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Park of Roses (Whetstone Park)

    The Columbus Park of Roses is a unique 13 acre garden setting within a park featuring over 11,000 rose bushes and specialized gardens such as the Herb Garden, Daffodil Garden, Perennial Garden and specialized collections of miniature and heritage roses. The Park of Roses is conveniently located off North High Street in the heart of Whetstone Park and is open and free to the public. It is one of the largest municipal rose gardens in the United States.

The 2006 Columbus Rose Festival (click for photos) was a success.   The roses were absolutely gorgeous.  This garden is truly a treasure.  The garden was in full bloom with multitudes of colors and fragrances.  My vocabulary would only limit its splendor.  If you have not had an opportunity to visit Whetstone Park during the festival mark you calendar for next year…better yet if you can make it in June it is worth the trip.

2009 Columbus Rose Festival - Undecided??/City of Columbus not hosting/sponsoring.

Returned to Clintonville last Tuesday for the 3rd time to see the Park of Roses.  It's more gorgeous and awe-inspiring each time I visit (also saw Franklin Park Conservatory).  Have already sent several folks up there to see it including my family doctor who was dazzled by it as well.  You are the keepers of a unique treasure... Linda H.- Cincinnati, Ohio

Park Hours: Daily, dawn to dusk.
Best Viewing Time: Peak Bloom mid-June and mid September.
Features: 13 acres of manicured gardens, 11,000 rose bushes, 350 varieties. Herb & Perennial gardens, Daffodil garden featuring over 1,000 varieties.
Directions: From I-71, exit on North Broadway, proceed West to High St., turn North on High Street, proceed approximately 1.5 miles north to the Whetstone Park entrance located at 3901 N. High St. Enter at this location, follow the park entry road to the lower parking lot. The Park of Roses is easily located and well signed from the lower parking lot. Wheelchair accessible.
Map Park of Roses / Whetstone Park

Parking: All parking is free; please use the lower lot adjacent to the shelter house.
For Information: Contact Columbus Recreations & Parks, (614) 645-3350 

For Reservation and Wedding Information.

"Ten places to admire the bloom on the rose" USA Today, June 16, 2006 (free registration)

  • Park of Roses in Whetstone Park (USA)
  • International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park (USA)
  • Cranford Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (USA)
  • Krasberg Rose Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden (USA)
  • Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University (USA)
  • LaRoseraie de l'Hay du Val de Marne (France)
  • Rose Garden of Montreal Botanical Garden (Canada)
  • Mottisfont Abby Garden (UK)
  • Sisinghurst Castle Garden (UK)
  • Nancy Steen Garden in Dove-Myer Robinson Park (New Zealand)

    Members of the Columbus Rose Club & The Central Ohio Rose Society had long dreamed about a municipal rose garden for Columbus. Late in 1951 a committee was formed, consisting of members from both rose clubs, meeting several times with Mayor James A. Rhodes. The result being on April 19, 1952 Columbus City Council passed an ordinance and issued bonds for the Park of Roses. At the same time the Mayor created an advisory council known as the Columbus Rose Commission, administered by the Columbus Recreation & Parks Department, whose duties were to plan and execute a rose garden to be located in Whetstone Park. George B. Tobey, landscape architect, joined the efforts for park design and development. 
    Construction began June 1952. Minimal grading was necessary as the gentle slope of the meadow was ideal for drainage and air circulation. The entire area of 13 acres had sandy loam topsoil to a depth of 11 ­ 15 inches, which was indeed fortunate.All beds were excavated to a depth of 24 inches. The existing soil was removed and mixed with imported peat moss and commercial fertilizer. The materials were mixed four times before returning to the beds. The beds were allowed to settle before any planting was begun. 
    The enormity of the project is apparent when one realizes that 21,000 bales of peat moss were used in the mixture. The formal opening of the Columbus Park of Roses was in June 1953. In January 1954 the American Rose Society Headquarters relocated from Hershey, Pennsylvania to Columbus, staying until 1974 when they moved to Shreveport, Louisiana where they are today. The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department has made many improvements and additions to the park since 1953. Specialized gardens such as the Herb Garden, Daffodil Garden, Perennial Garden and specialized collections of miniature and heritage roses have been added to the garden. The Columbus Park of Roses is currently one of the largest municipal rose gardens in the United States. 

The Columbus Park of Roses is one of 133 AARS-approved public display gardens in the United States.  AARS (All-America Rose Selections, Inc.) is a non-profit association dedicated to improving the vitality, strength and beauty of garden roses; they evaluate new rose varieties to determine which, if any can be recommended to the public as gardens.  All AARS public gardens meet very strict requirements.  Our AARS-approved roses are identified with an AARS sign for four years following their introduction.

Meet a fine group of volunteers and learn about growing roses, perennials and herbs. Volunteers assist with rose garden maintenance. Volunteers work under the direction of the Columbus Recreations & Parks. For information call (614) 645-3350.

The Park of Roses Foundation appreciates donations and gifts to assist in the purchase of special collections, such as modern roses, heritage roses, perennials, miniature roses, herbs. Other special needs may be bird feeders or seed, trees or
materials needed for the garden. All donations and gifts will be placed into the Columbus Park of Roses Foundation Fund. Acknowledgement will be issued for all gifts, and names listed on the bulletin board at the park entrance. Your contribution is fully tax deductible in compliance with the law. For more information on donations please contact (614) 645-3350.
Checks should be made payable to: Columbus Park of Roses Foundation
                                                       1111 E. Broad St.   Suite 101
                                                       Columbus, Ohio 43205

Up to $200.00 - Name of honoree is listed on the bulletin board at garden entrance. 
$200.00 ­ Engraved plaque (3" x 5") is placed on selected bed of twenty roses for honoree. Annual
donation of $20.00 is requested to maintain a dedicated bed of roses.

$200.00 ­ a 12" X 12" engraved stone insert will be placed into the paved garden walkway.
All roses in the garden have been labeled by name and classification in compliance with the American Rose Society.

Please offer your suggestions on what you would like to see.