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Richmond defined itself as the "Rose City" in the early 1970's. For many years, a red rose was printed on everything from our city buses to billboards and brochures.
The reason for the Rose City designation is that Richmond is the home of Hills Rose Growers. The E.G. Hill Company and the Joseph H. Hill Company together with the Hill Floral Products Company were the premier rose growers and marketers of cut roses, accounting for the sale of millions of roses annually in the U.S. and around the world.
It was only natural then to honor our rose heritage by establishing a public Rose Garden to be enjoyed by our own residents and visitors to our city as well.
The idea of the Rose Garden became a reality in 1985 when the Rose Garden Project Committee was formed with the purpose of establishing a public garden.
To obtain ideas for our Rose Garden, several committee members traveled to Germany to visit many of the finest German gardens and traveled this country to Fort Wayne, Indiana; Columbus, Ohio, and Tyler, Texas.
Many good ideas later, and with generous amounts of community funding in hand, the first roses were planted in June 1987. The walkways of historic star bricks, from older residential areas of Richmond, were donated to the Garden by the city and installed in June 1988.
The Garden is a mixture of European and Victorian design and it will eventually accommodate 2,000 roses with annuals and perennials. Evergreens and ornamental trees and an interesting texture to the Garden.
The All America Rose Garden is located in Glen Miller Park and faces U.S. 40 East. To the east is Glen Miller Golf Course Club House and the west is the formal E.G. Hill Memorial Rose Garden and the historic Charles House.
The Richmond-Friendship Garden is the newest addition to the garden project emphasizing our friendship with the German City of Zweibruken. The garden lies between the A.A.R.S. and the E.G. Hill Memorial gardens. It is of German design and features many German roses, a gift from the famed Europas Rosegarten of Zweibrucken. The elegant revolving sculpture wrought by The Magaw's of Boston, Indiana symbolizes that friendship.
The E.G. Hill Memorial Garden was started in 1937 and is cared for by the Richmond Park Department. The Charles House is also maintained and rented by the Park Department.
Rose bushes representing 110 varieties, most of the All American Rose Selections, are on display in the two new gardens. Colors range from deep red to pink, salmon to lavender and yellow to white.
No admission is charged to visit the garden where peak bloom periods are in June and September. For a fee, the Victorian Gazebo with electrical outlets can be reserved for weddings and special events. Please call (765) 983-7275 for details. The garden is wheelchair accessible and restrooms are available in Glen Miller Park at the concession building.
Late in 1988, after only two seasons, the Richmond Rose Garden earned the highest distinction of being designated an All America Rose Display Garden by the All America Rose Selection Board (A.A.R.S.). The only other garden in Indiana to receive this recognition is in Fort Wayne.
As one of only 130 plus A.A.R.S. Public Display Rose Gardens in the nation, the Richmond garden will annually receive a selection of new All America Rose varieties approved by the A.A.R.S. Selection Committee. All current winners and many of the previous winners, dating from 1946, are also among the plantings.
In addition to providing the garden public an opportunity to preview A.A.R.S. winners before they are marketed, the public may also see how various rose varieties perform under local climate and soil conditions.
The Richmond All America Rose Garden is a community wide project and all volunteer. It is funded by public contribution and no tax dollars are involved. Gifts for the development and maintenance of the garden are invited, as well as memorial and honor gifts. For a gift of $100, the back of a historic star brick can be inscribed and added to the Memorial Walkway. For details, call (765) 962-1638. Gifts may be made to:
Wayne County Foundation
If you are interested in volunteering to work in the garden, please call the Wayne County Foundation at (765) 962-1638.
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