Famous Beach Drive roses need new homes: You dig

Out of the WSB inbox tonight:

ROSES, MORE ROSES, AND STILL MORE ROSES from 9 AM until 3 PM on Saturday, October 20th. The roses are available at SW 61st and Beach Drive SW, the former home of Rich and Ruth Fandek. This lovely rose garden has graced the West Seattle waterfront for years and years. It is presently being partially dismantled. About 60 rose bushes are still available.. It’s a “YOU DIG” event. It will be helpful for you to bring your own shovel, pitch fork, pruner, and bucket. Rose bushes are available for a suggested donation of $!0. The activity is sponsored by the Mary-Martha Bible Study Circle of Hope Lutheran Church. All donations will be given in support of a professional Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod church worker student. Questions? Contact Irene Gehring at 937-9180

The photo above, from county property records, doesn’t do justice to what the rose garden looked like at its peak – our first residence in West Seattle was a rental a block away, in the early ’90s, so we remember the summer colors very well – but that photo’s all we could find.

18 Replies to "Famous Beach Drive roses need new homes: You dig"

  • roses=love October 17, 2012 (11:41 pm)

    They are really beautiful, mature roses I have admired them many times driving by. I hope they find nice homes and survive the transplant. That sea air must be perfect for them.

  • Mary October 17, 2012 (11:55 pm)

    Does anyone know if there is Mr Lincoin or Double Delight available?

  • miws October 18, 2012 (7:00 am)

    You dig


    Yeah, man. I get it! But unfortunately I don’t have any place to put roses.


    (Sorry, couldn’t resist. I’ll go away now. For a little while.) ;-)



  • Twobottles October 18, 2012 (7:24 am)

    Would love to take some (I have 17 roses already) but concerned about their winter survival transplanting this late in the season.

  • LStephens October 18, 2012 (8:22 am)

    T.R. – We also lived a block away when we first got married 32 years ago and the roses were spectacular then. The family that lived there were always so friendly when they were out tending to their lovely gardens.

  • ET October 18, 2012 (9:59 am)

    would have to check for roses, but this time of year is the best time to plant and transplant shrubs! the plants are going dormant, and will snooze the winter growing nice new roots, getting watered by the rain instead of your hose. less work for you, better for the plants. they’ll revive in spring much stronger for having had the winter to rest and get strong.

  • twobottles October 18, 2012 (12:01 pm)

    True, this is a great time of year to plant most shrubs (I just planted three blueberry bushes). Roses however (which are shrubs) I believe are best planted in late winter/early spring (Feb/Mar/Apr). Go to your local nursery, likely not a rose to be found (but lots of other shrubs).

  • amom October 18, 2012 (12:36 pm)

    I’m going to miss those roses! I live across the street and used to literally “stop to smell the roses” with my little boy all the time. Hope they find happy homes and continue to bring joy to people.

  • JumboJim October 18, 2012 (1:45 pm)

    Ok, so one of my former lives was as a rose grower and member of S

  • K October 18, 2012 (2:39 pm)

    I adopt plants via PlantAmnesty’s adoption page, and the reality is that you have to adopt when the offering gardener needs the plants to find a home.
    I have adopted during wintertime, and in the worst heat of the summer, and have almost never lost a plant. The key thing is that if these roses are scheduled to be destroyed, they should be saved if at all possible.
    For those who have never done this, go for it anyway. Here are a couple of links telling how to transplant a rose. The first is super-simple, the second is very detailed. Bottom line: cut way down before transplanting, then water after transplant, but wait to fertilize until next year.
    I have shared this post with PlantAmnesty and the Seattle Rose Society.

    • WSB October 18, 2012 (2:46 pm)

      Thank you, K! I hope that if we can go by on Saturday for a photo, we will find all the roses getting new homes. A nice legacy for the original gardeners…

  • Twobottles October 18, 2012 (5:15 pm)

    Yes, plants can be adopted at any time. I in fact moved a rose last July…warm, dry, plant in full bloom and it’s doing fine. So, although this is not the best time to transplant roses, it certainly beats destroying them. I hope to pick up two or three myself!

  • alkigirl October 18, 2012 (11:07 pm)

    Hello, all. I’d like to add some information about the wonderful Fandeks. They were close friends of Harry and Margaret Anderson, who also lived in West Seattle. In fact, H&M owned a duplex and lived in one side. R&R were their first tenants and they became lifelong friends. R&R moved out of the duplex when they purchased the home on 61st and Beach Drive. Ruth taught elementary school and Rich was an engineer at Boeing. In their retirement years Ruth and Rich traveled extensively, often signing up for “Elderhostel” vacations where they studied a wide range of topics. Very interesting, interested, graceful and kind couple. They did not have children. Ah yes the roses! Tended with great love and care. The folks who adopt a rose bush or three will be inheriting pure LOVE.

    • WSB October 18, 2012 (11:41 pm)

      Thanks, AG. When I received this announcement I actually sent back a question immediately, but it turned out the person who forwarded it was kindly just doing it for someone else who wasn’t computer-equipped, so they didn’t know anything about the couple. All I could find was Mrs. Fandek’s obituary.

  • Been There October 19, 2012 (3:34 am)

    It was the tenders of the roses that brought me such great joy ever since I arrived on Alki in ’88. It was so neat to see then out there taking care of their beloveds. You could just count on it. It was stabilizing. Thank you Ruth and Rich, and goodluck to all you salvagers!

  • S L Hall October 19, 2012 (10:12 pm)

    I met Ruth and Rich when I was 3 years old, 50 years ago. We were family friends, sharing holiday dinners at our home and long weekend afternoons at their house on Beach Street. Some of you may be interested to know though Rich was the gardener, he always said, “I just grow them. They are Ruth’s roses.” Many beautiful bushes were added over the years and tended with great care, each an expression of love. If you knew their stories you too might feel the significance of adopting a rose bush tomorrow. To grow old as well as these fine souls, well, one would be truly blessed. So generous their love it goes on giving beauty even now. Enjoy your roses.

  • Irene Gehring October 20, 2012 (10:22 pm)

    After Richard passed away, Ruth hired me to tend to the roses. It was a great joy! For more than five years I had this pleasure. In the summer months I needed to spend a FULL day in the yard, pruning, dead-heading, “grooming”, weeding, stabbing dandelions, etc. It was fun! Ruth told me that it would take Richard THREE days to plant ONE rose bush. And here is his “recipe”

    “Rose Gardner’s corner” May 1989

    Fish Emulsion 2 T/gal = 2 gal
    Dried Blood w/fish emulsion = 1/2 cup
    (First thing in the spring)

    Bone Meal = 1/2 cup
    Dry fertilizer (10-10-10) 2 cups
    Alfalfa Meal = 2 cups
    Soy bean meal = 2 cups
    Wood ash (dry) = 1 cup
    Horse manure = 1 shovel full
    Epsom salts = 1/3 cup
    (Twice a year – April and July)

    These amounts are per bush. For smaller bushes, reduce amounts given. Use lots of water. Fertilizer – water – spraying

    Peroxide 4 T per gallon

    Out of the 162 original rose bushes, about half remain in the yard. The rest have been “adopted” by people who came by for them – including a couple from California. I hope that all of the lovely roses survive. Comment by I G.

  • DAVE GEHRING October 20, 2012 (10:26 pm)

    Richard Fandek was a captain on an ore boat freighter in the Great Lakes.

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