Montgomery Parks to Revamp Brookside Gardens’ Rose Garden for Ecological Sustainability

Montgomery Parks is set to renovate the rose garden at Brookside Gardens from April through early May to facilitate the installation of more diverse and ecologically friendly plantings, soil improvement, and the implementation of an irrigation system.

The revamped rose garden will feature over two hundred rose varieties, including thirty rare species, heirlooms, and modern selections intermingled with approximately 800 flowering perennials and ornamental grasses. The new plantings are designed to attract more wildlife and extend the blooming period from May to November.

“The newly planted rose garden, with fertile soils and resilient plant selections, will be a model of ecological landscape design and maintenance. We hope our visitors will learn from our garden and be inspired to make improvements to their own landscapes that lead to a beautiful and healthy environment,” said Brookside Gardens director Stephanie Oberle.

The roses removed from the garden will be composted and returned to the gardens as nutrients to nourish other plants. The horticulture staff, assisted by a volunteer group of students from Montgomery Blair High School, will remove the aged plants in April. The process will continue with the installation of drip irrigation, the addition of compost, planting with the help of volunteers, and top dressing with leaf mulch supplied by the Pope Farm Nursery. Existing features, including the original hardscaping, commemorative bricks, screen fountain, wisteria arbor, majestic Apache crape myrtles, and memorial benches, will remain in place to encourage visitors to linger in the garden.

Brookside Gardens, located within Wheaton Regional Park, was ranked #25 on Yelp’s Top 25 Gardens in North America for 2021.

The rose garden renovation is made possible by a $5,000 gift from the Friends of Brookside Gardens, helping to offset the $15,000 cost of the project. Friends of Brookside Gardens is a volunteer-led non-profit group that supports all aspects of Brookside Gardens, including seasonal plantings, programs for adults and children, and the summer outdoor concert series. Membership information can be found at friendsofbrooksidegardens.org/membership.

Photo: “File:Brookside Gardens in July (19696499766).jpg” by DC Gardens is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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