A second peek at Kathy Brenzel’s rose-filled Menlo Park backyard

by Linda Hubbard on May 23, 2017

Editor’s note: Along with InMenlo contributing photographer Frances Freyberg, we visited Kathy Brenzel’s Menlo Park backyard, which is ablaze with roses. This is the second report about what we saw; part one is here.

Kathy has a special place in her heart for the roses that Frances captured sitting in a little vase. “It’s an old-fashioned rose but I don’t know what it’s called,” she explained. [My husband] Dan saw it dripping over a fence when he was driving in San Jose near a property that was slated to become a shopping center.

“Because it was clear the plant was going to be pulled out, he took five cuttings and brought them home. We put them in a pot with potting soil and two of them took root. That was some time in the 80s. They only bloom once a year but they are glorious!”

Fired Up [tm] (above): “A landscape shrub rose, with cup-like blooms that are variously striped with vivid red and yellow against a background the color of blood oranges. Late in the day when backlit by the sun, these blooms really do blaze like fire. This is a great rose for dry climates; grows to 5 feet tall.”

Golden Celebration (above). A David Austin English rose with delicate, full-petalled, cup-shaped blooms. This slightly arching shrub grows big; mine to about 5 ½-6 feet, although if the canes stood straight up, they’d brush the house eaves. In fact, this rose can be trained as a climber.

Scentimental (above): Floribunda with blooms to 4 inches across; each bloom is striped with burgundy — some more, some less — and no two are the same; all have a sweet spicy fragrance.”

We asked Kathy an impossible question: Did she have a favorite? She replied: “All roses have their own personalities and own unique beauty. Some I love because they are so tough. Others because they are easy care and don’t need spraying or anything. I love them all for different reasons!”

Photos by Frances Freyberg (c) 2017


Linda Craig May 23, 2017 at 6:26 pm

Wouldn’t miss the view of Kathy’ roses. I think it was a second “peek” at her collection. Us long-time Sunset readers have learned a lot over the years and love our roses and other flowering plants.

Bill Brown May 24, 2017 at 7:35 am

Beautiful roses.
Say “Hi” to Dan for me. I worked for him in the late ’70s, my first job after graduating.

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