Rose Garden Information
The Rose Garden is open from dawn until dark, seven days a week. Admission is free. The Rose Garden and Rose Garden Center can also be rented for special events such as weddings, parties, reunions, etc. This is the perfect facility to accommodate your every need. The Tyler Municipal Rose Garden is a 14-acre park, making it the nations largest rose garden. The garden is full of breath-taking beauty, especially in the spring and again in mid-October when the Rose Garden is in full bloom. There are over 38,000 rose bushes of at least 500 different varieties, from tall grafted rose trees to miniature roses no larger than a dime.
The Rose Garden is the site of the annual Texas Rose Festival held in mid-October each year and attracts tourists by the thousands. Numerous visitors gather to meet the Rose Queen, and enjoy refreshments in this spectacular outdoor setting during the popular Queens Tea.
The Garden is one of 24 All American Rose Selection (AARS) test gardens in the country where the newest varieties are evaluated over a two-year period. These are bushes not yet introduced, and the ones that pass the test for vigor, flowering, and disease resistance are then nationally introduced to the gardening public as AARS selections. Many folks visiting the rose garden bring pad and pencil to write down favorite varieties, making notes on fragrance, color and form.
A section of 300 David Austin rose bushes was added to the garden in 2003. The David Austin roses perform well in East Texas and are reminiscent of traditional English garden roses. These fragrant roses feature multiple petal formations and come in dozens of colors.
Nestled in the southwestern corner of the garden is the Heritage Rose and Sensory Garden. Here more than 50 varieties of antique or heritage roses, along with many perennials bloom all summer long. The Heritage Garden is cooperative effort between the Gertrude Windsor Garden Club, the Smith Co. Master Gardeners, Dr. Brent Pemberton and the Tyler Parks Department to showcase hardy and colorful roses and perennials in an informal setting.
Other Garden Features
While roses are the main attraction in the garden, there are several other features in the 14-acre complex that compliment the roses.
In the spring of 1999, the I.D.E.A. demonstration garden was created by the Smith County Master Gardeners. Funded by a grant from East Texas Council of Governments, this garden is designed to give visitors gardening ideas to take home and use in their own garden. The IDEA Garden features new and under-utilized plants for East Texas, a water-garden and bog area, an area devoted to teaching composting, displays of various mulching materials, groundcover plants for sloping areas, and water-wise landscaping techniques. Signs and handouts interpret the garden and guide the visitors through the displays.
Visitors to the garden may also enjoy the meditation area with reflecting pools, flowing fountains and a large, rustic wooden gazebo. This is a popular location for special photographic opportunities and weddings, family gatherings and other special occasions. Please contact us for more information about reserving this space.
On the southern end of the garden is the Vance Burks Memorial Camellia Garden. Here a grove of pine and hardwood trees provide a shaded area ideal for the dozens of large camellias. Nearby, the East Texas Daylily Society maintains several daylily beds with hundreds of labeled daylily varieties which are in full bloom by early summer.
The Hosta Variety Trail was established in 1997. Hostas are one of the best perennials for shade, grown mainly for their large, attractive leaves. There are hundreds of hosta varieties, and the goal of this trial is to identify the best ones of the northeast Texas area. Plants are labeled, and you can decide for yourself which ones are the most appealing to you.