Cranford Rose Garden


The Cranford Rose Garden has been one of BBG’s most popular attractions since it first opened in 1928. In June, when the roses are in full bloom, tens of thousands of blossoms cascade down arches, climb up lattices, clamber over the pavilion, and pose in formal beds. Here, in one of the largest collections in North America, over a thousand kinds of roses are cultivated.


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, climbers, ramblers, and miniatures. Some of the original roses planted in 1927 are still in the garden today.

The Cranford Rose Garden is named for subway engineer and garden patron Walter Cranford, who donated the entire $15,000 cost of its initial construction. First designed by Harold A. Caparn and planted in 1927, the garden has undergone several renovations to become one of the largest and most revered rose collections in North America. With many All-America Rose Selections (AARS) winners as well as old garden roses and historically significant cultivars, the Rose Garden beautifully displays the horticultural legacy of this beloved flower.

In 2009, rose rosette disease (RRD) devastated many of the plants in the southern beds and led to a major renovation, remediation, and restoration of the garden.

Sarah Owens

Sarah Owens

 

Sarah Owens is the curator of the historic Cranford Rose Garden and the Rose Arc Pool. Prior to joining BBG, Sarah worked as the head gardener at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, where she helped select the plant material, installed and maintained the seasonal plantings of annuals, perennials, and bulbs throughout borders and containers, and attended to the seasonal pruning of shrubs in the museum’s historic English-style gardens. At the Battery Park Conservancy garden, located in lower Manhattan, Sarah worked to improve the garden’s aesthetics according to Piet Oudolf’s design, including plantings, cutbacks, and removals. Sarah also helped design and install the Native Plant Meadow and an edible garden there.

Sarah is an honors graduate of the School of Professional Horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden, where she helped renovate the Peggy Rockefeller rose collection at NYBG. Owens also has a BA in sculpture from Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky, where she earned a Merit Scholarship from the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.

Classes

Current classes taught by Sarah Owens

Online Articles

April Roses?
Restoration of the Cranford Rose Garden

With more than a thousand different species and varieties, the Cranford Rose Garden is home to one of the most diverse rose selections in the country. Within its gates one can find a wide representation of species and heritage roses as well as prizewinning new cultivars developed for their beauty, disease resistance, and ease of care. In addition to presenting a lovely, fragrant landscape, the garden's display of recently introduced selections helps rose lovers make informed choices about what to grow in their own gardens, and its renowned collection of species and heritage varieties preserves the genetic diversity of roses.

Rose Garden: view toward northeast gate along east walk. ©1928 Louis Buhle. All rights reserved. For reproduction permission, contact library@bbg.org. To see more historic images of BBG, visit bbg.org/discover/historicimages/
Cranford Rose Garden curator Sarah Owens. Photo by Dodo Loechle.
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    • The Cranford Rose Garden. Photo by Dave AllenThe Cranford Rose Garden. Photo by Dave Allen
    • Photo by Antonio M. Rosario.Photo by Antonio M. Rosario.
    • The Cranford Rose Garden in June. Photo by Antonio M. Rosario.The Cranford Rose Garden in June. Photo by Antonio M. Rosario.
    • Photo by Patrick CullinaPhoto by Patrick Cullina
    • Rosa 'Tiki' blooms in the Cranford Rose Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.Rosa 'Tiki' blooms in the Cranford Rose Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
    • Rosa 'Graham Thomas', an English shrub rose with rich yellow blossoms blooms near the Cranford Rose Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.Rosa 'Graham Thomas', an English shrub rose with rich yellow blossoms blooms near the Cranford Rose Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
    • Rosa 'Outta the Blue' is just one of many lush roses that welcome visitors to the Cranford Rose Garden at BBG. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.Rosa 'Outta the Blue' is just one of many lush roses that welcome visitors to the Cranford Rose Garden at BBG. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
    • The Cranford Rose Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.The Cranford Rose Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
    next slide previous slide
      • Rosa 'Chevy Chase' blooms at the entrance to Rose Arc. An old rambler first introduced in 1939, this rose has a  light scent and gorgeous masses of bright red flowers. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.Rosa 'Chevy Chase' blooms at the entrance to Rose Arc. An old rambler first introduced in 1939, this rose has a light scent and gorgeous masses of bright red flowers. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
      • Rosa 'Pearl Essence' blooms in the Cranford Rose Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.Rosa 'Pearl Essence' blooms in the Cranford Rose Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
      • Harison's Yellow rose is in full bloom in the Cranford Rose Garden today. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.Harison's Yellow rose is in full bloom in the Cranford Rose Garden today. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
      • Rosa 'Morden Blush' blooms in the Cranford Rose Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.Rosa 'Morden Blush' blooms in the Cranford Rose Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
      • Rosa 'George Burns' blooms in the Cranford Rose Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.Rosa 'George Burns' blooms in the Cranford Rose Garden. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
      • Rosa 'Emily'. Shrub, introduced 1992Rosa 'Emily'. Shrub, introduced 1992
      • Rosa 'Innocencia'. Floribunda, introduced 2004Rosa 'Innocencia'. Floribunda, introduced 2004
      • Rosa 'John S. Armstrong'. Grandiflora, introduced 1961Rosa 'John S. Armstrong'. Grandiflora, introduced 1961
      • Rosa 'Baby Faurax'Rosa 'Baby Faurax'
      • Rosa 'Lovely Fairy'. Ployantha, introduced 1990Rosa 'Lovely Fairy'. Ployantha, introduced 1990
      • Rosa 'Norwich Castle'. Floribunda, introduced 1980Rosa 'Norwich Castle'. Floribunda, introduced 1980
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