With the sun peeking through a cluster of trees lining the road beside the Rose Garden located at Golden Gate Park, an award-winning spread of flowers greet visitors. A unique variety of roses bloom as the public is enlightened by the beauty, fragrance, and sight of hybrid tea roses and various miniatures, to name a few. To reach this fascinating rose haven, you should head for the garden situated between John F. Kennedy Drive and Park Presidio Drive. It is there that a breathtaking view is discovered.

Exploring the Rose Garden

Upon entering the Rose Garden at Kennedy Drive, a stunning blend of blossoming specimens are situated in two lengthy rows of rectangular beds that parade in formation until you reach Fulton Street. Situated along the eastern perimeter of the garden, an extended walkway leads straight down the awe-inspiring views of the garden. As you venture down the main path, an inviting lattice fence calls your name towards the display of delicate climbing roses.

The varieties of roses on exhibit are amazing and although the peak time to experience the garden is during the summer season, many different types of roses spread their petals all year-round. Also, throughout the years, something new is always popping up, in and at the garden. For instance, early January brings a wealth of visitors who gather to enjoy the pruning demonstrations offered by the San Francisco American Rose Society.

When the Rose Garden is in full swing, about three to four bloom cycles are showcased at one time. Visiting the grounds during Mother’s Day or Father’s Day provides a nice outing with friends and family, as an impressive display of floral intrigue unfolds. The garden seems to really complement the holidays as the 4th of July produces an explosion of natural fireworks with another welcomed bloom. Labor Day and Columbus Day also present an interesting spread of color.

Rose Garden Varieties

To date, there are more than 60 rose beds planted on the premises, which come from the creativity of commercial growers. The maintenance of the rose beds is handled by a collection of dedicated locals. Lavender-pink roses, such as the “Lavender Lassie,” show flashes of both a modern and an old rose. Filled with elegance, the “Sally Holmes” variety is soft, and pale pink or white in color. “Sweet Briar” and “Eglantine” varieties also fill the garden. The Eglantine rosebushes ignite with a fiery red and orange combination of color that grows tall. It is during the late summer that the Eglantine blooms are on display, which feel right at home in the San Francisco climate.

The magic of the garden continuously thrives as some rosebushes have the capacity to bloom two times in a year beyond the normally once-a-year show. This means that around the Christmas holiday, some of the roses flaunt their beauty for an encore presentation. The yellow display of “Golden Showers,” produces a loosely constructed flower with fewer petals than some of its neighbors. Additional selections about the garden include the multi-colored orchestration of “Joseph’s Coat,” “Altissimo,” and “Royal Sunset” with shades of orange, red, and gold.

Brief History of the Rose Garden

As the San Francisco chapter of the American Rose Society sought after a location to establish a testing site for trial varieties of the colorful and infamous bloom associated with love, forgiveness, friendship, and Valentine’s Day, their eyes turned to Golden Gate Park. It was then, in 1961, that the assistant Superintendent of Parks, Roy Hudson designed the glorious vision of blooms that including hybrid tea, floribunda, and grandiflora.

Identifying the Roses

At first glance, identifying the roses you are looking at may prove difficult, but labels scattered across the garden help pinpoint the particular blooms that may have caught your eye. To capture the splendor of such a sight, you may want to bring along a camera to preserve the memory of the spectacular showing of award-winning roses.

Contact Information & Hours

To enjoy the sights of the garden, you may pay a visit on a daily basis during park hours, which are from 6am to 10pm. For more information, you may call the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department at (415) 831-2700.