A couple of great events are coming up at the end of April. The 2012 Home Garden Tour, hosted by Smith County Master Gardeners, a volunteer organization supporting the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, has arranged for 5 different home gardens to be open to the public on Saturday, April 28, rain or shine. This is an opportunity to see and be inspired by a diversity of garden styles that you normally don’t get to see. The gardens selected for this year vary from a stunning backyard garden with a formal setting to an informal garden created around the natural surroundings.
For more information on the gardens, their descriptions, and ticket information, click on the above link.
April 29, is Rose Sunday – a celebration of the beginning of the Rose Season with the introduction of the Rose Queen and her court. The roses in the Tyler Rose Garden are not waiting for another week to strut their stuff. They are in full bloom right now, so this is a great time to head to this wonderful Tyler attraction and take time to smell the roses. You will need a lot of time to smell all 30,000 of them!
Roses have been part of the Tyler’s heritage for over 100 years. We have a great climate for growing roses, and the Rose Garden was created over 60 years ago to showcase Tyler roses.
Standing on the balcony of the Rose Garden Center looking over the garden, your senses will be overwhelmed with color when the garden is at its peak of bloom. After taking in the view, enter into the garden to enjoy the beauty and fragrance up close and personal.
Row upon row of hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora, miniature, shrub and landscape roses invite the visitor to come into the garden to smell and learn. There are at least 500 different rose varieties and over 30,000 bushes to experience. Every year 2000 or more bushes are replanted, keeping the garden current with the newest varieties.
Many folks visiting the rose garden bring pad and pencil to write down favorite varieties, making notes on fragrance, color and form. And of course, bring a camera to capture the beauty.
Climbing roses can be found in different parts of the garden, some everblooming, some once bloomers that are solid sheets of color for a month every spring. Large arbors support the luxurious growth of several varieties.
You can also find many miniature roses in the Tyler Rose Garden. Miniature roses are just like their bigger cousins in every way but size and are ideal for the gardener with just a little sunny spot who wants a lot of different roses.
To the north of the Meditation Garden is a collection of David Austin Roses. Bred in England, these roses have large, fragrant blooms reminiscent of old fashioned roses your grandmother might have grown. They are not quite in bloom yet.
To the south of the Meditation Garden is a collection of Buck roses and Earth-Kind roses. Buck rose varieties are being evaluated for low maintenance qualities, while Earth-Kind roses are selections made by the Texas A&M Agriculture Program for roses with superior disease resistance and ease of maintenance.
Other attractions located in the Tyler Rose Garden include the Meditation Garden with a gazebo near quiet pools and flowing fountains. The Rose Garden is a popular location for special photographic opportunities such as weddings and other special occasions.
On the southern end of the garden are several other demonstration gardens of interest to gardeners. A grove of pine and hardwood trees provide a shaded area ideal for the dozens of large camellias and azaleas which provide color in winter and early spring.
Nestled in the southwestern corner of the garden is the Heritage Rose Garden where a collection of antique roses and perennials bloom all summer long. The Heritage Garden is maintained by Smith County Master Gardeners and showcases hardy and colorful antique or heritage roses and companion plants in an informal and attractive setting.
Scattered throughout the southern end of the Rose Garden is a collection of over 20 Japanese maples. All are labeled for easy identification.
Don’t miss the IDEA Garden, located in the far southeastern corner of the Rose Garden. This Smith Co. Master Gardener project has received praise from visitors and professional horticulturists alike for its intensive displays of hundreds of different plants adapted to East Texas. The IDEA Garden features new and under-utilized plants for East Texas, an area devoted to teaching composting, displays of various mulching materials, groundcover plants for sloping areas, and water-wise landscaping techniques. Signs and handouts help interpret the garden and guide the visitors through the displays.
Between the Heritage Garden and the IDEA Garden is an area devoted to trialing and displaying shade-loving plants. Ferns, hostas, hellebores and other plants are displayed showing examples of plants tolerant of shady areas under trees.
The newest Master Gardener-maintained project in the Rose Garden is called the Sunshine Garden, located between the main rose garden and Camellia Garden. Just look for the colorful yellow and white blooms – the signature of this sunny, bright and cherry garden.
While this is one of the two peak seasons for rose blooms (the other is in October during the Texas Rose Festival), the variety of other plantings make the Tyler Rose Garden a worthwhile destination throughout the year. Bring a picnic basket, a camera and enjoy Tyler’s colorful treasure.