Recently we spent time in one of the most historical areas of our country. We saw so many beautiful historical sites, homes, and enjoyed many generational traditions.
While there I was able to experience rose garden history as well with a visit to the rose garden at Elizabeth Park in Hartford, CT — home of the oldest public rose garden in the US. There are over 15,000 rose bushes and 800 varieties of old and new roses. Yes, she is steeped in history. This garden became the first official test garden in 1912 for the American Rose Society founded in 1892, with the idea to test and to provide accurate information about roses for the public.
The Curator of the rose garden is a great garden friend that many of you know, Stephen Scanneillo. We had hoped to meet up but he was away at that time on vacation. He plans to join me in a couple of weeks on the podcast and I’m sure he’ll have plenty of Elizabeth Park garden stories! And no one tells a garden story quiet like Stephen.
When I first became aware of this garden, like so many others, I was captivated by the beauty of the the row of rose covered arches I saw in pictures. What I didn’t see from those pictures was just how many rows of arches there are. There are 75 arches covering pathways that direct you through section after section of this amazing garden. The structures themselves were so impressive. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be there when the arches are draping in blooms from the ramblers and climbing roses. I’m told that roses on the arbors are… Dorothy Perkins, Romeo, Repeat blooming Hiawatha, Peggy Martin, Party Hardy, White Dorothy, Dr. Van Fleet, Chevy Chase, Perfumed Breeze, Dortmund, Crimson Rambler, and Exclesa.
August in drought conditions is certainly not the kindest month to visit a rose garden, especially on a day that will literally bake you in moments. It’s kind of like having a photoshoot when you’re having a bad hair day! But, it was the day I had. So, we found Mr. G a shady spot in the garden and I set off to take a closer look. The garden did not disappoint!
MY DAY IN THE GARDEN…
THE GARDEN IN JUNE…
Stephen sent me these pictures he took when the roses are at peak bloom. 😱🌟
DID YOU KNOW?
At Elizabeth Park they winter-protect the roses on the arches by using branches that are pruned from the evergreen in the garden!! What a fabulous idea!! 🌟
THE HERITAGE ROSE GARDEN
The heritage roses have their own special place in the Elizabeth Park garden … nestled in a more secluded area surround by beautiful stone walls. Just perfect! Although I only saw a few blooms as most of these roses have their bloom in early June, they do leave behind some very lovely rose hips which was a treat. And, I so enjoyed seeing the name tags telling me who lived there!
Yes, I have to go back!
ONE MORE THING!! PEGGY MARTIN…
The Peggy Martin Rose would certainly be a sight to see in June as she has covered the rose garden office wall so beautifully.
CHATTING ABOUT ROSES…
Here are the latest podcasts!
INTERNATIONAL ROSE TEST GARDEN
Rachel Burlington, Botanic Specialist III-Rose Garden / Curator
Rachel is a very impressive young woman and wears many hats in the world of horticulture. In addition to her work at the Test Garden, she is co-founder of the non-profit, Women in Horticulture and serves on the Pacific Northwest’s Great Plant Picks committee. So much to chat about! LISTEN HERE.
My next chat is with Diane Sommers, President of the American Rose Society. We will be chatting about what’s going on today and take a peek into plans for the future. This one will be “live” this Sunday, September 10th.
All the varmints are feeling the drought too. They are back and tearing through any part of the garden that I have watered. 😱 #catch22 If you’ve never been visited by these kind of critters (groundhogs, raccoons, possoms), let me tell you they are gifted diggers. When they visit it looks like small rototillers have gone through the garden leaving many plant roots exposed and damaged. To be honest we have not kept up with spreading the deterrents mostly because we were traveling and it was so hot. I guess not using the deterrents is the same thing as hanging a welcome sign. …. sigh 😔
I’ve been seeing pictures on social media and hearing horror stories of armadillo damage. Talk about diggers!!! To those of you who deal with armadillos – 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 !
While in Tennessee this spring to speak to a extremely wonderful group of Master Gardeners, I bought a dahlia. Not one I had ever heard of but the name got to me because I had family in CA.
Meet Pacific Ocean … my first “waterlily” dahlia
Waterlily Dahlias. These blossoms have rounded petals that spiral around tight, slightly flattened centers. Their flawless form makes them popular cut flowers. The plants are typically just 2’ to 3’ tall, yet they produce large blossoms that measure up to 5” across. Waterlily dahlias perform well in large containers and are also good for perennial gardens. -Longfield Gardens
For more on the different types of Dahlias, read the full article HERE.
I didn’t give Pacific Ocean much attention until now as she has been “in captivity” in the dahlia bed that was fenced in from the critters. The fence made it hard to get to her — for the varmints and for me. 🙄 Well, now she has been sprung and is bringing much joy!
WHY WE GRoW ZINNIAS…
Zinnias are among the easiest annuals to grow, they produce tons of blooms, come in a wide array of colors, sizes and varieties, and they last forever in a vase. But the very best reason to grow them … they are a feast for the pollinators. Party time! 🐝🥳🐝
Gardens are ever changing – especially now. I’m curious, as you walk in your garden, what plants / flowers are bringing you the most joy in this season?