Come smell, enjoy roses on May 19

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


The Wilson Rose Garden will soon host its annual celebration of the world’s most popular flower with music, art and refreshments.

The annual Sunday in the Rose Garden will be held 2-4 p.m. on May 19 in the Wilson Rose Garden at 1800 Herring Ave., at the city Operation Center. It’s a free event that is open to the public.

Visitors are invited to tour the garden and to enjoy the colors and the fragrance of more than 1,200 rose plants. May is one of the most popular times to visit the garden, along with the fall “flush” usually in October.

The event will also include music by Bill Myers, long-time leader of The Monitors; presentation of the flag and national anthem performance; door prizes; and other entertainment.

Many people enjoy the annual art contest. Local artists are invited to set up an easel and create a work of art that reflects the garden. Art must be entirely created during the event, but artists can set up as early as 1 p.m. Judging is usually around 3:30 p.m.

Categories are divided by age: ages 5-7, 8-12, 13-17 and 18 and up. The first-place winners receive a small cash prize. There is no entry fee.

The event will be the unveiling of a new map that was created by the garden’s board. The back of the map includes detailed descriptions of the beds including the names, types and colors of the roses. That will make it easier for visitors to identify roses they like, in case they want to buy and plant a bush.

The garden also features a whirligig by the late Vollis Simpson. The whirligig was missing for most of 2018 while it was being repaired and restored. This will be the first event since it’s returned.

The Wilson Rose Garden was largely built by citizens, and it continues to be run and maintained by an army of volunteer deadheaders. It is available for rental for weddings, parties and special occasions. Call 252-399-2261 for more information.