It shouldn’t have surprised me to note that there’s a Toughnut Street in Tombstone but it did. This made me LOL while I circled the tourist area looking for and not finding a place to park. On the corner of Toughnut and 4th is the most unusual attraction in a town that, because of its unsavory history, still calls itself too tough to die while developing an unpleasant circus atmosphere and charging way too much for everything.
This oversized oddity/attraction is a rosebush, but no ordinary one. Covering more than 8,000 square feet, it’s the world’s largest. Before Guinness came to verify that fact, Ripley, believe it or not, came to see it. At that time, this rosebush was only 1/4th its current size. The size is what draws people in, but it’s the fragrance that causes them to linger.
Amelia Adamson a hotelier, planted this freak on her hotel’s patio. It may have been in 1885, but no one knows for sure. It is known that one of Amelia’s guests, Mary Gee, received it from a relative in Scotland. In the 1930s the hotel was renamed The Rose Tree Inn for an obvious reason, and it became a boarding house in a tourist town until 1953. In 1964, it filled the backyard of what was becoming a museum. In the 1970, new owners used steel pipe and wood to create a trellis for this unstoppable plant. The trellis is still being used. Under the trellis is a trunk that will rival any tree.
White flowers atop this frame usually bloom every April, but Ruth & I saw it alive with blossoms in March. It does require pruning in the winter and watering regularly but not spraying or feeding. It costs $5 to see and is worth it. Included in the entry fee is a tour of the museum. It’s NOT worth it because it’s just a tired jumble of town memorabilia: 1880 cowboy photos, pewterware, a pathetic OK Corral diorama, etc. I zipped through the artifacts by myself because master gardener Ruth positioned herself under the rose-tree and refused to move until she had to.