The rose garden at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is incredible. I visited the garden a couple weekends ago in the middle of August, and almost the entire garden was in bloom. And, robust. Roses were spilling over pathways with lush foliage and a profusion of blooms. The fragrance alone was intoxicating, reaching me before I even entered through the arbor. I used to hate rose gardens. I thought they were boring and ugly. But, the display at the NYBG made me a believer.
There are over 600 varieties and 4,000 plants on display, blooming for six months out of the year. The garden was originally designed by Beatrix Farrand in 1916 and recently renovated in 2006-2007. It’s been voted one of the most beautiful rose gardens in the country and also one of the world’s most environmentally friendly gardens.
The garden’s push towards sustainability involves selecting roses for disease resistance, evaluating them constantly, and using organic sprays before synthetic sprays are needed. The gardeners use an in depth evaluation system to determine which roses can remain in the garden, and which get replaced, which they conduct each month.
There’s so much more to read about the subject, and the next post (NYBG Rose Garden Wins Award for Sustainability) picks up where this leaves off. Also, if you happen to subscribe, The American Gardener published a great article about the garden renovation and move towards sustainability in their March/April 2011 issue.