Cranford Rose Garden in June 2015. The beds within the brick paths contain modern hybrids, and those along the periphery contain old garden and species roses. Photo credit Lee Patrick for Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

June is a magical time at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden when its historic rose collection bursts into colorful, fragrant bloom. 

Established in 1928, BBG’s 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.

‘Veilchenblau’ (hybrid multiflora rose) in the Cranford Rose Garden. Photo credit: Morrigan McCarthy for Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Some of the original roses planted in 1928 are still in the garden today. BBG’s 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.”

Rosa ‘Desdemona,’ a shrub rose. Photo credit: Sarah Schmidt for Brooklyn Botanic Garden

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 Austin’s 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.

For more information, go here.

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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