Photo © 2005 Ian Lang
Brewster Rogerson during CotW's trip to Oregon in April 2005.
Brewster Rogerson became interested in clematis during the mid-1970s. When in 1981 he retired from his post as a professor of English at Kansas State University he moved to Oregon, a more hospitable climate for his growing collection.
By 1986 Brewster's collection had outgrown the space available at his new house and at a fence row elsewhere in Eugene. Brewster moved to Portland and his plants were moved to a large greenhouse at a nursery near the city. Contacts from all over the world contributed species and cultivar forms until it became the most comprehensive collection in the USA.
Whilst Brewster was in his eighties, his eyesight failing, he and friends in the Pacific Northwest Clematis Society (of which he was a founder member) looked for a way to protect and preserve his collection. A charity was set up called 'Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection' and this came to an arrangement with the City of Lake Oswego to base the clematis on their land at Luscher Farm, a site where it could be looked after in years to come, and where it could be visited by the public. The plants were moved to their new home in late 2005 under Brewster's supervision and, in the years following, became an established, formally curated collection.
For many years Brewster contributed the 'Clematis of the Month' feature for the website of the International Clematis Society, an organisation of which he was one of the few Honorary members. He wrote many articles and, always generous with his advice, he indirectly contributed to many more as well as to projects such as 'Clematis on the Web'.
Brewster passed away in May 2015.