Ralph Moore is a man I have deeply admired for his work, life and faith. Ralph Moore, at the age of 102, passed away in September of 2009 after celebrating his 72nd year as a Rose Hybridizer. Ralph Moore was known as the Grandfather of the Miniature Rose because in 1937 he began creating and introducing miniature roses and nearly every miniature rose you have ever seen traces itself back through at least one of his roses.
In recent years Ralph Moore had focused some of his work on a little known species from the Philippines called
rosa bracteata. This old rose had been ignored by most breeders, but Ralph Moore, long after most have retired, saw something about it that he thought would benefit our modern gardens. For 25 years he had been crossing this rose and it progeny to create a number of roses which he thought worthy of marketing. When two different roses are crossed often hundreds of seed are produced and when each of these seeds is grown, it produces a different variety of rose. Some may be similar but not the same. Hundreds of different roses are then grown and evaluated and 4-5 will be selected to keep. Of these one or two might be introduced to the market, and others selected for what they might offer as a parent for the next generation. Through this process Ralph Moore developed a new line of roses in the Hybrid Bracteatas class.
Now I find several things remarkable about this. The first is that Ralph Moore, passed the age of 100 was still creating new things and envisioning new roses. He still had something yet to contribute. Second is that in his eighties he decided to begin a new project by going back to a neglected and very old spieces rose. He was going back to something very old to create something very new.
Yet the most remarkable thing to me is that the longer Ralph Moore worked with roses the more he saw himself as a handmaid to God’s act of creation. He could decide on particular crosses of roses, do the work, but ultimately he saw that it was God who gave life to the seeds. And then maybe even more amazing is that God creates life in such a way that life seeks to create something new at every possible opportunity. God chooses the option of variety and newness every time. It is almost as if God says, “I’ve never made one exactly like this before, let’s try one.” It seems that God not only blesses variety and distinctness, God desires it. I find this to be an incredibly hopeful sign that God leads us into a new and delightful future.
Sleep tight and have a Precious Dream.