As an early Mother’s Day outing we drove to Tyler Rose Garden located about 90 miles from Dallas to stop and smell the roses. Tyler is a city in eastern Texas known for its rose cultivation and is home to the nation’s largest public rose garden. This quaint town is known as the official Rose Capital of America. About one-third of all commercially-grown rose bushes in America are produced in a 50-mile radius around Tyler. Thousands of roses in shades of yellow, pink and mauve were blooming on the well manicured grounds of the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden.
The roots of Tyler extend deep beyond the beds of roses. It begins with the Caddo Indians who settled in these pineland hills centuries before Spanish and American explorers. In 1845, when Texas became the 28th state in the Union the Texas Legislature formed Smith County and established a county government. They picked a site and named it for U. S. President John Tyler who was a strong proponent for Texas’ annexation. After a small log courthouse was built on the Town Square of Tyler, several businesses began to line the streets leading to incorporation in 1850 with a population of 276.
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Tyler Municipal Rose Garden
The Tyler Rose Garden Features about 14 acres, 35,000 rose bushes and more than 500 varieties of roses. It has beautiful fountains and water features along with some camellias and daylilies. Some of the special areas of the garden are the Ida Garden, David Austin English Rose Garden and Heritage Garden. There are several benches and grassy areas to enjoy a picnic. The Rose Garden is open from dawn until dark, seven days a week, and admission is free. Roses are at peak bloom twice a year – once in May and then sometime in October.
The Tyler Rose Garden is one of 24 trial garden sites in the United States for new rose cultivars under consideration for introduction through the All American Rose Selection (AARS). The AARS trial roses are located along the north boundary of the garden. Each variety will be trialed for two years and judged at least twice per year in the spring and fall.
The arched yellow wall is the original entrance to the Tyler Rose Garden. There is a plaque on the wall recognizing local nurseryman and Rose Garden architect Henry Thompson. The roses surrounding the wall are some of the best and are past AARS ( All American Rose Selection) winners.
The David Austin English Rose Garden contains roses bred by English rose breeder David Austin. His roses are some of the most fragrant and easy to grow roses. His goal was to produce roses with old rose charm but adding modern traits of re-blooming, disease resistance and a wider range of colors. The Garden was designed by Michael Marriot, a protégé of David Austin, and contains 22 varieties and more than 200 samples.
The Horseshoe area of the garden gets its name for the arrangement of the rose beds in the area. The roses in the Horseshoe are modern roses of a variety of classifications, including Bridal Pink. You can see a sundial located inside the Horseshoe
The Meditation Garden is the perfect place to rest and enjoy the beauty of the garden. It features three ponds including Japanese Koi and aquatic vegetation.
The Wagon Wheel Fountain and Lady Banksia Arbor is a popular location for weddings. The Lady Banksia roses that cover the arbor bloom only in spring and is one of the best places for some photos when visiting the Rose Garden in Tyler.
A Picnic in the Rose Garden
You can bring a blanket and food to enjoy a picnic in the gardens. The shade garden with mature trees right by the parking area is a perfect spot. Or walk a little further to find some picnic benches. We brought our cooler with some sandwiches, fruits, cheese and drinks to enjoy in the garden. It was about an hour and a half drive from Dallas to Tyler. We drove along some country roads which were scenic with open pastures, picket fences and handsome horses. In all, it was a wonderful Mother’s day outing. We enjoyed the roses and the gardens in the company of some good friends.
Texas Rose Festival
The Texas Rose Festival held in the third week of October crowns a Rose Queen every year. At the time of the festival, you can sit for a spot of tea with the Queen in the Rose Garden Lawn. The event hosts a magnificent parade with more than 120 custom parade floats for the Queen and her court. There will be magnificent rose displays when artists will set up their work made entirely out of roses. The Texas Rose Festival, a volunteer-based organization helps promotes the history of the Rose Growers Industry in Tyler and Smith County.
The Main Fountain and Queen’s Court Lawn is where the annual Queen’s Tea held during the Texas Rose Festival, the lawn is also a popular location for weddings and events.
Tyler Rose Museum
If you can’t visit the gardens during the Rose Festival, you can still see some of the memorabilia and fabulous costumes that are housed in the museum. The Tyler Rose Museum was developed to preserve and display the history of Tyler’s Rose Growing Industry and the Texas Rose Festival. Some items displayed were acquired when the first festival in 1933. The museum is open till 4:30 pm as always check the website before you plan a visit.
More Roses from Tyler Rose Garden
The City Of Tyler Rose Garden is located at 420 Rose Park Drive and admission is FREE. The Rose Garden and Rose Garden Center can be rented for special events like weddings, proms, birthday parties, baby showers and other events. They are open seven days a week and the best time of the year to see these beautiful flowers are May and October. For more information on the garden, you can visit their webpage here.
I hope you enjoyed these roses at Tyler Rose Garden ‘virtually’ 🙂 We loved Tyler and can’t wait to go back during Azalea season and also to visit the wineries, explore downtown Tyler and its cute shops and restaurants.
You might also like these: Ganna’s Lotus Garden, Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Spring at the Dallas Arboretum, Fall Colors in Fort Worth Japanese Garden, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden in Cape Town, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Flowers Fields in Carlsbad and Lavender fields in Texas
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