“…I will never be able to look at it without a deep warmth in my heart. For this is the rose above all others that my mother especially loved.”
– Agnes Rothery, quote from The Joyful Gardener, 1927
For centuries, summer has been the season of the rose. In medieval times the rose was such a popular flower that it was referred to as “Flos Florum”, flower of flowers!
Here in the Rose Garden among great stone arbor pillars, water flows from ornamental fountains, colorful Koi fish swim in a central pool, and we are blessed with roses all summer long.
Waves of bloom begin in the latter part of June with Hybrid Tea, Floribunda and Grandiflora Roses. Spectacular second and third waves occur in mid-August and late September respectively. Shrub and Miniature Roses bloom continuously throughout the growing season!
Rose enthusiasts will be delighted to find collections of Old Garden, Miniatures and Romantica Fragrance Roses; current and past All-America Rose Selection Winners; and winter-hardy selections from the Canadian explorer, Dr. Buck, and David Austin series.
In addition, Tree, Hybrid Perpetual, China, Polyantha and Climbing Roses can be found. Immerse yourself in beauty with a visit to this exquisite garden where over 5000 rosebushes from 550-plus varieties are sure to please the rose lover and convert the casual observer!
The Rose Garden that today’s visitor sees at Boerner is very much the same garden seen by guests in the 1930s. Many of the roses originally planted in this Garden were provided by Eugene Boerner. Eugene was the brother of former Gardens Director and Gardens namesake, Alfred Boerner.
Eugene Boerner, know to rose enthusiasts as “Papa Floribunda”, was an expert rose hybridizer. His work with Jackson & Perkins Roses is said to have put the company on the map. Some of the roses donated by Eugene Boerner still flourish in the Rose Garden today.
The fancy Koi fish that swim in the Rose Garden’s central pool spend the summer at the Gardens enchanting the passersby. In late fall, these fish are moved to tanks at the Milwaukee County Zoo where they are kept through the winter.
For more information about roses, click on The Milwaukee Rose Society.