Putting the Rose Garden to Bed

By Finness Avant

On December 4, 2010, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy Leadership Team assisted with the task of “bedding” the rose garden in the Back Bay Fens.  This means pruning the roses as they go dormant for the winter season, as if getting them ready for a comfortable sleep. It was a fun experience for me to learn about why this task is necessary.

The rose garden is beautiful and needs much maintenance due to its wide variety and size.  With thousands of roses to tend to and only one groundskeeper, the garden relies on volunteers to assist with certain tasks involving the rose bushes. One reason for the pruning is to remove dead wood and vines from the bushes to make room for new growth which will look a lot more beautiful in the spring time. This also improves air circulation for the roots of the plants to breath for the season.  Our motivation to prune was also to make room for parks maintenance to apply mulch in the spring time.

I learned a few basic things like – common sense – USE THICK GLOVES when dealing with roses because of the thorns.  I also learned to make smooth cuts over the buds that were going dormant. After working on the Rose Garden, I feel eager to see how our efforts helped to shape the roses in the spring time.

I did some research on the garden at www.emeraldnecklace.org and discovered the Valentine’s Day Rose Sponsorship campaign: for $50 a public party can sponsor a rose bush in their valentine’s name. The bush will be in the Kelleher Rose Garden and live for the season and possibly for years to come, whereas a dozen cut roses will have died after about two weeks.

For more facts about the Kelleher Rose Garden and the Valentines Day Rose Sponsorship Campaign visit www.emeraldnecklace.org/kelleher-rose-garden.

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