The Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) will unveil a brand new, $3-million rose garden at the end of the month. This rose garden will not only make for a gorgeous addition to Hendrie Park, but it will also share the message of environmentally conscious horticulture.
Originally planted in 1967, the first rose garden at the RBG began as a centennial project to showcase the beauty in flowers. To increase the life span and aesthetics of the flowers, many of the plants’ genetics were manipulated and hybridized. Pesticides and fertilizers were used in excess on the flowers to provide longevity and prevent disease.
In 2009, Ontario banned the use of gardening chemicals. No longer having access to the chemicals that once allowed the flowers to flourish, the roses began to writhe. Despite efforts to keep the roses healthy, the rose garden did not prosper like it did years before.
In the spring of 2017, horticulturalists at the RBG discussed the state of the rose garden and decided it was time for a change. The horticulturals reached out to Peter Kukielski, a former curator at the New York Botanical Garden, to work with them on revamping the garden.
And thus a new garden has been rebuilt from the ground up — literally. Old soil has been replaced while a new irrigation system has been installed. The finished garden will showcase over 300 varieties of roses, as well as a multitude of companion plants such as perennials, echinacea, and milkweed.
After much research, collaboration, and hard work, the new garden will be unveiled June 23. The staff members at the RBG hope that their new garden will inspire others to take proper care of their own roses and consider the environmental effects of pesticides.
Are you going to visit the brand new rose garden at the RBG? Let us know in the comments.