Gari and Corinne Melchers Interment Site
Gari Melchers was born in 1860, and Corinne Melchers died in 1955. The roses planted in front of their interment site in the Studio wall by museum staff represent almost one hundred years of rose breeding. It is interesting to see the difference in their habit, blooms, and presence, or lack of, scent, rose hips, etc. in the four roses planted there. They reflect the traits rose breeders thought would appeal to the public, and illustrate that what we find desirable in our roses has changed over the years. The roses in this bed range from a finicky, but deeply fragrant tea rose called Mme. Joseph Schwartz, released in 1880, the year of Corinne Melchers birth, to a sturdy, scentless, showy shrub called Dortmund, introduced in 1955. It was the decision of the University of Mary Washington to inter the Melcherses' ashes in the studio wall and create the brass plaque. The Melchers left no instructions regarding their interment.
Backstory and Context
Each of the four roses represent, by their year of introduction, the birth and death dates of the couple. From left to right:
Class: Hybrid Musk Color: yellow blend
Fragrance: Outstanding Fragrance
Date introduced: 1932
Description: A rose very much in the style of Ballerina, small, single flowers are salmon pink in the bud with yellow petal bases, and open flat and wide to pale, lilac pink shades.Very fragrant!
Mme. Joseph Schwartz – 1880. Tea – white. 5-6 ft. Delicious scent with nodding flowers.
Dr. Briere - Bourbon 1860. Tall and lanky, can get huge. Rose-red to dusky mauve at the edges; full flowers beautifully cupped, displaying yellow stamens. Deliciously scented.
Class: Shrub Color: medium red
Fragrance: Good Fragrance Date introduced: 1955
Description: Bright, cherry-red, single flowers with wide white centers make a fountain of color, followed by a cascade of bright scarlet-orange hips. A rose that never ceases to attract admirers.
Jensen, Beate. Belmont's Roses, May 20th 2014. Accessed May 6th 2020. https://garimelchers.wpcomstaging.com/2014/05/20/belmonts-roses/.