Les Clay photographing the rose named after his late wife Beverly Anne Clay.

Langley rose breeder honours late friend with a rose of her own

Beverly Anne Clay Rose Garden is opening at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum this weekend.

By Bob Groeneveld/Langley Advance Times

.

“She was famous for her brownies,” according to Brad Jalbert.

And now, thanks to Jalbert, a world-class rose breeder, the late Beverly Anne Clay will also be famous for a rose.

The Langley rosarian, who recently made headlines when Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Society purchased the right to name one of his roses The Divine Miss M, has named a beautiful pastel peach-coloured rose in honour of Mrs. Clay.

Jalbert travelled to New York last month to celebrate – and be celebrated for – the rose’s naming at the New York Botanical Gardens.

“It’s a big deal to meet a star,” he said “but to me, the local ones are more important.”

Jalbert, whose roses have won prestigious international awards, also stocked the rose garden at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum with some of his favourite scented roses in her honour.

His company, Select Roses which he started in Langley in 1990, donated the roses on the single condition that the garden, in front of the Arboretum’s new Rotary Interpretive Centre on Fraser Highway, next to Langley Airport, would be named after her.

“We donated all the plant material for the rose garden and will continue with our support of it,” said Jalbert. “When we made that offer, the only condition was on the rose garden’s naming.”

He first met Bev Clay and her husband Les when his family came to Langley in 1974.

His first job in the business that would see him grow to world-class recognition was at Clay’s Nursery.

“They were the first people to hire me into the industry.”

And they remained friends throughout.

One of the things that connected them was certainly their love of gardening – and her famous brownies. Bev Clay was well known for her baking skills, and her willingness to share both her baking and those skills through teaching.

Les Clay, a renowned rhododendron expert himself who with Bev owned and operated Clay’s Nursery from 1964 to 2001, continues to spend a lot of time among Jalbert’s roses.

“Les is the perfect combination of a gentleman and force of nature,” said Jalbert. “Working for him and Bev as a young man was a great pleasure.”

Of thousands of seedling roses started each year, only a hundred or so are chosen for a second year of growth and testing.

And of those, only a select few are given names – often commissioned by groups or individuals who pay $7,500 to $15,000 for the right to honour a person or organization, or maybe an event.

The rose Jalbert selected to name after Beverly Anne Clay is one of his proudest achievements.

Bev Clay passed away last December.

The grand opening of the Beverly Anne Clay Rose Garden at 21177 Fraser Highway will be held this Sunday, July 7, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Watch video: A memorial rose garden for Langley woman

Read also:

 

Brad Jalbert hybridizes world-class roses at Select Roses of Langley, and named one of his favourites after a dear friend, Beverly Anne Clay.

Just Posted

Langley RCMP’s hunt for wanted thief ends in tasing at Aldergrove store

Prolific Offender Supression Team officers arrested the man, who had been evading police for weeks

LETTER: Langley man says Trudeau ethics breach should not be ignored

Prime minister violated the Conflict of Interest Act, and a local man says Canadians deserve better

Our View: No quick fix on water supply issues

A new audit suggests some long term changes to how Langley manages water

On the cutting edge of business

Ace Hardware opens its doors in Walnut Grove

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read