Snug as a bug in central Hartford, Connecticut, The Rose Garden at Elizabeth Park is a 2.5 acre oasis, containing approximately 800 rose varieties and 15,000 individual plants. I’d first visited this jewel 20-some years ago and at the time I was a gardener but not yet a rose gardener. Perhaps it was there the rose bug bit me. The Rose Garden at Elizabeth Park is jaw-droppingly beautiful. What first strikes visitors are the series of arches laden with rambling roses which anchor the beds and borders. I felt, as I passed beneath the arches, as though I had been transported to France, not minutes away from the bustling I-95 in the insurance capitol of the world. There are roses everywhere–covering fences, posts, pillars, arches, and filling up beds. Benches, placed along the outer perimeter invite wanderers to rest whilst enveloped by billowing roses (the canes of which are the thickness of young trees.) A new addition is currently under construction: the Heritage Rose Garden. This garden will eventually contain 100 Old Garden Roses planted in raised, stone beds laid out in a rosette design and lined with crushed gravel paths. I was the only one there that morning and as I am quite in love with Old Garden Roses, I greeted each one as old friends knowing that no one could see me being silly, although they would probably understand. Elizabeth Park itself is a lush 102 acres and contains many walking paths, herb, rock and perennial gardens, greenhouses, a pond and stream, and a welcoming café in their visitor center. I wish we could have stayed longer but we were trying to avoid some pretty serious weather that day so it was a short, but sweet visit. As for these photos, I thought about how I wanted to present the rose garden to you and realizing that this garden is highly photographed and all over the web, I wanted to do something different: In honor of the fact the Rose Garden at Elizabeth Park is the oldest public rose garden in America (celebrating it’s Centennial in 2004) I thought it would be lovely to make these images appear as though they were taken from an antique rose book such as this one. I hope you enjoy the photo tour.
Jesse, my husband, so very patient (and not knowing I took this photo of him) while he waits for me. What a man!