The Columbus Park of Roses

It’s mid-November, time for the annual donation to the Columbus Park of Roses to maintain a rose bed in memory of my man Jacques H. Transue (who was a long-time volunteer in the garden). So: a moment for flowers and for the area of Columbus OH where J and I lived together for about 20 years:  about 8 of them together with Ann Daingerfield Zwicky, until her death, then just the two of us (sharing the house on Beaumont Rd. — in the Beechwold neighborhood of the city — with various friends) for about 12 years until we moved to Palo Alto.

I’ll lead with the current JHT rose.

From my 5/12/21 posting “News from the rose garden”:

(#1) The JHT rose in the Columbus Park of Roses was replaced last year by a new variety, with an interesting name: a Grandiflora rose ‘Cardinal Song’ (where cardinal refers to the bird and then to its color, as in the Stanford Cardinal)

About the garden. From Wikipedia:

(#2) P.r. photo of one section of the garden from Experience Columbus, the website of the Greater Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Columbus Park of Roses, also known as the Whetstone Park of Roses, is a public park and rose garden in Columbus, Ohio. The 13-acre park is located within the city’s larger Whetstone Park in the Clintonville neighborhood. The free public park is operated by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department.

The Park of Roses was established in 1952, following ideas for a city hall rose garden in 1946. The park was landscaped and planted in 1952 and 1953, opening in June 1953. The American Rose Society held its headquarters at the park beginning in 1952. The Park of Roses gradually expanded over the following decades, including opening its Heritage Garden in 1985.

… Many of the park’s features have been donated, including its sundial (in 1954), a plaque with a poem inscribed, park benches, and rose bushes.

More detail from the park’s own website:

The Columbus Park of Roses is one of the largest public rose gardens in the U.S. with more than 12,000 rose specimens. The garden’s extensive variety of plantings and more than one mile of paved walkways with benches make the Columbus Park of Roses an setting with year-round appeal for visitors. The 13-acre garden is an accredited arboretum [with more than 138 varieties of trees and shrubs] and features five horticultural themes:

  • Formal Rose Garden — rose beds laid out in a symmetrical pattern, each planted with one variety for visual impact

  • Heritage Rose Garden — rose varieties cultivated before 1867, and predecessors to many modern roses

  • Perennial Garden — more than 100 varieties of bulbs, perennials, shrubs and trees

  • Herb Garden — more than 100 varieties of plants grouped by usage, fragrance and pollinator qualities

  • Backyard Garden — low-maintenance bulbs, perennials, shrubs and trees designed to give visitors creative ideas for their own gardens

There are also architectural features: structures for outdoor weddings, for summer music concerts, and the like

The neighborhood. A Wikimedia map showing the section of the Olentangy River from Old Worthington on the north to the Ohio State University campus on the south, with Whetstone Park marked (the Olentangy meets the Scioto River in downtown Columbus; the Scioto flows on to the Ohio River at Portsmouth OH, and then the Ohio flows on to the Mississippi at Cairo IL):


The street going south from Old Worthington is High St., the original main north-south street of the city (cutting across the main west-east street, Broad Street, in the very center of Columbus). Just to the east of High Street there’s a low ridge, cut through with ravines that empty into the Olentangy (seven of them on this map).

The second of these ravines, going south from Old Worthington, is just below NORTHWOLD on the map (the neighborhood known as OLD BEECHWOLD in my day). That’s our ravine, and the street just south of it on the map is Beaumont Rd., our street. The ravine provided wildflowers in the spring and an amazing assortment of wildlife all year around — raccoons and possums especially, but everything from toads up to deer.

And we could walk south to Whetstone and the Park of Roses, either along the river or south along High Street.


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