Volunteers Keep Rose Garden Blooming

EUGENE, Ore. — It’s summertime and the flowers are in full bloom at the Owen Rose Garden in downtown Eugene.

The roses are vibrant, alluring and fragrant. “I can’t get enough of this one. I could bury my nose in that rose all day long,” said Clay Manders, one of two full-time caretakers at the garden.

The seven-acre city park, established in 1951, showcases more than 45 varieties of roses. It’s row after row of roses. According to Manders, there are more than four-thousand rose bushes to take care of.

Every Thursday, a team of volunteers helps Manders maintain the garden. In exchange for work, she shares her gardening knowledge. Manders says there are three simple summer rose gardening tips to follow.

1) Pruning: “You find the center of your rose bush and then as you are pruning, you make sure all the buds are facing away from the center,” said Manders. This allows air to circulate and helps control bugs.

2) Proper cutting: Cuts should be 45 degrees away from the bud so that water will hit the cut and drop down the stem away from the bud. This keeps the bud dry and healthy.

3) Deadhead: Remove dead flowers to encourage new growth.

Volunteers meet at Owen Rose Garden every Thursday from noon until 3 p.m. Anyone interested should bring gloves and meet at the shop at the garden. Click here for more information.

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