Jersey Field Trip!
It was the convergence of rosarians today at the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden in Somerset, NJ. A little group comprised of Rachel Burlington (Barnes Arboretum rosarian), Jenny Lauer (Morris Arboretum rose garden intern), and myself drove up to Jersey to meet with their new rosarian Shauna Moore. It was her day off, and she had coffee and muffins for us - amazing woman.
She arrived to the garden in June, a transplant from Minnesota where where worked for years at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Since her arrival to the East Coast she’s made a world of difference, and now I understand why - her energy and enthusiasm are infectious. But as I’m well aware, becoming a rosarian is not without its challenges. And some of hers have included poison ivy (it’s everywhere), rose rosette disease (the garden is surrounded by thickets of multiflora rose), black spot (of course), and no irrigation system (which means hand-watering 3,000+ roses every week in the summer). So, she’s busy.
Like the Morris Arboretum rose garden, the Rudolf van der Goot rose garden is also one acre in size. But unlike our rose garden, they have over 3,000 roses in that acre, and they’re all clearly labeled!
The garden’s formal layout includes pieces from the past when it was part of an old estate that was once a working farm. Features like the flagstone walks and a small stone pool date back to the original estate. Beds of polyanthas, hybrid teas, grandifloras, and floribundas radiate out from the center walk. Climbers are trained onto an extensive arbor that Shauna expects to be coverered within two years. And around the perimeter grow species and heritage roses including bourbon, damask, gallica, moss, and cabbage roses. The complete list is available on the Somerset County Park Commission website here.
I look forward to returning in Spring for a volunteer work day pruning all the roses. Maybe you’ll think about helping out, too?