The Rose Garden In San Francisco's Golden Gate Park

In our busy, on-the-go lives, few things are as relaxing as a slow walk in a flowering rose garden. Just ten minutes strolling among these perfumed blooms transports us to another place where time seems to run more slowly and we can feel our stress seep slowly away, replaced by an inner calm and tranquility. Anyway, that's how we feel and, happily, visitors to San Francisco's Golden Gate Park have a delightful rose garden waiting for them.

Visiting any rose garden can be a magical experience. In the Rose Garden at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, you'll encounter beautiful lush blooms, a relaxed vibe, and waves of wonderful fragrance wafting tantalizingly on the air. Bees are zipping around the flowers, butterflies flutter amongst the blooms, and birds are singing. Don't miss it on your next San Francisco outing.


Exploring the Rose Garden at Golden Gate Park

the Rose Garden at Golden Gate Park

Nestling quietly in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is an award-winning rose garden that shows off all of those colours and styles. Here you discover neatly tended rose bushes arranged in long neat rows in two rectangular garden beds running from Kennedy Drive through to Fulton Street.

Flanking the eastern perimeter of the garden is an extended walkway that rewards you with exquisite views of the garden. As you stroll leisurely along the main path, you will see a beautiful display of delicate climbing roses hugging a lattice fence.

Summer is the peak time to experience the garden in all its flowering glory. However, the many varieties of roses featured in the garden means that the blooming period is spread all year-round. Visitors to the gardens on Mother's Day or Father's Day are welcomed with an amazing display of flowers. There area also 4th of July floral celebrations. In short, you'll find something to pique your interest throughout the year. Even early January draws people to enjoy the San Francisco American Rose Society's pruning demonstrations.

Varieties at the Rose Garden

the Rose Garden

Golden Gate Park's Rose Garden is home to more than 60 rose beds, all flourishing under the care of dedicated local gardeners. Here you will find lavender-pink roses, such as Lavender Lassie, while the Sally Holmes variety is a soft, pale pink or white color. The tall growing Eglantine rosebushes ignite in a fiery combination of reds and oranges in late summer. The yellow flowering Golden Showers produces loosely constructed blooms with fewer petals than some of its neighbors such as the multi-colored blooms of Joseph's Coat, Altissimo, and Royal Sunset with its shades of orange, red, and gold.

For captivating insights into the Golden Gate Park, the book San Francisco's Golden Gate Park: A Thousand and Seventeen Acres of Stories is hard to beat. Another title, The Making of Golden Gate Park: The Early Years 1865 to 1906, provides a historical perspective. Avid bird watchers need to go no further than Birds of Golden Gate Park, by the Golden Gate Audubon Society.

The Allure of Roses

The Allure of Roses

Why do we find roses so enchanting? Wars have been fought under their banners; red roses express romantic love, pink appreciation, yellow friendship, orange desire, while white roses signify purity and innocence.

Roses are one of the most popular garden plants. These beauties come in a range of colors, many with delicately scented blooms. It seems there is a rose variety for every garden and for every spot — shrub roses for borders, climbers and rambling roses for arches, ground cover roses and patio roses for pots and smaller spaces.


10 Little-Known Facts About Roses


Roses are more than just beautiful blooms. As a walk through the Golden Gate Park's rose Garden will show, there are many intriguing aspects to roses. Here are 10 little-known facts about roses —

  • A 35 million-year-old fossil rose has been found in Colorado
  • In nature, the genus Rosa comprises 150 species spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere, from Holland to Mexico and North Africa
  • While roses come in a wide variety of colors, a "black rose" is actually a very dark red
  • More than 54% of the land in Ecuador and 80% of land in Zambia is given to rose cultivation
  • Roses can be very long-lived, a large rose bush covering the wall of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in Germany is over 1,000 years old
  • Roses had significance for the Romans, who used them as room decorations and wore them on a string around their neck. Anything said "under the rose" was deemed a secret
  • In the Middle Ages, rose petals and rose oils were added to the baths of the rich and famous
  • Different colored roses convey different emotions. Red roses imply romance, love, and passion, yellow roses; empathy, happiness, and familiar love, and delicate pink roses; poetic romance and gentleness
  • The multi-colored Happy Rose strain is rumored to be the world's most expensive costing around £25
  • The 15th-century English Civil War is called the War of the Roses after Yorkshire's white rose and Lancaster's red rose. The roses were symbols of the factions fighting to control England


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Rose Garden Resources

The San Francisco chapter of the American Rose Society had long sought a location for a site for a trial planting of its selected rose varieties. In 1961, the assistant Superintendent of Parks, Roy Hudson, designed the glorious Rose Gardens we see today with its vigorous display of blooms spanning hybrid tea, floribunda, and Grandiflora rose varieties.

To reach the Rose Garden, head for John F. Kennedy Drive and Park Presidio Drive near 14th Avenue. The garden is at the De Young Museum.

  • Typically roses are in full bloom in mid-May through June. Roses are not in full bloom at the Rose Garden during the winter months
  • The closest restrooms are at the 14th Avenue East Picnic Area, directly adjacent to the Rose Garden
  • There is no vehicle access to the Rose Garden Saturdays and Sundays from the first Saturday in April to the last Saturday in September, due to routine road closures in Golden Gate Park
  • Golden Gate Park, John F Kennedy Drive
  • Open 6 AM to 10 PM everyday
  • Website

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