The 13 acre Park of Roses is nestled within the larger Whetstone Park. It contains three unique rose gardens as well as herb and perennial gardens, annual display beds and a restored Ohio prairie. Wide, smooth walkways and numerous benches make it easy to enjoy the sights and smells of 12,000 roses with more than 400
varieties. There is something for every rose lover here, from tiny
miniatures to exuberant climbers covering overhead arbors.
The three rose gardens represent the evolution of rose species and hybrids, as well as the past, present and future of rose gardening. People's changing tastes in varieties, colors and cultivation practices can be traced from wild species roses known since antiquity through the 21st century concept of Earth-Kind roses which thrive on minimal care.
Columbus Park of Roses is maintained by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, with help and support from Friends of Columbus Park of Roses, a group that includes the Rose Foundation and the Volunteers. It is free to all visitors, accessible to strollers and wheelchairs and open from dawn to dusk year around. Enjoy your visit!
The Main Garden is an Italianate formal design with roses grouped into symmetrical
beds and surrounding a large water fountain. Thick grass lawns divide the sections.
Most of the roses here are hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras and shrub roses. The full effect of all these “modern” roses blooming at once can best be seen from atop the iron observation tower at the north end of the garden.
Proceeding past two stone pillars, visitors find themselves in the Heritage Garden,
which showcases “old roses.” This is the place to see
centifolias, gallicas, damasks and rugosas as well as species roses.
Many of these roses bloom only once a year, but were used by hybridizers
to create “modern roses” which bloom repeatedly throughout the growing season.
This is the first public Earth-Kind Rose
Demonstration garden outside of the deep South, where the program was
developed at Texas A & M University in 2001. Commercially available
roses were tested to select varieties requiring no pesticides,
fertilizers, dead-heading or pruning. Phase One of the garden was planted in 2007, with Phase Two completed in time for the 2009 season. This garden design, with an informal layout and mixed planting of shrubs is well suited to contemporary home gardens.