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Home Blog An Interview with Teddie Mower
May 22nd 2023

An Interview with Teddie Mower

Written by
Floret

In season 2 of Growing Floret, we had the honor of sharing the inspiring story of beloved rosarian Anne Belovich and her incredible legacy. You can read a beautiful interview with Anne a few months before she passed away here

Many people have inquired about how Anne’s roses are doing so I’ve invited Anne’s daughter-in-law Teddie Mower to give us an update.  

Teddie, it has been such a pleasure getting to know you through Anne. As her daughter-in-law, you’ve had the great fortune of having a front-row seat to what a true powerhouse she was. What would you say is one of the most important things that you learned from Anne?

Oh, my goodness. There are so many things—and I say “are” in the present tense because I am still learning from her. I’ve been fortunate to have been surrounded by powerhouse women my entire life. What was very special about Anne was the level of intent behind her determination to live her life on her terms.  

Her life was not an easy one. She was a child of the Great Depression. She foraged with her mother and ran trap lines with her father so the family could eat. Her father didn’t want to shoot the animals, so he made her do it. Anne remembered just how very hungry she was at that time and how her mother would sneak extra food to her because she was so thin.

She went out with her father on his fishing boat for long periods of time to help him make a living and keep her family in their home. Her intellect, the way she could read the ocean, and resourcefulness earned her the respect of the fishermen and the nickname “Albacore Anne.”

Losing her first love, Lloyd Hollibaugh, to World War II also had a profound impact on her development of intention to thrive. He was “a very handsome, adventurous intellectual who believed in [her].” He encouraged her to pursue her interests. When Anne received the news that his plane crashed behind enemy lines, she was 19 and their son, Rick, was 2 weeks old.

We forget that women, especially widows with children, had few options at that time. Many were pressured into living with family or marrying a brother of the deceased. Widows were suspect due to their, shall we say, experience, something Anne found humiliating and condescending to women. She was determined to lead her own life, outside of the options society offered.

But it was much more than determination. Many people are determined but fail. Anne was intentional in reaching her goals. She explored, planned, researched, implemented, documented, and evaluated the process.

She anticipated what could go wrong and included alternatives that would keep her on track for the life she wanted to live. She was a realist and understood that priorities change, but she determined her priorities right up to the end. Not outside voices. And she did the work to get there.

Anne’s focus on intentionality has been very helpful to me as I continue to go through so many transitions in my life, including the commitment to her legacy and roses. Remembering her words and actions has given me the confidence that I lost when I first began this endeavor.

There were so many expectations and I had zero background with roses. I felt I was letting everyone down. This past year has been an amazing learning experience with more to come. Anne would say that, the learning, is the most important part of reaching the goals I have set for myself.

Tell us more about yourself and your husband Rick. What has it been like to take on the project of caring for Anne’s roses?

Rick is his mother’s son. They are so alike sharing an interest in science and the natural world, a love of the ocean, and a DIY aptitude. I met Rick when I took his parasitology course as a graduate student. I became his TA (teaching assistant) the following semester and later we co-taught a couple of microbiology courses together. After we were married, Rick continued as a Clinical Professor at Indiana University until retirement, and I took a faculty position and ran the Center for Environmental Education at the University of Louisville.

Like Anne, Rick is a romantic. Our first date was weeding his garden. I found that the perfect strawberries he had been bringing to me were the result of careful rotation on terra cotta dishes which ensured uniform color and sweetness. All for me!  

We try to grow most of our own food, something that Anne really enjoyed when we moved out here. Rick built the small greenhouse and planted the orchard here in Washington in the late ‘90s when he came back from working in medical clinics in India and before he took his faculty position at Indiana University. He took scions from the trees out to the farm in Indiana where he grafted them and we brought back some Indiana scions and some of the citrus plants when we moved back here. We are just finishing a much larger second greenhouse that will house the citrus and other plants, including some special project plants. 

As Anne would say, “if you can’t eat it, Rick isn’t interested.” The roses and flowers are my thing, and the fruit and veggies are Rick’s, although we help each other. Rick has a much deeper knowledge of plant physiology and growing in the Pacific Northwest than I do. When it comes to rebuilding the structures, we complement each other with our skills.

While overwhelming at first, taking care of Anne’s roses has become a delight. It’s so exciting to get to know the individual roses over time—to see their rhythms through the seasons. I am still finding roses we didn’t know were here, either because they weren’t on Anne’s maps or they had been drowned out by the wildness of competition over time.    

How is Anne’s garden doing? Are there any workdays planned or other updates that people should know about?

The roses are doing wonderfully. There wasn’t the dieback we had last year and most of the roses that I considered fragile are shooting up new canes. Anne’s friends have been helpful in letting us know what roses she gave them from the collection and many have offered to start cuttings for the ones we may need. They have shared information and stories and are volunteering their time with clean up, pruning, and identifying varieties. 

The work that the Floret team did last year in preparation for Anne’s Celebration of Life not only helped to prepare for the event but continues to make maintenance in that area so much easier.

This year’s focus is on the Old Garden Roses (OGR) garden, where we will continue to untangle the Gallica thicket and recover the roses and pathways that gave it its woodland garden ambiance.

We will continue to restore the structures that Max made, many over thirty years old and in need of TLC. My hope is that we will have the pavilion in the formal garden completed by the fall. That might be a little unrealistic, but it’s on the “get it done” list for 2023.

Members of Heritage Roses Northwest visited in early April to help prune roses and clean up the property, and there will be an IDing party in July and a rock painting event in August.

We will also open some of the property for viewing the ‘Pleine De Grace’ (pictured above) and ‘Kiftsgate’ (pictured below) when they bloom. RSVPs are needed for all events and there is a capacity limit.

For more information, visit annesgardens.com

Anne’s place is one of the most magical gardens we’ve ever visited. It was unreal to see roses all the way up in tall evergreen trees! Since Anne’s passing, have you added any new plants to the property? 

Yes, we have. Leonard Heller, who was a friend to Anne and a neighbor, had to downsize his magnificent Spinosissima (Rosa pimpinellifolia) collection and we are in the process of moving his favorites to this property.

In March, we moved the phenomenal ‘Queen Mary’ (hybrid spinossissima), ‘Stanwell Perpetual’ (Scots rose, most likely a seedling grown by Mr. James Lee in Hammersmith, England before 1839), and ‘Holland Double White Altai’ (a wild species of an unknown Dutch origin).

We moved several last year, including ‘Prairie Magic’ (pictured above), a gorgeous, intense salmon-colored rose that I’m looking forward to seeing again. It has that “ahhhh” factor when you see it and smells heavenly. It was never released officially as a cultivar so is quite rare. Leonard loves this one.

We also have his prized Rosa xanthina ‘Allard’ (bred by Gaston Allard of France before 1900). We are currently prepping the collection of Sericeas and Finnish roses for their move. The Sericea rose thorns (pictured above) are absolutely stunning regardless of the season. My first glimpse was in the middle of the winter and I was mesmerized. With the lacy green foliage and sweet 4-petaled white flowers, it is definitely a unique rose.

My guilty little pleasure though is my sweet peas. I have absolutely fallen head over heels for them. Our friend Rose Lee gave a presentation on them last year at the Soos Creek Botanical Gardens and I immediately planted the sweet pea seeds I brought out from Indiana. Rick collected the seeds at the end of the year and we planted them in February. They do well here and oh my goodness … the fragrance. Like the rambling and climbing roses, they give a color lift by scrambling up the vegetable garden fence.

One of the biggest highlights of 2022 was being able to bring our team to Anne’s and spend the day helping to clean up the garden. If people would like to visit Anne’s garden in the future will there be an opportunity for them to do so?

Having your team here was one of our highlights as well. That was an amazing day.

Right now, due to the restoration, we are only having the few events that I mentioned. We hope to be able to open the gardens by appointment in the future. It is what Anne wanted so we are committed to finding a way to do it. 

We are open to groups who are interested in having a volunteer day to support Anne’s legacy or using the gardens as a demonstration garden to share gardening expertise.  

For those not in the Snohomish County, Washington area, please consider volunteering your time with a local heritage rose organization. These people work hard to preserve rare roses at cemeteries and public and private gardens, and your support would be appreciated.  

Anne often mentioned sharing flowers and knowledge. What advice do you think she would want to give all of us, in regard to how we can live our best lives? 

I remember Anne referring to her bouquets of roses as her husband Max’s social capital. He was quite a character and loved people. Anne was more reserved and loved Max.

She would spend the morning collecting flowers to make lovely bouquets and send him out to distribute them to people celebrating their birthday or an anniversary or maybe to someone who just needed flowers.

He loved to see the joy in people’s eyes and Anne loved to hear his stories about how it touched people’s hearts.

One possible action item dear to my heart, because it helped Anne so much, is to make an elderly friend who loves to work in the garden and help them do it as long as they possibly can. Anne had friends who cared for her by stopping by and maintaining the roses around and close to the house, those she could see out the window. It brought her so much joy.

But when she found out I was going to be able to move out to Washington to help her, she purchased a garden kneeling platform so she could work in the garden with me. She was only able to use it twice, but those two times will be etched in my memory forever because they meant so much to her … and to me.

There are many beautiful gardens with special plants and stories that are falling into disrepair as a result of an aging owner. What a depressing way to be reminded of your limitations and mortality. Volunteer to help in the garden giving the owner an opportunity to share their expertise. Both lives will be richer for it.

Anne would say in order to live your best life you should add beauty to all you do and share it as widely as possible.

Teddie, thank you so much for this wonderful update. I can’t wait to visit again someday soon. 

You can learn more about Anne on her website, where her family has begun publishing blog posts that she wrote before her passing. They have also set up a donation page if you’d like to help support the preservation of Anne’s rambling rose collection. 

If Anne’s story has moved you, please consider adding one of her books to your library. Proceeds from the sales will go towards the family’s rose preservation efforts. 

Gallica Roses by Anne Belovich
Large-Flowered Climbing Roses by Anne Belovich
The Little Book of Alba Roses by Anne Belovich
Moss Roses by Anne Belovich and Harald Enders
Ramblers and Other Rose Species Hybrids by Anne Belovich
A Voyage of Determination by Anne Belovich


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73 Comments

  1. Carol L deSousa on

    I loved learning about Anne and her wonderful rose garden on the show from Floret and again in these posts about her and her roses. I am so happy that Teddie and her son are taking such interest and care of these wonderful flowers! I have tried and tried to grow them at my house and farm in upstate NY but they just struggle along. I am sure they must be missing some nutrients. I think I shall order if I can find the vintage variety ramblers. I have many trees around my property and I would love to see them grow right up them! One day I hope to visit Anne’s property and Teddie. Keep up the good work!!

    Reply
  2. Sharon mirtaheri on

    My husband and I watched season two and enjoyed it so very much. Then I watched it again!
    Your love for nature and the beautiful gifts our CreTor gave to us is infectious! Even my husband commented he loved your retrospection on self and growth and intention.
    I am 64 with an autoimmune disease but started a brand new garden last August. We downsized and I left a garden I had for 18 years. Trying to be grateful for a clean slate. Not one plant on a quarter of an acre!!! I get to choose each plant rather than inherit plants. And I love the design aspect of creating a new garden.
    My body is not so happy with the brutal work it takes but my soul is elated. I also got a greenhouse for the first time in my life ; something I wanted for thirty years. And I am now planting I. Ground what I have grown from seed; some your seeds!!!
    I have never grown roses but have lots of full sun now so starting to do that. I loved seeing Anne’s garden of roses and plan to get a few of her books. I had to get rid of most of my garden book library as had no room in a house less than half the size we were in ( I regret it now) so I have a little room for a few garden books and have all three of yours!

    You go way beyond job description. It’s a calling that is pretty clear and I pray God Blesses you for all you do in so many uncountable ways!!!
    Much affection
    Sharon Mirtaheri

    Reply
  3. Elise Fournier on

    I have been “into” learning about roses for the past year and am even more inspired now! TY for introducing me to Anne and her passion. The show as well as this article are fueling my inner fire!

    Reply
  4. Petra on

    Such an inspiring story & person!
    What vision & determination Anne had. Her story motivated me to assess my own vision & legacy and focus my energy on it
    And try growing rambling roses 😄

    Reply
  5. davia mcnamara on

    this story is incredible-i had no idea and am so newly inspired. thank you for always opening our eyes to new things.

    Reply
  6. Elizabeth G on

    Wow what a great article! I have so much to learn about roses and so interesting!

    Reply
  7. Sarah Hawkey on

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful interview!

    Reply
  8. Nancy on

    Anne’s gardens are inspiring and beautiful. Something to dream about and plan for my own gardens.

    Reply
  9. Alexis Penzell on

    Loved this. What a legacy! Nothing pleases me more than walking through my rose bushes and
    inhaling their fragrance. Imagine Anne’s garden is breathtaking!

    Reply
  10. Lou Ellen Resz on

    What a legacy! How wonderfully well they’re taking on the mantle she gave them. Would it have happened without Floret? I’m just glad you accepted the choosing! Thank you!

    Reply
  11. Kristina Zappavigna on

    I loved this episode and interview so much! The tose that started it all for me was my Cinco de Mayo Floribunda rose 🌹

    Reply
  12. Celine on

    Thank you so much for the update, and best of luck to Teddie and Rick in preserving Anne’s legacy.

    Reply
  13. Janine Peak on

    Thank you for sharing her work with us. Truly inspiring. Any of her books would be a blessing in my collection of garden books!

    Reply
  14. Geri Kern on

    I’m sure all these books are lovely but I’m prioritizing the climbing roses book as our first purchase. I’ve been dreaming of rose covered arches to enter different parts of our small, suburban garden

    Reply
  15. Lisa Edelhuber on

    I have been inspired by her legacy to have rose gardens to share with others for some time now. I wish to have the old fashioned ones that actually smell like a rose. I imagine these gardens smell heavenly.💖

    Reply
  16. Michelle on

    Such a beautiful soul filled with love for flowers. We should all be so lucky to live a life filled with beauty

    Reply
  17. Denise on

    What a great interview and intriguing story. I love the idea of helping an elderly gardener and both benefiting from that visit. I’m so in love with roses and am counting the short four years till I can retire and tend to my garden which will be full of roses.

    Reply
  18. Michaela Williams on

    oh wow! What an amazing story! She is such an inspiration. I never knew that there were so many varieties till i watched her story. Seeing her beautiful rosé garden has me wanting to go out and buy some varieties for my garden.

    Reply
  19. Cathy Bake on

    How absolutely wonderful that the garden is being preserved. With dieback roses are shooting up new canes. Here’s to an own root rose!

    Reply
  20. Debbie Wheeler on

    What a wonderful story. So inspiring. I hope someday someone saves my roses after I pass

    Reply
  21. Anne Ball on

    I have loved learning about Anne’s roses. She is very inspiring as is considering one’s legacy.

    Reply
  22. Jess on

    Anne is a truly inspirational woman! So grateful to have listened to her story 🌹

    Reply
  23. Lorielle Agraso on

    I am new to growing roses… but trying to learn more! Thank you for sharing these resources, I am hoping to create this type of beauty on our property someday.

    Reply
  24. Linda on

    A wonderful interview about a lovely woman and her passion for roses. Very touching and inspiring! Thank you for sharing her life with us.

    Reply
  25. Kalynne Gray on

    I love this: “ But it was much more than determination. Many people are determined but fail. Anne was intentional in reaching her goals. She explored, planned, researched, implemented, documented, and evaluated the process.

    She anticipated what could go wrong and included alternatives that would keep her on track for the life she wanted to live. She was a realist and understood that priorities change, but she determined her priorities right up to the end. Not outside voices. And she did the work to get there.”

    So motivating and inspiring. She was absolutely amazing.

    Reply
  26. Micala G on

    I love the photos of the roses into the trees. That’s one of my dreams to do here. I’m definitely going to need her rambling roses book as a resource.
    Thank you for sharing all of this

    Reply
  27. Krista on

    I have known about Anné for sometime. Roses are my first love and I have high hopes that Erin has a book in the making on roses. I live in Florida, and many of the flowers. Don’t do well here but roses do. Everything Erin recommends I find and plant. The only one I haven’t been able to find is T clipper I have searched high and low, but to no avail, I would love to get a clipping so that I too could pass on a wonderful rose. I know many. Of the rose growers on her list and have bought from all of them. Thank you for the close-up of Roses. If there is a clipping available, I will be in Anacortes on June 3. I would be happy to pick it up from Christianson’s nursery. Thank you.

    Reply
  28. Sarah Mustakas on

    Such a touching tribute! Thank you for sharing Anne’s story and her beautiful roses.

    Reply
  29. Wendy Navarrete on

    So beautiful! I inherited my own roses from from my recently purchased home and I’m so excited to start nurturing them.

    Reply
  30. Cynthia on

    It makes me cry 😢 So touching and a beautiful tribute to Anne. Passing her legacy to the next generations is a wonderful memorial.

    Reply
  31. gaylene King on

    The smells of just walking through your gardens, has to be intoxicating..

    Reply
  32. Jodie Morrison on

    Such a life lived beautifully. Follow your heart, always.

    Reply
  33. Amy VanSlembrouck on

    This is such a heartwarming story of her love for roses! And some of those roses pictured are extraordinary!

    Reply
  34. Amri Dobbins on

    So beautiful, thank you for the update! Great advice.

    Reply
  35. Daria on

    I really liked the interview and I was inspired by Ann’s words, in order to live a better life, you need to add a little beauty to everything and share it.

    Reply
  36. Mary Beth Hunt on

    I remember your stories about this garden and I was so happy to see you devoted a whole episode to her story!

    Reply
  37. Amy Noonan on

    Such beauty in one place. I hope you feel her there as you walk in her garden. Thank you for the update as well as the link to follow along with her legacy.

    Reply
  38. Jess on

    This was fascinating – thank you for sharing it!

    Reply
  39. PinkFlowers on

    What a spectacular life! She was surrounded by some of the most lovely flowers! 💛

    Reply
  40. Hema on

    Thank you for sharing this interview with Mower.

    Reply
  41. Joyce Winget on

    What a beautiful story. I love how she said to help seniors to work in their gardens as long as they can. My Mother lives in a senior living center. She has a patio and lots of potted flowers. She really enjoys looking at her flowers even though she can’t take care of them anymore. Sometimes she sneaks outside to water them, I bring her peonies and dahlias and she likes to set them in the hallway out her front door. The women that live near her comment how they love smelling and looking at them.

    Reply
  42. Yelena Kushuk on

    Reading this update i realized how inconstant we are nowadays, we can pack and move, sell a house we spend 4-10 years of our lives without blinking. People like Anne, live most of their lives in one place. Growing old in one place among roses planted by you, that inspires me to stay where i am and grow roots as deep as the trees around me.

    Reply
  43. Anne M. on

    Now I need to see if there’s someone near who needs garden help. What an inspiration!

    Reply
  44. Sherri on

    What beautiful roses and a wonderful story.

    Reply
  45. Amanda on

    What a beautiful and inspiring story. I am forwarding his to my grandmother because I know she will love this read!

    Reply
  46. Angela Webster on

    This is an inspiring garden that makes me realize gardening is a lifetime journey and I’m doing just fine and shouldn’t judge my garden with others. I’ll get there…adding a little more every year.

    Reply
  47. Mary Pursley on

    It is inspiring to see her legacy is being carried on. You should be proud that you were able to help forward her vision. Inspirational for sure!

    Reply
  48. Abbey Jones on

    A beautiful story! Like a rose, she blossomed thought trials and adversity. What a legacy to leave behind!

    Reply
  49. Amy H on

    I love history and this was a history lesson in itself. What a life well lived.

    Reply
  50. Angell Terrell on

    Such an inspiring woman. I’m so blessed you shared her story with us. I didn’t know the love and how for roses (that I had) until a couple of years ago. I’m still getting my feet wet. But how I love them!!

    Reply
  51. Juli Bokenkamp on

    What an incredible woman, story and legacy. Preserving and sharing information will allow so many more to fall in love with roses.

    Reply
  52. Julie VanAgtmael on

    What an amazing story about an amazing woman and it sound like you are following in her footsteps. Good luck to you!

    Reply
  53. sue pettit on

    What a wonderful interview and legacy. Beautiful!

    Reply
  54. Lauren Schafer on

    I absolutely loved this episode and how you wax poetic in it. Anne’s story is so important and even more so how we preserve it. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  55. Nena C Williams on

    Thank you for interviewing Anne’s daughter-in-law…I immensely enjoyed reading it. Someday I would love to tour Anne’s garden myself. I am amazed at how much everyone has accomplished in the last year and a half. Keep up the good work! What a labor of love!

    Reply
  56. Cindy on

    Wow. What a story. I can’t wait to slow it down and take it all in. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  57. Joe Castaneda on

    A beautiful story, thank you for sharing. Now I have to make a trip out there!

    Reply
  58. Ashley Jacobson on

    What a beautiful story.. It’s an honor to learn about someone like her and the love and passion behind her work. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  59. Dede on

    Bless Teddie and Rick for all they’re doing, it is no easy feat to pick up and carry on with this wonderful rose collection. I especially like the suggestion to help our aging neighbors with their gardens… what better way to support, give back, and build our fellow gardeners.

    Reply
  60. kathryn h. on

    Anne reminded me of two women I have been honored to know, one was my great grandmother. Both lived into their 90s. Anne lived an incredible and adventerous life, I would love to read a biography of all her many interests and travels.

    Reply
  61. Sonia V Smith on

    Thank you for introducing me to Anne, Teddie, and Rick. What a force of nature and love was Anne. I’m grateful for Anne’s preservation work. I recently toured England and viewed the most amazing old roses, Galicia roses, and climbing roses. Through the show, I discovered Anne’s roses and her extraordinary work. Gratitude.

    Reply
  62. Alex on

    I love hearing this update and knowing that Anne’s legacy is continuing to make the world a more beautiful place. Thank you (and everyone else who has volunteered their time) for preserving and returning this garden to its full potential. I am excited to read through Anne’s books to discover new rose varieties.

    Reply
  63. jodi weaver on

    I love that her family is continuing her garden and expanding the roses! She created a legacy.

    Reply
  64. Amanda on

    This episode and blog post touched my heart so closely. My grandmother had roses in her landscape. When she passed, my mom took cuttings and now I have cuttings. I remember my grandma whenever they bloom. Legacy indeed! Thank you for sharing and for keeping Anne’s alive.

    Reply
  65. Things are Blooming on

    Anne is a true role model!
    She endured much from a young age and still chose to live and thrive and not let it bog her down.
    I just got my 1st rose plant from an Etsy farm in california
    It’s a velvety Don Juan climbing red rose. I heard they grow well in south Florida and it’s truly gorgeous.
    It wasn’t until watching the show that I realized there were so many varieties!
    I look forward to learning more about roses now!

    Reply
  66. Lauren on

    Thank you Anne for your work, love of gardening and the preservation. As we all know, a rose many become extinct simply because it’s no longer trendy or in vogue. A rose just like many fads, can quickly be replaced with another one in its place which is often so sad. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  67. Dori Fraser on

    What a legacy and moving story. Thank you so much for the update! I often wondered how her roses were doing and an thrilled they are preserving them for the future. Anne left us a gift, her knowledge, her love for her roses, and the physical ability to be able to touch, see, and smell what she created. I hope they will open to more tours as they recover the gardens!

    Reply

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