Santa Rosa Junior College has two large rose gardens and several smaller rose displays. There is also a display of over 130 Scarlet Medland roses at our campus in Petaluma. Roses have been a part of the landscaping at SRJC from almost the very beginning.
The Mendocino Rose Garden
The largest and oldest rose garden on the main campus is located at the northeast corner of the campus, along Mendocino Ave. This rose garden was established in the 1930's and 1940's. There are currently over 150 bushes in this garden. A list of the original roses planted in this garden is available for interested individuals. This list was compiled from an old diagram of the original garden drawn on a piece of cardboard and stuck away in the back corner of a Maintenance store room for years until it was discovered some 10 years ago. Though none of the oldest roses had labels, if they ever existed, many of them have been reidentified. There has been considerable effort made to identify these old roses using descriptions, photographs, and the advice of several local rosarians. While many of the roses in this garden are more modern hybrid teas, it is the goal of the Grounds Manager to restore this garden to it's original design as much as possible. 23 varieties of the older roses have been reidentified or replaced. They include: Catalonia, Cecile Brunner, Dainty Bess, Etoile de Hollande, Federico Casas, Frau Karl Druschki, Golden State, Joanna Hill, Lady Fortevoit, Mari Dot, McGredy Ivory, Mevrouw G.A. Van Rossem, Mme. Butterfly, Mrs. E.P. Thom, Mrs. Sam McGredy, Mrs. P.S. DuPont, Padre, Picture, Portadown Fragrance, President Herbert Hoover, Rapture, Shot Silk, and Talisman. There are 19 names on the original list that either still remain unidentified, or are gone from this garden altogether. Finding replacements for some of these roses has been difficult. Many are apparently no longer grown.
The Garcia Rose Garden
This garden was established in the winter of 1978, with 51 hybrid tea roses, some bush type and some standards. Located just south of Garcia Hall, it provides a lovely spot of color right in the heart of the main campus. This garden was established by the grounds crew and designed by the former Grounds Supervisor, Bill Bowen. One interesting fact about this garden is that it is located in a site that was formerly just a dirt area with a large oak tree off to the side, and several obviously well-trodden footpaths. Bill thought it would be easier to go with the flow of foot traffic, so he designed the garden in four parts with the pathways criss-crossing the four beds. It has resulted in a very accessible garden where the individual roses can be viewed fairly close up without actually walking into the garden. The roses in this garden are interplanted with iris, and the perimeter is planted in agapanthus and day lilies. Very few varietal changes have been made but one section of the garden, under the shade of the oak tree, was removed and transplanted to another area of the campus in 1986. A list of the roses in this garden is available in the office of the Grounds Manager.
Other Information about Roses at SRJC
Roses are used in several other areas of the main campus in small displays or as an addition to mixed perennial borders. Our roses are pruned in January and cuttings are usually available to interested individuals if they make arrangements in advance. In the past, our rose gardens have been used as laboratories for students learning to prune. They are frequently the subjects of art students' paintings or drawings. They are always a spring and summer time enhancement to the visual and olfactory senses of our staff and students.