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Columbus, Ohio Promises You a Rose Garden

Ilona has gardened actively for most of her life and has been a writer and webmaster online since 1998. Homeschooled all 10 of her children.

Welcome To The Park of Roses

Welcome To The Park of Roses

Welcome To The Park of Roses

A Romantic Rose Garden

A perfect place for a summer evening stroll, a free concert, or a wedding... The Rose Garden at Whetstone Park is a lovely way to spend time during any season, but especially at the height of the rose bloom in June.

This is a park that I have visited over the years all through my half century life. Going there as a small child with my parents, attending teen dances on summer nights during my "coming of age" years, walks with my husband and young children, and now times when I just want to sit on the bench and smell the roses1 Join me as I give you a small tour of a very fine Rose garden, public park, in Columbus, Ohio.

Visit to a rose garden is a fine way to familiarize oneself with rose varieties.

One of Top Ten Rose the World - World Class Garden

June is in full bloom at Whetstone Park of Roses

June is in full bloom at Whetstone Park of Roses

Among The Top Ten Rose Gardens In The USA

USA Today named the top ten rose gardens:

* Park of Roses in Whetstone Park (USA)

* International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park (USA)

* Cranford Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (USA)

* Krasberg Rose Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden (USA)

* Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University (USA)

* LaRoseraie de l'Hay du Val de Marne (France)

* Rose Garden of Montreal Botanical Garden (Canada)

* Mottisfont Abby Garden (UK)

* Sissinghurst Castle Garden (UK)

* Nancy Steen Garden in Dove-Myer Robinson Park (New Zealand)

It is an AARS-approved public display garden.

In January 1954 the American Rose Society Headquarters relocated from Hershey, Pennsylvania to Columbus, staying until 1974 when they moved to Shreveport, Louisiana.

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Walk Through the Rose Park History

A Little History of the Park

Whetstone Park of Roses

The land was a family farm in the 1800's near the city of Columbus, Ohio, purchased by Governor James Rhodes and utilized as Victory gardens during World War II. Five hundred family Victory gardens were planted there! It became Whetstone Park in 1950.

The Park of Roses is a park within a park, situated inside the 136 acres of Whetstone Park. A 13 acre park within the 150 acre Whetstone Park, located by traveling North on High Street, Route 23, within the community of "Clintonville" .The name Whetstone comes from the early settlers' name for the Olentangy River. It was called Whetstone River because of the whetstones or shale found along its banks, then renamed 'Olentangy' in the 1930s.

In 1952 the plans of the members of the Columbus Rose Club & The Central Ohio Rose Society came into reality when construction began on the rose park which is now the Park of Roses. [1]

In June of 1953 the Rose Park officially opened.

It was home to the American Rose Society until a decision to move to a more southern locale in Louisiana was made after particularly devastating winters in '66 and '67.

Since that time the perennial, herb, and other features of the garden have been developed and gone through the type of evolution common to a garden.

Rose Garden Trivia

  • Over 11,000 rose bushes planted on the grounds
  • 13 acre garden setting within a park
  • Admission is free, open during park hours: dawn to dusk. Parking in adjacent parking lot
  • During World War II, more than 500 Victory Gardens were planted in the park
  • The Columbus Park of Roses is one of 133 AARS approved public display gardens in the United States.

-Ilona's Garden Journal

Not Just Roses - Several beautiful gardens in one

Photo from Ilona's Garden Journal

Photo from Ilona's Garden Journal

Features In The Famous Rose Park

Although public gardens undergo changes over the years, the Columbus Park of Roses has had a perennial garden attached to the small gazebo area, and an herb garden on one axis of the rose garden. The main rose garden is filled with many rose bushes, all named and classified. It also has an "old rose" section for heritage roses, which blooms once in late paring, when such roses are at their peak.

  • The concert Gazebo stage hosts concerts, and has bleacher seating in an alcove bordering on the woodsy perimeter.
  • In the center of the garden is a tall ironwork lookout tower.
  • In all this is a well designed and peaceful garden to visit all through the growing season.
  • It is desirable for weddings and special family gatherings.

My Visit to Whetstone's Heritage Roses

Rose Gardens Have History - Heritage Roses

A gallery of rose photos taken at Whetstone Park

A gallery of rose photos taken at Whetstone Park

A Place For Weddings

Ceremony in the Rose Garden

Weddings can be performed in different venues in the Rose Garden. This photo was from one on the rose mall, on a perfect summer afternoon. Standing behind the fountain,which is in the middle of the lower rose garden, I snapped a few photos of a wedding taking place... it looked picture perfect and the park was peaceful and quiet except for the string quartet which supplied the wedding music.

Information on reservations for weddings and events.

I've seen a number of romantically beautiful weddings take place in The Park of Roses. The scent of roses on the air is heavenly, and the rose garden is nestled within the wooded area of the park. Although a public park, it has a nice private feel to it, and people keep a discreet distance from the actual weddings. The nearby, enclosed shelter house is a great place to hold the reception.

The Park's Herb Garden

The Herb Garden

The Herb Garden

Three sites for weddings within the Park of Roses include the White Gazebo Pavilion, The Wedding Mall, and The Brick Gazebo.

Herb Garden

The Herb Garden was created in In 1976 and is a fragrant and informative part of the garden. If you wondered what certain herb plants look like in a garden situation, this is a fine illustration of how to bring the subtle beauty of herb plants into garden beds, and how well the herb and rose gardens can complement each other.

Photo from the Columbus Ohio Parks site.

Photo from the Columbus Ohio Parks site.

Whetstone Prairie

In 2003, 5 1/2 acres of bottomland near the Olentangy River was converted into an approximation of an original Ohio prairie.

In three phases over several years, Whetstone Prairie became a mature example of the native plants which are inhabitants of an Ohio prairie.

Whetstone Prairie

Find the roses - Locate the Rose Garden for a Visit

Plant Your Own Rose Garden

  • Start with information to plan your garden, make sure you have the tools: a spade, pruners, etc.
  • Order plants during the late winter, or wait until they arrive in the nurseries (during early spring)
  • Finally, in the springtime plant your roses in well prepared ground.

A visit to a public rose garden, such as Whetstone's Park of Roses, will educate you in the size of the plants and color of their blooms. It is a wonderful way to experience the fragrance of each named variety, too.

Whether you wish to learn more about types of roses, specific varieties, or simply enjoy the beauty of a rose garden, a visit here is one of the best spent days in the month of June.

Summer Day Stroll

Send me roses, - Or give me a comment on this lens, please

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on August 05, 2012:

Shouldn't the first quiz question be where is the "whestone park of roses" located?

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on August 05, 2012:

Very beautiful pictures. thanks for taking us on a walk through the rose garden.

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