Heritage Rose Garden
Typical bloom time: May through August
Almost all the roses in this special collection were discovered along roadsides and on old homesteads, ranches, and cemeteries here in Mendocino County. These old roses came to the region in the 19th century, when the West was being settled. Pioneer families brought cuttings of their most cherished roses and kept them alive, in some cases, by sacrificing their own drinking water. Loved for centuries and planted wherever they would grow, the roses took root like the settlers.
Dedicated local rosarians made it their mission to collect and save these wonderful old roses for all to enjoy. Among this group, two sisters, Virginia Hopper and Joyce Demits, scoured the Mendocino coast searching for plants and gathering cuttings at abandoned homesites. They documented hundreds of varieties of heritage roses throughout Northern California and helped establish our Heritage Rose Garden consisting of heirloom roses hybridized from the 1830s to early 1900s. These roses are valuable genetic resources because they are suited to the summer fog and wet winters of our coastal climate.
To see more photos of our beautiful Heritage Rose Collection, visit the Photo Gallery.