help people see when they really stop to pay attention.
Rozanne doesn’t know what the future holds for her, but she’s open and excited about the possibilities.