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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


See, Sniff 1,500 Blooming Heirloom Roses: OSU Garden in Wooster to Host June 14 Open House

April 14, 2008

WOOSTER, Ohio — See a thousand-plus heirloom roses in bloom — plus maybe buy a few, learn how to prune them and walk a new rose-scented labyrinth — in Wooster on Saturday, June 14.


Ohio State University’s three-acre Garden of Roses of Legend and Romance at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) will host a free open house that day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The program will feature tours led by rose experts, a pruning demonstration at noon, labyrinth walks and the sale of a small number of roses, all of them propagated from plants there.

Established nearly 40 years ago, with most of the original plants still thriving, the garden features 500 varieties of old-fashioned roses, types that came before modern hybrid roses, with 1,500 specimens in all.

They cover a site that’s nearly as big as three football fields. Colors include red, cream, copper, crimson, salmon, canary, burgundy and, yes, rose.

“Unless you’re a rosarian from olden times, you’ll see roses here that you didn’t even know were roses,” said Kelly King, the OARDC plant materials specialist in charge of the garden. “They vary from 20 inches to 20 feet and everywhere in between. They’re hardy, smell especially intense and have survived the test of time.”

And June, especially the first two weeks, is when they hit their peak.

“Many old roses flower only once, so timing is critical to see and smell them in their glory,” King said. “If you’ve never been here, this is the time to come.”

The labyrinth, she added, is a living work of art.

“It’s surrounded by live plants,” she said. “It represents life in its twists and turns. And labyrinths often are considered conduits for spiritual and physical healing.”

Not a maze, with no dead ends nor trick turns involved, users follow a single spiral walking path in the labyrinth.

Bring a lunch and walk through Secrest Arboretum while at OARDC, too, King suggested. The 115-acre research collection, home to more than 2,000 different types of trees and shrubs, celebrates its centennial this year.

Find OARDC at 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster.

Call (330) 263-3612 to find out more.

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Kurt Knebusch
Kelly King