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  First Love 

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I think you probably all know the story about Michael's recording of "The Rose" and why he recorded it.  The 

song is on his "First Love" CD. But did you know that the actual rose that was Michael's inspiration was the beautiful "First Love" rose?

The "First Love" rose has a special significance for Michael, and that's the 

reason I chose the First Love rose as the "logo" for my Ballfesting activities.  

It's my small way of honoring Angela McGowan, Cathy and Michael.  Some of 

you have one of the lovely buttons that Estelle made for Ballfest 99 last year, so 

you are familiar with that hybrid tea, long stemmed and very beautiful pink rose.



After a very long search, which involved calling all the local nurseries, Jackson & Perkins, The American 

Rose Society and everywhere else we could think of, my husband finally found a tiny photo of that rose in a 

very old book concerning roses that was in his collection of Gardening books.  The booklet also contained a 

list of  about a dozen nurseries that grew that rose her in the U.S. at the time. We immediately called them 

all, but by then, all but one of the growers had either closed, moved or changed ownership, and it was at the 

very last one that we came across Vintage Roses and our searching finally came to an end!  We had, at long 

last, located a nursery that was willing to grow one from rootstock for us, which involved grafting, and perhaps 



It turns out that this particular rose, which comes from the United Kingdom is not ordinarily grown in this 

country, however, one could be grown, if we were willing to wait for awhile...Obviously we had already waited 

for awhile, but we were too excited to care about waiting a little longer.


We placed an order on Mar 16t, 1999 and were told we might have our own First Love rose bush by fall...or 

then again, maybe not.  It could take as long as two years to grow this precious little plant!


We haven't much space left in our yard for planting, but our plan is for a small area to become our "Michael 

Corner" including both the "First Love" and the Michael Crawford rose - as Merrill is also a Michael Crawford 

fan, and having them together again seems like a great thing to us.


Too late to give up now...fall came and went, winter did too...and spring is finally here!  Recently we got a card

saying we could expect the rose within a week, and in a week, we got another card saying it would be ONE 


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Yesterday our package arrived...and our "First Love" rosebush is waiting quietly in the shade for Merrill to 

finally plant it in our garden on Saturday.


Next year we hope to have photos for everyone, and real ones for our local Ballfests at least. There are 2 or 3 buds already on our little rose bush.


For further information on The First Love Rose, contact:

Vintage Roses

2833 Old Gravenstein Highway S.

Sebastopol, CA 95472

(Phone: 1-708-829-2035)

Love and hugs to everyone...Jackie :-)

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