Visit Historic Rose Gardens:
A Great Day Trip


Bring your camera and take a day trip to an historic rose garden. Long praised by rose lovers, some historic rose gardens contain rare examples of roses as well as unique landscaping methods using all rose plants with different growing habits.  Because of their longevity and wide variety of rose bushes, these rose gardens are considered famous and historic. Some are more than 100 years old and many are open to the public free of charge.


Portland, Oregon

Known as the “Rose City”, Portland has several public rose gardens, but the International Rose Test Garden is the most well-known. Founded in 1917, it is the oldest official public rose test garden in the United States and located in Washington Park.


Seattle, Washington

The Rose Garden in Woodland Park Zoo was planted originally to provide a free, public display of roses. Currently, the garden houses 280 rose varieties.


Tyler, Texas

Municipal Rose Garden is open 7 days a week in Tyler. It is the nation’s largest rose garden for new varieties of roses and also has an area set aside for antique and heritage roses. It has one of 22 All America Rose Selection trial gardens in the US. In 2003 a section of the park was dedicated to the David Austin line of Old English roses.


Northern California   

The Berkeley Municipal Rose Garden was finished in 1937 during the Depression – it took four years of construction and has 3000 rose bushes and 250 different varieties of roses. Mother’s Day is considered the best time to view this spectacular park, the largest rose garden in Northern California.


Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lyndale Park Rose Garden is the second oldest public rose garden in the US with a layout that has not been changed since it was planted by Theodore Wirth in 1908. It contains 3000 roses of 250 varieties.


Sacramento, California

A popular setting for weddings and day trips, this rose garden is home to over 1200 roses of all different varieties. McKinley Park Rose Garden is free to the public during daylight hours.


Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Botanic Gardens is home to 26 distinct gardens, one of them being a beautiful rose garden that houses 5000 colorful rose bushes.


Hales Corners, Wisconsin

The Voight Trial Garden is part of the Boerner Botanical Gardens and was opened in 1939; traditionally designed with gravel walks around the garden and grass walks through the rose beds. The garden also uses the traditional European design with ponds and pools and other plant life on the grounds.


Mesa, Arizona

The Mesa, Arizona rose garden is unique as part of the city’s community. The rose garden serves as a part of their education, allowing students from kindergarten through high school and community college to use the gardens as botanical laboratories and study areas.



Many rare varieties of roses can be enjoyed by a simple day trip to one of numerous Historic Gardens that grace the landscape of our country. England and America both share the rose as their national flower and what better way to study the gardens that have influenced our love of the rose?


Esther B. Smith, author

I have been to many of these historic gardens myself, and try to add to my knowledge by visiting a new one every June. Not a bad day trip at all.