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A Dozen Rose Gardens to Dream About

Need inspiration before you start planning your spring planting? Take a look at these great gardens.

By Livability.com on February 11, 2015

Kansas City / Photo Courtesy of Visit San Jose

Consider this our Valentine’s Day gift to you. We present a dozen beautiful rose gardens that will fill any plant-o-phile’s head with dreams of budding bliss. So grab a spade, put on your gloves and dig into these amazing gardens.

Click on the arrows above to see photos of the rose gardens. You’ll find information about each garden below.

A Dozen Inspiring Rose Gardens 

  1. The Rose Garden at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa., dates back to the 1930s. Slate walkways lead to the rose beds that form this garden, the last major garden developed at Longwood during Pierre S. du Pont’s lifetime. Even during the winter time, the prickly rose bushes provide interesting scenery, especially when covered in ice. 
  2. The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden draws thousands of visitors between May and October when more than 650 varieties of roses are in peak bloom. The Rockefeller Rose Garden is located within the 250-acre New York Botanical Garden, which is located in the Bronx, just north of the Bronx Zoo. Completed in 1988, the rose garden was designed by landscape architect Beatrix Farrand and has won numerous international awards.
  3. The second-oldest public rose garden in the U.S., Lyndale Park Rose Garden in Minneapolis, Minn., showcases more than 3,000 plants in 100 different varieties. Prime rose viewing occurs from mid-June to early October. This 1.5-acre garden, which is located near the northeast corner of Lake Harriet, was designated an official All-American Rose Selections test rose garden in 1946. The garden has also hosted many weddings. 
  4. The perpetual sunshine found in San Marino, Calif., provides ideal growing conditions for flowers in the Rose Garden at The Huntington complex, which includes a library, art museum and botanical gardens. Created in 1908 for the private enjoyment of Henry and Arabella Huntington, the rose garden once provided copious quantities of cut blooms to create elaborate floral arrangements that decorated their home. Records show they once used 9,700 roses in one year. 
  5. It may come as no surprise to learn that the nation’s largest rose garden is located in Texas. Encompassing 14 acres is the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden in Tyler, Texas, which hosts the annual Texas Rose Festival along with private weddings, parties, and other celebrations. It’s estimated that 60 percent of the nation’s commercially grown roses come from Tyler’s rose growers. The garden features more than 38,000 rose bushes and more than 500 different varieties of the flowers, including miniature roses that are smaller than a dime.
  6. Surrounded by an urban landscape in Charlotte, N.C.’s First Ward Garden District, the McGill Rose Garden provides a burst of color and sense of whimsy in this charming town. Open to the public, this free garden was started by Helen McGill, wife of Henry McGill, who in 1950 purchased a block of land that had been used as a coal yard. Helen’s original two rose bushes are now surrounded by more than 1,000 roses and other plants. 
  7. It’s easy to see why the Krasberg Rose Garden is one of the most popular spots in the Chicago Botanic Garden. It features more than 5,000 flowers, including heirloom roses that were cultivated before 1867. Children are often lured into the large fountain that is framed by rose beds, so parents might be wise to bring a towel or change of clothes. 
  8. At only 1 acre, the Rudolf W. Van Der Goot Rose Garden may be seen as small, but the city of Somerset, N.J., has packed in a breathtaking array of roses that provide a colorful escape into gardening bliss. The garden contains more than 3,000 roses of 32 varieties and hold accreditation with the All-American Rose Selections as a display garden. Visitors are guided through the garden by flagstone walkways that were part of the original Mettler Estate, once a working farm, which the city now owns. Goot was the city’s first horticulturist.
  9. With more than 10,000 roses, the Portland Rose Garden, or more formally known as the International Rose Test Garden, is the largest rose test garden in the nation. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to smell the roses each year and take in great views of downtown Portland, Ore., and Mount Hood. The garden dates back to 1915, when it was conceived. Roses arrived three years later. The garden remains a place to test new rose varieties.
  10. The Rose Garden in Hartford, Conn.‘s Elizabeth Park is considered the oldest municipally operated rose garden in the country. It’s a 2.5-acre garden with more than 15,000 plants of 800 varieties. Located on mostly flat terrain, rose beds are arranged to form a rectangular shape that allows visitors to easily navigate through rows of roses that climb fences and shrubs filled with color. The garden features a heritage area where more historical or “antique” roses are displayed. 
  11. Tall evergreen hedges hide the James P. Kelleher Rose Garden in Boston, Mass. Visitors must enter through a gate on Park Drive before enjoying the wonderful collection of flowers designed by landscape architect Arthur Shurtleff. Many Bostonians refer to it as a “secret garden,” that offers a highly romantic atmosphere. Several Yelp users suggest it would be the perfect spot for a marriage proposal. The roses typically reach their peak bloom between May and June. 
  12. A group of women came together in 1931 to establish the Kansas City Rose Society and plant the seeds that would create the Municipal Rose Garden at Loose Park. The first garden held 120 rose plants. Today, there are more than 3,000 roses of 150 varieties in the 1.5-acre space. Landscape architect S. Herbert Hare came up with the circular plan of the garden, which in 1989 received a national honor from the American Rose Society.

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