In Whetstone Park on the west side of Columbus, lies a showcase of roses the likes of which I've never seen before. As Mom and I walked through the entrance and saw what lay in front of us, we knew we'd hit the mother lode of rose blooms. Thirteen acres. 11,000 rose bushes. 350 varieties, including the newest hybrids as well as heritage roses dating back to the 1500s.
The Park of Roses opened in 1953, after excavating the top 24 inches of soil, of which the top 11-15 inches were sandy loam. This was mixed with commercial fertilizer and 21,000 bales of imported peat moss and returned to the site and allowed to settle before planting.
USA Today named Columbus Park of Roses one of the Top Ten Rose Gardens in the world, putting it right in there with world-renowned Sissinghurst. It is one of 133 AARS-approved public display gardens. (All-America Rose Selections, Inc.)
We were rather surprised to see the roses in such full bloom, especially after the hot, dry summer we'd had, but there were very few of them that weren't putting on a show of color. They had healthy foliage and no aphids or Japanese Beetles. No black spot. No powdery mildew. Amazing.
We spent well over an hour going up and down the rows, taking in the beauty of the blooms and making a mental list of our favorites. I don't really have room for any more roses, but I noted a couple that I just might have to squeeze in next year. I took photos of those that caught my eye, and there were many . . .
Before I began gardening, if you would have asked me to name a rose, 'Peace' is what I would have said. It was the only one whose name I knew.
(Parent to my 'Topsy Turvy')
Heritage Rose Garden
The Heritage Rose Garden contains many varieties of the old roses, most of which I'd never heard. The design of this part of the gardens was 'Old World' as well, with pergolas and arbors.
As you can imagine, this is a popular place for weddings and today was no exception.
What a full day we had that had started with the gardens on the campus of OSU, took us to Baker's Acres Greenhouses, then Tracy DiSabato-Aust's Hiddenhaven, and finally here at Columbus Park of Roses. A gardener's dream day!