In 1935, the Rose Garden idea originated with H. C. Schuppel, who was a chairman of a Mens Garden Club called the "Cut Worms." The club was restricted to 20 members and only had 2 rules: no women and no publicity. Each member brought their skills to the planning of the Garden.
Tom McLeod, a club member and Park Superintendent, planned the layout of the Garden. During the first phase in 1939, 300 roses were received from Jackson Perkins and 1,500 more came from Villa Nurseries in Portland. Also in 1939, another 1,000 roses were planted and the Rose Garden was officially dedicated.
In 1979, the Memorial Rose Fund was created to help fund memorials for family or friends - dead or alive. The Rose Garden received its Public Rose Garden accreditation in 1992 and now receives 10 bushes of All American winners yearly. To learn more about donation opportunities, contact Darlene Hoffland of the Idaho Rose Society at (208) 375-3623.
About 2,400 roses bloom every year in the Julia Davis Rose Garden, which is a popular location for wedding ceremonies and rose lovers of all ages. For Rose Garden availability and reservations, please see the Boise Parks & Recreation reservations website.
VOLUNTEER AT THE ROSE GARDEN!
Interested in volunteering at the Rose Garden? Boise Parks and Recreation staff is holding work sessions on Wednesdays, from 8:00 - 11:00 a.m., from mid-March through September. Projects include weeding, deadheading, painting fence, picking up trash and a variety of other tasks that require attention as needed. Although some knowledge of plant care is preferred, our professional staff will provide direction and training for anyone who is interested in lending a hand. So don't be shy, all skill levels are welcome! If interested, you can sign up to volunteer here.
BACTERIAL CANE BLIGHT
In spring 2014, roses in the park experienced an aggressive disease called Bacterial Cane Blight. The plants were severely pruned to prevent the loss of the entire rose from the disease. The roses are expected to send out new canes and Boise Parks and Recration staff continue to work to build protective barriers on the roses and to seal "wound spots" as the leaves drop off. In the past years, they have waited until leaves start dropping off of the roses to spray a Copper Based Fungicide. As the cooler weather starting coming in late August of 2015 and temperatures dropped below 65-70 degrees at night; they started applying the Copper Based Fungicide to give the roses an opportunity to absorb the product hopefully giving roses a chance to have that protective barrier that will help seal the “wound spots.”