Rose Rambles: Review of NYBG's Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden

photo by Janeen Hardy

On Saturday June 12, the Lehigh Valley Rose Society ventured forth to the Bronx to tour the New York Botanical Gardens and the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden.

For most of the attendees, this was their first visit to NYBG, and the gardens did not disappoint.

The Peggy Rockefeller Garden is the modern-day vision of Bertrix Farrand's original design for the garden in 1918.  This version of the garden was built in 1988 through the generosity of David Rockefeller and named in honor of his wife, Peggy.

The triangular garden is at the far northeast end of the NYBG, so wear your walking shoes for the one mile walk from the Mosholu entrance, or wait and take the tram.  As you approach the garden, it is hidden from sight until you are at the top of the rise and look down into the garden.  At full (and even just past) bloom, it is a kaleidoscope of color too large to take in all at once.  Slowly descend the stairway into the grounds.

The entire garden is walled, with climbing roses along the entire length, and in spots, entwined with clematis.  In, and of itself, the climbing roses are spectacular and worth every penny of the admission ticket. 

photo by Janeen Hardy

With over 650 types of roses, it's hard to pick even one favorite.  As LVRS President Nate Fisher exclaimed, "It's like going rose shopping!"  Time and time again, tour members stopped to stoop and smell, or paused to take a photograph.  The group spent over an hour slowly ambling down the walkways, looking for familiar names:  Stephen Scaniello, the garden's rose curator, designed the template for the renovated beds at the Bethlehem Rose Garden, and selected the new roses to be planted. The group found all the new BRG roses happily at home in the Peggy Rockefeller Garden.

photo by Richard Miller

After touring the rose garden, the group broke up to explore the NYBG on their own.  With over 250 acres, numerous themed gardens, a conservatory and miles of pathways, there was simply too much to see to fit it all in one day.  LVRS hopes to return again to see the seasons unfold at NYBG.

For more information on the history of the garden, please visit

For information on visiting NYBG, see


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