If you haven’t seen the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, you’re missing one of the city’s great gardens. It’s wonderful again in October, too.
Here’s the latest from NYBG — very exciting news that they’re moving away from the high-maintenance, chemical-dependent varieties:
“Resplendent Roses, The New York Botanical Garden’s
Annual Celebration of America’s National Flower
Begins June, Runs through First Frost
“New Wine and Roses Friday Evenings, June 5, 12, and 19, 6–8 p.m.
Filled with 3,500 rose plants in 567 varieties, the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden is a highlight of The New York Botanical Garden. Each year beginning in June and lasting through the first frost, Resplendent Roses showcases the magnificent flowering of roses in the Rose Garden that was designed by landscape architect Beatrix Jones Farrand in 1916 and completed in 1988 through a generous gift from David Rockefeller in honor of his wife, Peggy. Visitors flock there to witness thousands of roses at their peak and to learn more about caring for and enjoying this classic enticing flower through demonstrations and Q&A sessions with rose experts.
This year visitors can experience the Rose Garden in a new light at Wine and Roses on Friday evenings, June 5, 12, and 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. They can stroll through the Rose Garden during the height of its beauty, stay late, and enjoy a musical performance. They can also purchase a glass of wine to complement the colors and aroma of the roses, and learn tips about rose care from Botanical Garden experts on hand. Tickets for Wine and Roses are $10 for Garden Members and $20 for Non-Members.
The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, already lauded as one of the most beautiful of its kind in America, is being transformed into one of the most disease-resistant rose gardens in the world. The goal to plant only low-maintenance roses is a tall order, since roses have a reputation of being among the most chemically dependent flowers in existence. However, new varieties on the market in conjunction with Curator Peter Kukielski’s passion, expertise, and willingness to experiment are driving the idea toward realization.
“It is time to move toward a disease-free environment; it’s the wave of the future,” Kukielski says. “A few years ago this would have been difficult to achieve, but now there are greater efforts by hybridizers to make the rose a great garden plant again.”
In the Rose Garden, roses from both the United States and abroad will be tested in order to perfect a planting formula that works for the particular site.
The multiple-year conversion began last fall when nearly 1,400 high-maintenance roses, about one-third of the Rose Garden’s inventory, were removed. During the winter, Kukielski scoured the world (virtually, not physically) for the finest disease-resistant varieties that would bloom beautifully for five to six months of the year. He found just what he was looking for, and all the growers donated the plants. This spring Garden staff planted over 845 new, hardy roses, varieties chosen particularly for their claim of disease resistance, long bloom time, and easy care.
While staying true to Farrand’s concept, the Rose Garden continues to evolve with new beds and new varieties that feature the rose’s diversity of form, color, and fragrance, all in an encyclopedic display of the flower’s history.
Over an acre in size, the garden features a broad and diverse collection of roses in a dramatic, triangular design with 83 beds radiating from a central circle and a planting area of over 19,000 square feet.
During rose-oriented public programs in June, visitors can learn more about the cultivation, history, and romance of the rose through tours, demonstrations, and performances. Programming features include:
• Q&A Sessions with Rose Experts
Saturdays and Sundays, 1–4 p.m.
• Raffles for Rose Plants
Saturdays and Sundays, 12:15 and 1:45 p.m.
• Rose Garden Tours
Saturdays and Sundays, 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
• Home Gardening Demonstrations
Saturdays and Sundays, 2 p.m.
The Botanical Garden also offers classes dedicated to roses. Peter Kukielski teaches a new course called “Going Green with Roses.” Other Continuing Education offerings include a “Summer Rose Pruning” workshop, “The Rose De-Mystified,” and other interesting selections. Registration and a fee are required for Continuing Education classes. Please call 718.817.8747 or visit nybg.org/edu/ for more information.
Some notable varieties of roses growing in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden are also available for purchase at Shop in the Garden along with exciting new lines of design-focused garden goods, from sleek, sophisticated, stainless steel torches, bird feeders, and garden ornaments to an expansive assortment of handsome planters that are sure to enhance rose displays of any size. Check out the offerings in the Outdoor Plant Shop for even more garden inspiration. For all or your rose needs, visit nybgshop.org or stop by Shop in the Garden during your next visit.
The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, the only surviving New York City garden designed by Beatrix Farrand, is the perfect destination for rose lovers throughout the summer and into the fall.
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The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants located at Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road. It is easy to reach by Metro-North Railroad or subway. The Botanical Garden is open Tuesday through Sunday and Monday federal holidays. The best way to enjoy the Garden is with the All-Garden Pass, which includes admission to the grounds as well as to seasonal gardens, exhibitions, and attractions such as the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, Rock and Native Plant Gardens, and Tram Tour: $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and students with ID, $8 for children ages 2–12, children under 2 are free. For more information, please call 718.817.8700 or visit our Web site at nybg.org. For additional story ideas and behind-the-scenes accounts, read our blog Plant Talk: Inside The New York Botanical Garden, nybg.org/wordpress.
The New York Botanical Garden is located on property owned in full by the City of New York, and its operation is made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. A portion of the Garden’s general operating funds is provided by The New York City Council and The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The Bronx Borough President and Bronx elected representatives in the City Council and State Legislature provide leadership funding.