June is a magical time at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden when its historic rose collection bursts into colorful, fragrant bloom.
Established in 1928, BBGs Cranford Rose Garden is home to tens of thousands of blossoms cascading down arches, climbing up lattices, clambering over the pavilion and posing in formal beds. The Cranford Rose Garden is a repository for roses both old and modern, including wild species, old garden roses, hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, polyanthas, hybrid perpetuals and miniatures.
Some of the original roses planted in 1928 are still in the garden today. BBGs rose collection is one of the largest in North America, with more than a thousand varieties.
The month of June should be pretty glorious with many hybrids blooming repeatedly, said the Cranford’s curator, Will Wallace. Things will be a little quieter during July and August, with a second flush occurring in September.
Among the highlights are the violet-colored Veilchenblau, a blue blossom which is a lovely rarity in roses. The Cranford has also a nice selection of Austins roses, named after English breeder David Austin who was renowned for developing hybrids that combine the fragrance and forms of old garden roses with the deeper colors and multiple blooms of modern hybrids. The fragrant, pale pink Rosa Desdemona, is just one remarkable example of these gorgeous roses.
During rose season, BBG offers several tours and special events to celebrate the delightful blooms, including a Twilight Rose Tour on Tuesday, June 11 and a Midsummer Night’s Dinner at Yellow Magnolia Café, a stroll through the Shakespeare Garden followed by a three-course seasonal dinner, on Tuesday, June 25.
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