Friday, June 10, 2011

In the Inez Grant Parker Rose Garden

That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Romeo & Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose.    Antoine de Saint-Exupery 

The aristocratic rose always imbues romance and culture. It captures our imaginations with its deep fragrance and beautiful blooms. It punishes the beholder with its vicious thorns, symbolizing the dichotomy of pleasure and pain. Yet the rose is also delicate, requiring almost daily care in order to produce its heady scent and signature flowers.

On the east side of Balboa Park, across the Park Avenue pedestrian bridge, is San Diego's most beautiful and extensive rose garden, named for philanthropist Inez Grant Parker. There are approximately 200 varieties of roses here, carefully tended by a staff of volunteers. I can only imagine the amount of tending these roses need. I have 5 plants and two hybrid variety roses in my garden, and it is a constant fight to remove spent blooms, prune, and fight rose blight. Orange rust spores continue to be a problem for my Mother of Pearl and Double Delight roses and I can see evidence of the scourge at the Inez Grant Parker Rose Garden as well.

Roses are beloved, favorites of florists, brides, and sentimental romantics. So, we continue to tend them, nurse them through sickness, and create new varieties to grow in our private and public gardens. They will forever adorn our bouquets and pique our memories of romance and days gone by.

For more rose pictures, please click here.

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