Texas Agrilife Extension
Standing on the balcony of the Rose Garden Center looking over the garden, your senses will be overwhelmed with color when the garden is at its peak of bloom. After taking in the view, enter into the garden to enjoy the beauty and fragrance up close and personal.
Row upon row of hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora, miniature, shrub and landscape roses invite the visitor to come into the garden to smell and learn.
There are at least 500 different rose varieties and over 35,000 bushes to experience. Every year 2,000 or more bushes are replanted, keeping the garden current with the newest varieties.
Many folks visiting the rose garden bring pad and pencil to write down favorite varieties, making notes on fragrance, color and form. And of course, bring a camera to capture the beauty.
Climbing roses can be found in different parts of the garden, some everblooming, some once bloomers that are solid sheets of color for a month every spring. Large arbors support the luxurious growth of several varieties.
You can also find many miniature roses in the Tyler Rose Garden. Miniature roses are just like their bigger cousins in every way but size and are ideal for the gardener with just a little sunny spot who wants a lot of different roses.
To the south of the Meditation Garden is a collection of Buck roses and Earth-Kind roses. Buck rose varieties are being evaluated for low maintenance qualities, while Earth-Kind roses are selections made by the Texas A&M Agriculture Program for roses with superior disease resistance and ease of maintenance.
Other attractions located in the Tyler Rose Garden include the Meditation Garden with a gazebo near quiet pools and flowing fountains.
The Rose Garden is a popular location for special photographic opportunities such as weddings and other special occasions.
Heritage Rose Garden
Nestled in the southwestern corner of the garden is the Heritage Rose Garden where a collection of antique roses and perennials bloom all summer long. The Heritage Garden is maintained by Smith County Master Gardeners and showcases hardy and colorful antique or heritage roses and companion plants in an informal and attractive setting.
Scattered throughout the southern end of the Rose Garden is a collection of over 20 Japanese maples. All are labeled for easy identification.
The IDEA Garden features new and under-utilized plants for East Texas, an area devoted to teaching composting, displays of various mulching materials, groundcover plants for sloping areas, and water-wise landscaping techniques. Signs and handouts help interpret the garden and guide the visitors through the displays.
Between the Heritage Garden and the IDEA Garden is an area devoted to trialing and displaying shade-loving plants. Ferns, hostas, hellebores and other plants are displayed showing examples of plants tolerant of shady areas under trees.
While this is one of the two peak seasons for rose blooms (the other is in October during the Texas Rose Festival), the variety of other plantings make the Tyler Rose Garden a worthwhile destination throughout the year.
Bring a picnic basket, a camera and enjoy Tyler's colorful treasure.
Keith Hansen is Smith County Horticulturist with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. His web page is http:// EastTexasGardening.tamu.edu His Blog is http://agrilife.org/etg.