Roses in the Desert
Mesa Community College Rose Garden
You may not expect to find a rose garden in the middle of a desert, but at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona, you can find nearly 9,000 rose bushes. The rose garden started in 1996 as a collaborative effort between Mesa Community College and Mesa-East Valley Rose Society.
There are 51 free-form rose beds in the five acre garden. The various varieties are labelled with signs in the ground. At 11 stations throughout the garden, a phone number and stop numbers are posted. If you call the telephone number and enter the stop number, you will hear information about the roses in that part of the garden. Information includes basics about rose categories, specific varieties in the garden and history of the garden
A section of the garden is an official test area for the All American Rose Selections program. It is one of 26 test gardens nationwide. Miniatures are grown and evaluated monthly for how well they do in the climate. After two years, the plants are removed and destroyed. Eventually the best ones will be produced to go to market.
Phase four of the garden includes beds symbolizing “Love, Friendship, Beauty and Peace” via the shapes of the beds. Peace beds are circular with the roses planted in a peace sign formation. Beauty is represented by a flower-shaped bed with a round centre and five petals. Love is a heart-shaped bed. Friendship is illustrated by two elongated beds representing arms enfolding each other.
Mesa Community College is located at 1833 W. Southern Avenue in Mesa, Arizona. The rose garden is situated on the northern end of the campus along Southern Avenue. The garden is open to the public free of charge every day. According to the Rose Garden web site, climate is most beautiful for visiting in April, May, June, October, November and December.
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What an incredible bouquet of photos! Is the season for the blossoms a short one? You seemed to catch the timing just right.
Some varieties are ever-blooming, but not all. The Rose Garden website says that the roses are most beautiful in the months of April, May, and June, and again in October, November, and December. I was there in early April. I plan to visit again in November or December and see how it is different at that time.
It’s amazing what people can grow in the desert!
It sure is!
I love that Wild Blue Yonder one! This is news to me about this rose garden in the desert. I will visit it next time I’m in town. Here’s the scoop on a rose garden in another town I love to visit–Portland, Oregon: http://travelswithcarole.blogspot.com/search/label/rose%20gardens
Thanks Carole. I will remember this for when I make it to Portland.
I wish my garden could look like that, we might get snow later in the week.
I am on my way home to Manitoba. I expect to find snow still in parts of my backyard. Definitely no roses blooming there.
Roses and gardens of plants and flowers are a big part of the culture in New Zealand…everyones a gardener! Everyone loves a rose.
I didn’t know roses and gardens were such a big part of New Zealand culture. Another reason to visit.
This is beautiful, thank you for the tour. It’s funny to me that roses can flourish in such diverse climates as Arizona and Oregon!
It seems that people love roses everywhere.
Amazing that such beautiful flowers can grow in the desert – they’re hardier than we think they are! Beautiful photos 🙂
I think some are hardier than others and breeders keep working on strong strains. These gardens are watered, which solves one of the issues with the desert.
My favorite rose is the Strike It Rich Grandiflora. I absolutely love your image of it. It has been a very long time, but I have actually been to that rose garden and it’s spectacular in the spring. I am a bit jealous, because I would love to see again in full bloom.
The different colours are amazing. I hope to see the garden again too, and see what it is like at other times of the year.
Beautiful. Love all the different colors. I walk by rose bushes everyday on the way to work, and they are just beginning to bloom now. Great way to start the day!
I was amazed at how many different and unusual colours were in the garden. Walking by the roses certainly would be a great way to start the day.
Gives new meaning to the old adage, “Stop and smell the roses”! What a beautiful place and great photos!
The Strike it Rich Rose if my favorite. I love that color combination and plant tulips in the same hues as well.
Strike it Rich is a striking colour. The garden had so many hues – everyone should be able to find a favourite.
I love roses, especially the fragrant ones. All the pictures are gorgeous but I really like the very last one. It looks like they have two tiers of roses with the front ones being shorter than the back. I’m an armchair traveler, I let other people do the traveling, take the pictures and do the write-up, then I sit back and enjoy. Thanks so much.
Roses are beautiful and a delight for all our senses. Your photos capture their allure very well, Donna.
I adore roses. Thanks for highlighting such spectacular varieties in this garden.
Awwww, I wish I can teleport this garden to my compound. Its beautiful. Roses are irresistible. No wonder its expensive down here.
I like the Wild blue yonder – I had planted a Apothecary’s Rose bush, it had delicate pinkish flowers (I moved away so I never packed it 🙂
Great pictures of Roses in the desert, Donna and interesting info on Mesa. I often associate roses with vulnerability to wind. Are these varieties specially resistant or is it not as windy as I assume ?
The area around Phoenix has windy periods, but it isn’t windy all the time. I visited the garden in April and April can be breezy, but then again so is April in my Manitoba home. The area may get a strong windstorm or two or three throughout the year. I don’t know how that affects the gardens. The gardens are more sheltered than some wide open spaces.
My daughter, who lives in Alberta, was in PHX last week on business. She threated to stay there! Your rose covereage is beautiful. A yellow rose is our Beta Sigma Phi sorority symbol.
Donna: Your photos give me hope that spring will eventually bring flowers back to he Prairies. Lovely pics. Thx for sharing.
Donna, I went to Mesa Community College for a semester. I live in Tempe, Arizona now. Are you from AZ? I love the pictures you took. I need to drive down and take a look again. I love Julia Child and that a rose is named after her! =)
Sincerely, Crystal Ross
I am from Manitoba, Canada but have been visiting Arizona on a yearly basis for the last nine years. I spent the last two winters in Mesa.
Very nice pictures. I never knew there were so many different varieties of roses.. Thanks for sharing
What beautiful roses and photos of the garden. You are right. I would not expect to see a garden like this in the desert. I think my favorite rose garden is the rose test garden in Portland, Oregon. Thank you for your post.
That’s awesome! I have visited Canada before . I am from Michigan. 😉
I already feel peace and love just from going through the post. Beautiful garden.
I was surprised to know that such beautiful flowers can grow in desert. Growing 9000 rose bushes at Mesa Community College must have taken a lot of time and effort but it gives pleasure to many now.
I am living in Saudi Arabia but still I have not seen roses , but come across many other flowers.
But if I talk about Kashmir then specifically talking about Rawalakot almost every home have roses. Every where you can see variety of rose.
It was really nice to see these pictures and it took me back to my childhood when I was living in Rawalakot and was enjoying fragrance of roses , I use to pluck many everyday but now I feel sad and miss them.