The Tyler Rose Garden

March 3rd, 2022 by

Discover the beauty of roses and other flowers at the Tyler Rose Garden in Tyler, Texas. This marvelous location is a great way to spend a quiet day relaxing and enjoying nature. Guests can walk through the garden or sit and view the garden’s architecture on a deck or patio. Let’s discuss the wonders of the Tyler Rose Garden and how it came to be the scenic destination that it is today.

Welcome to the Tyler Rose Garden

Tyler Rose Garden 4 by formulanone Licensed With CC BY-SA 2.0

The Tyler Rose Garden is a stunning garden that spans across 14 acres of land. This location boasts 35,000 rose bushes and has over 500 varieties of roses. Not only does the Rose Garden have natural beauty, but it also has gorgeous trails and architecture, making it a perfect place to stroll with friends and family. While you’re at the garden, you can also visit the Ida Garden, Heritage Garden, and the camellia and lily collections. Admission for the garden is free, and although it’s open year-round, the peak blooming seasons for roses are in October and May.

History of the Tyler Rose Garden

In 1912, the city of Tyler purchased the property that would eventually become the Tyler Rose Garden. Although the city initially bought it for a park and fairgrounds, Dr. Horace McFarland, the former president of the American Rose Society, sent in an application to the Works Project Administration (WPA) for it to be a rose garden for the city. At the time, it was considered the largest municipal park and rose garden. A large federal grant of $181,255 was approved for the garden, and the committee used it for garden features, such as balconies, pavilions, and seating areas.

Keith Maxwell was the WPA landscape architect for the project, and he developed the design for the rose garden and park area. Although Maxwell created the plan, Henry Thompson, a local gardener, modified the blueprints. He created plans for walkways, trees, shrubbery, and other elements that made the Tyler Rose Garden what it is today. Thompson died while serving as a fighter pilot during World War II, and due to his significant contributions to the project, the owners would later dedicate the Tyler Rose Garden to Thompson and his memory.

Because of Tyler’s war effort, the project’s construction was postponed. After the war, Robert Shelton Jr. became the superintendent of the Parks and Recreation Department in 1950. He was committed to finishing the garden, and, just like that, the park’s development began again.

Since the park was back in development, Shelton Jr. was ready to terraform the area. Before his team could plant roses, they had to create an environment where the flowers could grow. This meant changing the red clay soil to something more suitable for the roses. To resolve this issue, the team used a cemetery backhoe to dig beds full of topsoil and other nutrients. After changing the soil, the project’s team started planting roses and building the rest of the park. Local nurseries donated roses for the first garden, and they used 3,000 rose bushes for the initial planting.

Shelton Jr. and the rest of the team opened the Tyler Rose Garden in 1952. Since then, the garden has developed into a magnificent park that residents and visitors of Tyler have grown to love and cherish. In 2018, the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association recognized the Tyler Rose Garden as one of the year’s Great Public Spaces in Texas. Then, in 2019, the National Register of Historic Places, which is the official list of the country’s historic landmarks, recognized the Tyler Rose Garden as a “national treasure.”

To this day, the Tyler Rose Garden continues to delight and amaze visitors with its captive scenery and its rows upon rows of roses.

What Can You Do at Tyler Rose Garden?

While walking around the park is fun on its own, there are several activities you can do while in the garden. If you’re interested in viewing the garden with the help of a tour guide, you can go on a group tour. The Master Gardeners of Smith County hold tours all year. Along with touring the garden, you can visit the Tyler Rose Museum and Gift Shop. The museum has several displays that share the story of the Tyler Rose Garden and includes flower exhibits and memorabilia. Afterward, you can browse the gift shop’s souvenirs.

Tyler Rose Garden Annual Events

There are several annual events held at the Rose Garden. Guests can visit the garden during these events to enjoy both the roses and festivities. Here are some of the Tyler Rose Garden’s annual events:

  • Tyler Azalea and Spring Flower Trail: This event occurs at the end of March through early April during the azaleas’ peak bloom season.
  • Rose Sunday Celebration and Kick-off: This event is held on the last Sunday in April.
  • First Tuesday in the Garden Series: This event is from September through November.
  • Bulbs to Blooms Sale and Conference: This event occurs in October.
  • Texas Rose Festival: This event is in October.

Tyler Rose Garden Rentals

With its beautiful and refreshing scenery, Tyler Rose Garden is the perfect place to hold a special event. From weddings and reunions to meetings and more, you can host your event at the Tyler Rose Garden. There are several rooms, patios, lounges, and gardens that are available for reservation. Please contact us at 903-531-1212 to reserve a date for your event.

Tyler Rose Garden Location and Hours

You can find the Tyler Rose Garden at 420 Rose Park Drive in Tyler, Texas, 75702. The garden itself is open year-round from dawn until dark. The Tyler Rose Garden Center is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

With more roses than you could ever imagine, the Tyler Rose Garden is a wonderful location for relaxing and enjoying nature. From its park area and walkways to its museum and gift shop, this garden has an activity for everyone. Come visit the Tyler Rose Garden today to appreciate its beauty and to learn more about its fascinating history. If you have an experience at the Rose Garden that you’d like us to highlight, please let us know. We’d love to hear about it!

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