Wilson Rose Festival

Tuesday, May. 21, 2002 – 7:01 p.m.

2002-05-21 7:01

In an earlier entry, I mentioned two places that I wanted to visit. Just to make sure I made use of every second of my weekend, I decided that I would go to the “Sunday in the Rose Garden” festival in Wilson on Sunday. Now Sunday was also the monthly archery shoot at Steafan O’Reilly’s house near Angier. I figured that I would go shoot in the morning and go to the festival in the afternoon (The festival was from 2-5pm anyway). Angier is not quite 90 degrees the wrong direction from Wilson and it was a nice day for a drive.

The archery shoot was fun. Aedd, Steafan, and I managed to shoot two IKAC rounds before I left at 1pm… and just as I going to leave two more people showed up to shoot so my timing was really quite good. I had actually planned to leave Steafan’s about noon but I was having lots of fun shooting so… I actually shot pretty well (for me) the sercond round. It should improve my Royal Round score. But back to Roses….

It took me longer to get to Wilson than I had planned. I ended up going via the interstate rather than cross-country. I also figured out that the garden is on the FAR side of Wilson.

I arrived at the garden about 3pm and there was quite a crowd. A local troop of girlscouts was handing out stickers and doorprize tickets (they were drawing for rose bushes in pots…. from what I saw, there were some nice looking Rugosas being given away). I didn’t win anything but then, I didn’t get my name in until toward the last anyway.

The garden itself is very obvious from the road… It’s right along Hwy 42, and the big sign saying “Rose Garden” doesn’t hurt either. The land is part of the City of Wilson Administative Center so there was lots of parking and good access. The garden itself is appears to be laid out well. All the roses are planted in raised beds made from brick. Each bed was labeled with a number which was reference on an info sheet that was available at the defined entrance to the garden. In most cases, there were also markers that defined the particular roses in that bed. There was a picnic area on one side under some trees and paths around the various beds. The garden was designed so that there were specific areas for different varieties of roses. There were also sculptures in different areas and a fountain at the middle of the garden. The ARS area appeared to be relatively new (the garden is designated as an ARS test garden) and had some as-yet-unnamed varieties. There also appeared to be plenty of room for growth (with additional beds).

Of particular interest to me, of course, was the OGR (Old Garden Roses) section. They have some very nice specimens of some period and and post-period roses, including Rosa alba semiplena (the white rose of York), Autumn Damask, and Rosa gallica officialis/Rosa mundi (in the same bed). The latter was quite large.

Alas, it had been my plan to take pictures of the roses; I had been hoping to find some varieties that I had not seen before and take pictures….but I managed to forget my camera… in a word: ARRRGGGHHH! The other thing was that some of the old roses had already bloomed by this time of year. If I want to see Alba, I am either going to have to go visit earlier next year or travel north this time of year. It only took me about an hour to get home so maybe I will take a drive one evening in the next week or two and go vist again… this time with my camera.

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