Tyler Rose Garden
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.
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
, which they remembered from all the frogs it hatched on their visit last summer. And my daughter strolled the Meditation Garden looking for plants to use in her shady back yard. The garden is free and open from dawn until dusk daily. The adjoining Camellia Garden houses the Rose Garden Center , 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. Tyler Rose Museum