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Former Sacramento Historic Rose Garden
'Former Sacramento Historic Rose Garden'  photo
Photo courtesy of Mel Hulse
  Listing last updated on 24 Jun 2024.
1000 Broadway Ave
Sacramento, California 95818
United States
 
USDA Zone: 9b (25 to 30 F / -3.8 to -1.2 C)
9167157294  [Information]
Many of the roses remain in this once-renowned garden, although pruned much smaller and without any labels or supports.  A catalog of the roses that were still on site in June 2021 is hosted by the Heritage Rose Group, https://www.theheritagerosesgroup.org/articles/2021-sac-garden-catalog.pdf.  Roses are listed alphabetically and by plot location.  Plot markers are in the southeast corner.

The Former Historic Rose Garden was a collection of over 400 “found” rose plants collected from cemeteries and other sites where the original plants were planted 100 or more years ago. The goal was to save the old cultivars, since they are disappearing from their historic sites. There were many chinas and teas along with other heritage roses, and some early hybrid teas. The cemetery is a unique site, with 19th century monuments, raised plots under ancient trees and space for the roses to be allowed to grow to near their natural size.

Anita Clevenger writes in the April 2022 Heritage Rose Foundation Newsletter: "If you enter the Sacramento City Cemetery looking for its award-winning Historic Rose Garden, you won’t be able to find it. The beautiful sign at the entry is gone and all rose labels were discarded. The trellises and other supports have been removed. Most of the 500 roses in the collection are still there, although some have been removed and others are struggling to survive. There is no longer a cadre of dedicated rose volunteers caring for the roses. Instead, grounds maintenance is done by Sheriff’s Work Project crew, directed by Parks staff, who cut the roses short or mow them to the ground. Climbing roses once trained along the wrought-iron fence are now knee high. Nearly all of the roses are unrecognizable. ....city staff believed that the garden was historically inappropriate and threatened the preservation of the cemetery. They bridled at the use of the word “historic” in the garden’s name, pointing out that the garden was founded in 1992 and rejecting the notion that the plants themselves were historic. Staff wanted the monuments to be visible from every direction approached. Volunteers, neighbors, preservation advocates and the world-wide rose community protested, but to no avail."

The World Federation of Rose Societies has withdrawn the garden's listing from its "Gardens of Excellence" award program. 
 
 
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