RBG’s Iconic Rose Garden in bloom for summer

Visitors to the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) will enjoy spectacular summer sights as the radiant Rose Garden is now in bloom. Located in Hendrie Park, the collection includes more than just roses, with companion plants and a forward-thinking approach making the collection an example of a resilient garden of the future. The Rose Garden offers flushes of blooms from now into September. Join RBG Interpreters now until July 14 for daily drop-in tours of the collection.

The Rose Garden features over 3,300 roses across 300 different cultivated varieties. A feast for the eyes (and nose), the collection introduces visitors to the historical progression of rose cultivation while embracing new designs and techniques that reflect a more modern, environmentally conscious approach to growing roses that visitors can use at home.

"RBG's earth-kind rose garden is a living laboratory where sustainable horticultural practices encourage diverse ecological benefits and resilient gardening results," explained Alex Henderson, Curator of Living Collections at RBG. "This garden's novel approach is a model for empowering Ontario's gardeners and green professionals to take direct action, improving best practices in environmental garden management across the province."

Each rose cultivar in the garden has been selected for superior genetics regarding cold and drought tolerance, but particularly against the most serious global disease of roses: black spot (Diplocarpon rosae). Black spot is a fungal disease that became too difficult to control in the original Centennial Rose Garden, leading to the new Rose Garden, which opened in 2018. Each year, RBG conducts rose evaluations in collaboration with Peter Kukielski, expert rosarian and advisor for the garden's rejuvenation project. The evaluations are not only to assess black spot resistance but also bloom abundance and scent each cultivar is given a score that dictates if the rose is retained in the collection or replaced.

Hardy roses also benefit from companion plants. Additions like ornamental onions or Lindheimer's Beeblossom help by breaking up the ability for diseases to spread, attracting pollinators, or staving off
pests. Beneath these beneficial plant pairings is a low-volume drip irrigation system. Deep roots combined with a consistently maintained layer of mulch means less watering and improved drought and
cold tolerance.

Whether you are a garden enthusiast or simply looking for a breathtaking photo op, RBG's Rose Garden promises a lovely day out. Grab a refreshment at the Turner Pavilion Teahouse, experience augmented reality with Seeing the Invisible, and explore the 12 different garden areas all within the beautiful Hendrie Park.

What's on in Hendrie Park

  • Discovery Station: Discover Roses
    June 17 to July 14, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (at your leisure)
  • Tour: A Rose Garden for the 21st Century
    11:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. (until July 7), 2:30 p.m. (July 8 - 14)
  • Seeing the Invisible: An AR Art Experience
    Daily, June 2 to August 31
  • Movie Night
    July 27: Star Wars - The Force Awakens
    August 26: Encanto.
  • Garden to Table Winemaker's Dinner
    July 20, 6 p.m. (19+)
  • Sculpture Collection.
    Watercolour Paint-Along
    July 6 & August 3, 6 p.m. (19+)

See RBG's event page for more details & event tickets.

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