Jane McCauley


seven sisters rose

To do this Jane McCauley interview is truly an honor. She is a special person who takes pride in her accomplishments, her gardens are only one, she has so many....

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview, Jane, I know how busy you are, especially this time of year!

~  Jane, Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I have been a writer for the Barre Gazette for almost 50 years. I began the colum called "Serenity Hill Sampler" several years ago. It is named after the home we built here in 1988 and because it is a sampler of recipes, gardening ideas, and household hints, we chose this name.

I have lived in Hubbardston for 70 years and built this retirement home in 1988 and established the many gardens by making raised beds from compost piles.

I enjoy sharing my extra plants with friends.

I was a 4-H Gardening leader and my two daughters were in 4-H Gardening.

Much of our knowledge of gardening was from the Worcester Country Extension Program.

My other hobbies are quilting and genealogy.

Happy Gardening...

~  Gardening is a big part of your life. I know how much you enjoy it. Do you grow Roses?

I have approximately 15 roses due to a lack of sun in my gardens. I live in the middle of the woods, but would love to grow more. More trees are being taken down each year, so there is hope.

Gardening is a big part of my life's enjoyment. I spend many days in the gardens and now that we have a mosquito net, can spend more time out there.

~  Of the roses that you grow, which is your favorite and why?

My very favorite rose is the Seven Sisters which came from a cutting from my family homestead on the corner of Worcester Rd. and Elm St in Hubbardston. The bush was there when my father bought the farm and it was moved from the front yard to the back yard when the Route 68 was widened.

When we sold the farm, my brother Alden made a cutting for me, and from this cutting grew the largest bush.

Over the years, I've made him and his daughters a bush, and each year I make more cuttings and give to friends, so as not to loose the original stock.

Besides that bush, a white rose bush was originally there, but when it was moved, it died. There is a bush across Elm Street just like the white bush, and we have been trying to make a cutting from it, but with no success. My Second Favorite rose bush is one called "Carefree Beauty" which I purchased at Roseland in 2000. It is a very pretty pink.

I have purchased many of the David Austin roses, but due to a lack of sun, some did not survive. I like the "Heritage" one very much. As you can see, I am partial to pink!

~  Which Varieties of roses do you favor?

I like the Old garden varieties, as I think the stock is sturdier for our cold climate.

~  From your vast experience in gardening (I know your gardens are quite beautiful) any (secret) you'd like to share with us?

I do keep several compost piles going, as the soil here is not good. I use rose fertilizer for the roses, and aged cow manure for my other perennials with compost. I really specialize in Hostas due to the shade here, and have over 100 varieties.

~  I know that you like to share recipes in your column that you write for the Barre gazette. Are there any recipes you'd like to share with us, using rose petals or hips?

I use rose hips in fall arrangements and rose petals for potpourri, but I don't use them in recipes.

Thanks again Jane, for the McCauley interview, and for sharing your story with us, Your favorite rose "Seven Sisters" is also one of my favorites. I have pictures of it, which started from the cutting you gave me several years ago, here on this site. (see top of page)

I do hope you can find a sunny spot to grow more roses, and we will have to get you to try some of the rose recipes!

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