The earliest recollection I have of having any kind of appreciation for nature was when I was quite a young child, walking with my mother from the bus stop to my grandmother’s house after a rain shower. Everyone that lived in her neighborhood grew roses (we didn’t see too many roses around our home in Tottenham at that time) and their perfume after the rain was intoxicating. Walking around the Rose Garden I am almost overcome by the heady fragrance and the memories of that day.
The roses are not just planted in regimental rows in the garden but are incorporated into a gorgeous landscape of boxwood, viburnums, various species of pine trees and spireas as well as other complementary perennials.
The fountain at the far end of the garden is in the shape of an open rose blossom and never fails to attract the younger visitors who love to splash in the water. Close by is a cool arbor for those hot summer days where you can sit in the shade surrounded by climbing roses, autumn clematis, ferns and hostas.
So many different color blooms and the names are just as fascinating! ‘Cupcake’, ‘Sun Sprinkles’, ‘Golden Wings’, ‘Pink Iceberg’ and ‘Will Scarlet’ are just a few.
Roses are not the easiest things to grow especially in our humid Chicago climate ( I am constantly battling black spot and Japanese beetles in my own garden) but the Chicago Botanic Garden has it down to a fine art and there is no better place to see these beautiful flowers.