ItchyFeetTraveler

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
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The Rose Garden at Huntington Park


 One of the dedication plaques in the Rose Garden at Huntington Park reads “Your love for roses is only outweighed by our love for you.” That is probably typical of the passion of true rose lovers. That passion is evident in the relatively small but meticulously tended garden on Warwick Boulevard at the entrance to Huntington Park in Newport News, VA.

The garden doesn’t compare in size to some better known rose gardens. But for a city the size of Newport News, it is huge and well worth a visit. Seventy four varieties of Hybrid Teas, Grandifloras, Floribundas, Climbers, Shrub and Miniature Roses grow in the 1,000 bush garden.

Designed as a formal garden, each of the rose beds is enclosed by brick edging borders with easy to read plaques identifying each rose variety. Standing in the center of the garden is a pristine white gazebo, the perfect place from which to admire the roses or to while away the morning with a good book.

Three concentric circles of beds extend beyond the gazebo with two rows of beds on either end of the garden and four white trellises supporting the climbers. An archway trellis graces the entrance into the garden. Carefully mowed grass provides contrasting green spaces throughout the garden.

From early May until late October, the rose garden bursts forth with roses in a profusion of color. During my late season visit several varieties in shades of white, pink, red and yellow were still in bloom. The delicate Grandiflora variety Queen Elizabeth held forth along with many hybrid teas. One of my favorite teas was the blushing Bride’s Dream with its huge, perfect bloom.

Another favorite was the bold deep pink Double Delight with hints of white and yellow, said to be one of the top ten most popularly grown roses in the world.

Deep red fragrant Don Juan roses were still trying to reach the top of their trellis while fading miniature blushing Cinderella roses held their position at Don Juan’s feet. The upright bushy deep golden yellow Strike It Rich with hints of ruby red claimed its place along one edge of the garden while large and lovely creamy white clusters of Moondance of the Floribunda variety reigned in one corner.

Buds of the yellow Grandiflora, Dream Come True, a 2008 addition to the garden, were ready to burst forth to show its blushed ruby-red throat.

I’ve read that the best time to visit a rose garden is early to mid-summer. Although I'm not a passionate gardener, I believe that a well cared for rose garden is worth visiting anytime of the year except perhaps in the dead of winter. Of course, J. M. Barrie, the British Playwright said that “God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.”

If you go


The Rose Garden at Huntington Park
9285 Warwick Boulevard
Newport News, VA

Take Exit 263A from I-64

There is no charge to visit the garden.
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