About

Clair Martin

Clair Martin, Curator of Rose and Perennial Gardens, photo by Syl Arena

Clair Martin is the first Shannon Curator of the Rose Garden at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens located in San Marino, California a position he has held since 1983.

Clair serves as founding chair of the Great Rosarians of the World annual lecture series; an endowed program founded in 2001 which focuses on the women and men who have made significant contributions to our love and understanding of the rose.  In 2007 the Great Rosarians program expanded to New York City with the honoree speaking first on the West Coast and then in New York where the Manhattan Rose Society will host the program.

He has participated in a number of television productions over the years, including the BBC miniseries, The Quest For The Rose and the PBS production of Great Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn. Currently, Clair can be seen on the Do-It-Yourself cable network’s show, Growing Roses.

Clair was invited to be one of three float judges for the 1999 Tournament of Roses Parade in his hometown of Pasadena. Additionally, he’s acted as rose and floral judge to many prominent events, most notably the Las Floristas Headdress Ball held each year in Los Angeles.

The Huntington Rose Garden celebrated its Centennial year in 2008 and as part of that celebration Clair organized a lecture series focused on pratical rose growing and curated the La Rose Impériale exhibit in the Boone Gallery which traced the development of our modern repeat blooming roses from their Chinese roots.

Clair has written four books: English Roses for Southern CaliforniaThe Book of Outdoor Gardening100 English Roses for the American Garden, and 100 Old Roses for the American Garden. One reviewer called Clair “the Julia Child of Roses.”

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