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Plants & Gardens Blog

Meet the Curator: Sarah Owens, the Cranford Rose Garden

If you’ve visited the Cranford Rose Garden recently, you might have noticed a few dramatic differences in the landscape.

About five years ago, a mysterious pathogen called rose rosette disease (RRD) was detected in the Cranford Rose Garden. Often referred to as witch’s broom because of the deformed growth pattern affected roses develop, the disease, thought to be a virus, causes drastic decline and eventual death. It has serious implications for species and cultivated roses across the United States, and it is especially virulent in Rosa multiflora and R. wichuraiana hybrids.

Unfortunately, RRD has taken serious hold in the Rose Garden. In an effort to arrest the spread of this disease, all plants with symptoms have been removed, as well as asymptomatic plants in beds that have had a concentration of infection.

Of course, with any great change comes opportunity. This partial renovation has facilitated the transition of the Cranford Rose Garden toward an organic health care regime and also allowed for the judicious control of some roses that had overtaken less robust species and cultivars.

To learn more about the Cranford Rose Garden and the ongoing restoration, join Sarah for a tour this Sunday at 2 p.m. Free with Garden admission; no preregistration required.

Also on Sunday, Sarah will teach a class from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on extending the season of interest and attracting beneficial insects to your rose garden by choosing beautiful companion plants. Preregistration is required; visit The Complete Rose Garden: Companion Planting for details.

Rebecca Bullene is a former editor at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She is the proprietor of Greenery NYC, a creative floral and garden design company that specializes in botanical works of art including terrariums, urban oasis gardens, and whimsical floral arrangements.


  • Sandeep Kumar Singhbabu June 29, 2010

    I am from India, I am interested to keep Rosa roxburghii all varities including ‘HIRTULA’ form in my garden, kindly help me that from where I will get the seeds or plants to establish in my garden here in INDIA. Your help on the above matter would be much appreciated.
    Sincerely yours,

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