This garden holds the distinct honor of being the first one planted at the fledgling Close Memorial Park in 2001 by special request of park founder Major Close to honor his father’s backyard favorite.
Sam McGowan accepted Major’s request and the garden evolved to more than 160 plantings of Hybrid-tea, Grandiflora, Floribunda and shrub roses that start blooming in May, peak in June and continue until the first frost. Its seven beds are arranged in a circular pattern organized in colorscapes with many of the original roses donated by Springfield’s Steinert’s Greenhouse.
The Rose Garden has more recently undergone a major revitalization to maintain its rightful spot as one of the highlights of a visit to the Botanical Center. The Rose Garden was updated by Bill Aldrich, who recommended using an unconventional organic approach that includes brewing and applying compost tea.
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*All Rose Garden photos courtesy of Aaron J. Scott Photography