“He who would have beautiful roses in his garden must have beautiful roses in his heart.” Reverend Dean Hole
Rev. Dean Hole of the Royal National Rose Society said in his legendary text “A Book About Roses” published more than 100 years ago, “He who would have roses in his garden must have beautiful roses in his heart.” I know my readers certainly do!
Statistics support this fact. 85% of people surveyed say that the rose is their favorite flower.
In this time of great challenge for the Gardens of The American Rose Center, rosarians and gardeners alike should consider giving back from the heart to support the largest rose garden in America.
An EF-1 tornado struck the Gardens of the American Rose Center, headquarters of the American Rose Society, near Shreveport, LA at 2:20 P.M. CST on May 16, 2013. Staff and visitors were on the property at the time, all sheltered in the hallways of the administration building. Fortunately no one was injured. The nation’s largest park dedicated to roses is located on a 118-acre wooded tract. The gardens were dedicated in 1974, when the American Rose Society moved to Shreveport, Louisiana from Columbus, Ohio. Today, the American Rose Center features more than 65 individual rose gardens and 20,000 rosebushes, with a variety of companion plants, sculptures and fountains, including the Dudley Watkins Reflection Pool.
When The Tornado Struck Here’s What Happened:
· The gardens sustained damages in excess of over $100,000
· 37 trees were completely destroyed, uprooted, or broken in two
· Significant hail damage occurred to roofs of the:
Klima Education & Visitor Center
Train Depot Building.
· Four heating and air conditioner units were damaged or destroyed by hail
· Several garden structures, benches and sculptures were destroyed by falling trees
· Both the Admin and Klima buildings had water damage to interiors.
Executive Director Jeffrey Ware believe the damages will exceed $125,000, this includes what insurance will cover at about $100,000. Staff and volunteers have been working since the storm clearing trees from the gardens, working on roofs, having air conditioners replaced and repairing the fences. Several of the volunteer Master Gardeners are continuing with the regular care of the gardens while the crew and contractors focused on clean up so that the gardens could open on Monday June 24, 2013.
Did you know that volunteers and private donations maintain the Gardens of the American Rose Center? The park is open all year long and serves the public as an educational center. Also the park has a Christmas display that delights children and families that come from all over the country to see during the holiday season for nominal admission fees.
Anyone who may wish to make a donation to assist with the storm damage restoration can do so online or mail it to:
American Rose Society & Gardens of the American Rose Center
P.O. Box 30000
Shreveport, Louisiana 71130
Please Indicate: Annual Fund Storm Damage Restoration
To donate online simply go to www.ars.org and choose donate
Jeffrey Ware, ARS Executive Director says, “I am amazed at the resiliency of roses, although the leaves on the roses were striped by hail they are already showing new growth and recovery.” Like people everywhere touched by a tornado the staff and volunteers at The American Rose Center have done an incredible job of starting the process of rebuilding and getting the American Rose Center open for the public. I would like to express thanks to the ARS staff for their hard work. Let’s show our support for America’s largest rose garden. Each person can make a difference by giving back.