Iowa State University's Reiman Gardens is home to the country's best rose gardens, according one of the largest rose growers associations. With over 2,000 individual plants and 250 different varieties, the rose gardens at Reiman Gardens are gaining local and national recognition.
AARS Trial and Display Garden
These beds are the continuation of the rose research tradition at Iowa State University. All American Rose Selections (AARS) is a nonprofit organization comprised of rose growers and introducers dedicated to rose research and promotion. The Department of Horticulture has faculty and staff that regularly judge these roses for qualities including winter hardiness, disease resistance, flower color, and form. The roses being trialed are on a two-year rotation, so half of the collection will be replaced each year with new varieties to be judged. The trialed roses are located in the six beds on the east side. The rose beds on the west side are the AARS winners from the past ten years. These roses are available to gardeners. Reiman Gardens has been presented the All-America Rose Selections (AARS) President's Award, which is given annually to one public garden that surpasses AARS's high standards for rose care and presentation. Reiman Gardens has also been given the AARS Maintenance Award for ten consecutive years. "Reiman Gardens is a splendid tribute to the queen of flowers," said Phil Edmunds, president of AARS. "No where will you find a more stunning display of beauty and tranquility. It is a real asset to the community and a showcase for the world's most loved flower."
Helen Latch Jones Rose Garden
The Helen Latch Jones Rose Garden is named in memory of Ames resident Helen Latch Jones, by her husband, Paul, and family. The entrance to this garden is covered by a beautiful arch designed by Thomas Stancliffe donated by Jon and Juli (Reiman) Ellis. It is constructed of welded bronze and cedar, and references the architecture and landscape of the rural Midwest. The endless grid of our roads becomes a trellis and the pediment becomes a garden. The title of this piece is Pedimont, 1995. To carry on the rich tradition of rose care at Iowa State University, Reiman Gardens’ staff have developed the next level of innovative rose gardening. The Jones Rose Garden incorporates a sustainable focus in its design and maintenance practices. This sustainable design was installed in 2007 with several rose cultivars that are disease resistant and winter-hardy. The rose palette includes a mix of Buck Roses, winter hardy roses tested at Texas A&M University called EarthKind, and Easy Elegance roses developed by Bailey Nurseries of Minnesota. Pairing these roses with native and non-native perennials makes the beds even easier to enjoy. This novel design presents a beautiful, varied mix of roses, other shrubs and perennials, and will not require spraying and minimal labor to maintain. Rose lovers can discover a new way to have a beautiful, diverse display and those who’ve avoided roses will find rose beauty that requires little care. The trellis in the rose garden was given by friends and family in memory of Dr. Griffith Buck. It is covered with Kentucky wisteria to provide a shady, comfortable place to relax and enjoy the garden.
The Antique Rose Collection
The Antique collection located on the north side of the trellis contains rare varieties from the original 1910 Iowa State University Horticulture Garden. The Antique Collection features the first rose developed at Iowa State University, the ‘Ames’ Rose. The Antique Collection also includes Griffith Buck’s ‘Carefree Beauty’, ‘Apple Jack’ and ‘Summer Wind’. A special addition to this collection is an extremely rare rose called Father Hugo’s Rose (Rosa hugonis). Most of the varieties in this collection are winter hardy and only bloom once per year.
The Griffith Buck Rose Collection
The bed located south of the tall posts is the Griffith Buck hardy rose collection. Dr. Buck, a professor at Iowa State University, developed many beautiful, hardy landscape roses between 1962 and 1985. Buck roses are recognized worldwide for their winter hardiness, attractiveness, and low maintenance. They can survive Iowa's cruel winter temperatures while also remaining resistant to most common diseases like black spot. Buck achieved these traits by planting roses in Iowa fields and selecting seedlings from plants that survived temperatures of -20 to -30° F without use of covers or winter protection. Buck also strived to develop plants with good flower form and color that are repeat bloomers and suitable as landscape plants. There are over 85 named Buck varieties. Reiman Gardens currently has 75 of his varieties, with more being sought and added each year. Some are presumably missing from cultivation. Could you have one of them amazing roses? Click here for more information about the missing Buck Roses and the search to find them.
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