Monday, April 25, 2011

Totally Texas -- A bouquet of Tyler roses

Tyler Rose Garden
420 Rose Park Dr., Tyler
The night before we planned to drive to the Tyler Rose Garden, I woke to the sound of emergency sirens in my neighborhood, high winds, rain and hail.  The TV meteorologist the next morning assured us cheerily that the strong weather front had moved off through East Texas.  My daughter, her five-year-old twin sons, and I set out, fearing the roses would be ruined.  They couldn’t have looked more glorious.

Not that the boys would have cared.  They chased each other through the maze of grassy paths between rose plantings; tottered on the edge of the ponds and fountains searching for tadpoles; and watched, with some trepidation, bumblebees as big as a little guy’s thumb buzzing over the big pink poppies in the IDEA demonstration garden.

Texas roses, even the ones called ever blooming, are at their best before summer’s heat sets in, and this April’s cool temperatures have prolonged their beauty.  Although many of the roses rebloom in the fall, they are pruned after Labor Day to promote new flowers for the Rose Festival in October, so the garden’s website advises September visitors to call (903) 531-1212 to check the status of blooms.

The garden’s fourteen acres make it the nation’s largest rose garden, but there’s more here than roses.  The IDEA garden in the southeast corner, a project of the Smith County Master Gardeners, was planned to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and is an official an official way station for migrating monarch butterflies.  The boys can attest that it also attracts bees hungry for nectar and pollen after a long winter.

The little guys love the reflection pools of the Meditation Garden, which they remembered from all the frogs it hatched on their visit last summer.  And my daughter strolled the Camellia Garden looking for plants to use in her shady back yard.  The garden is free and open from dawn until dusk daily.  The adjoining Rose Garden Center houses the Tyler Rose Museum, which charges a fee to view the jeweled costumes of Rose Festival queens and their courts dating back to 1935, as well as interactive exhibits.

No comments:

Post a Comment