Bloom Alert: Rose Garden - Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Plants & Gardens Blog

Bloom Alert: Rose Garden

Be sure to visit the Cranford Rose Garden in June. Blooms abound in the central beds, which contain modern hybrids, as well as those alongside, which contain species and old garden roses (those developed before the first modern hybrid in 1867).

The Cranford Rose Garden in early June. Photo by Michael Stewart.

The month of June should be pretty glorious with many hybrids blooming repeatedly. Things will be a little quieter during July and August, says the Cranford's curator, Will Wallace, with a second flush occurring in September. Here are a just a few early highlights.

Rosa ‘Desdemona’ and R. ‘Boscobel'

English breeder David Austin, who died in 2018, 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 Cranford has a nice selection of Austin’s roses, and most are grouped together in one of the middle beds. Fragrant, pale pink Rosa ‘Desdemona’, introduced in 2015, is one of the lovely ones in bloom now.

Rosa 'Boscobel' is also in bloom. Here you can see its “quartered” blossom, another trait common to Austin’s hybrids. Its flowers seem to be divided into fourths.

Rosa ‘Veilchenblau' and R. 'Variegata di Bologna'

Any blue tone is rare in roses. The violet-colored ‘Veilchenblau' is one lovely exception. This rambling rose shares a pergola with the pretty, striped Bourbon rose, R. 'Variegata di Bologna'.

Rosa ‘Ispahan'

Damask roses are a class of old garden rose known for their strong scent and sprawling habit, but Wallace trained this specimen a little differently than most in the collection. Using a set of bamboo poles, he bent the rose canes to expose buds to sunlight and produce more blossoms, a technique he learned while visiting the gardens of Sissinghurst Castle in England.

Rosa ‘New Dawn’

This everblooming, blush-pink rose is a “sport,” a natural mutuation, discovered in 1930 and is the first plant to ever receive a patent. It’s also easy to grow and disease-resistant, says Wallace, making it a favorite of home gardeners.

More: Cranford Rose Garden at Peak Bloom (Video)


Sarah Schmidt is a former editor of BBG's digital editorial content and the Guides for a Greener Planet handbook series.

Comments will be posted after review; your email address will not be displayed. Have a gardening question for BBG staff? Reach out to our Gardener's Help Line.

Image, top of page: Michael Stewart