On my way back home last weekend, I stopped to visit Hershey Gardens in Hershey, PA. I wasn’t sure what I would see there. It was that odd time of year – the end of summer, but too soon to call it fall. My garden at home was starting to look a bit ragged, with weeds sprouting up, and the flowers fading.
I had read about Hershey Gardens, and knew that it was a major attraction in Hershey. It opened in 1937 as a rose garden. This was just a couple of years after The Hotel Hershey’s opening. Later, the site expanded to include other perennial and annual plants, trees, herbs, grasses, theme gardens including a children’s garden, and butterfly house. The gardens are, in fact, located just down the hill on the road that leads to the hotel.
I was, to put it mildly, amazed at the color and bloom. I can’t imagine that the rose garden could be more prolific at any other time of year! Almost every specimen was in bloom. The shades of yellow, pink, and coral were vibrant. The gorgeous, sunny, blue sky provided the perfect background.
So, I researched the blooming time of roses, because I was confused. My rose bushes only have one major bloom, in June; but this garden seemed to be in full glory, with grandifloras, hybrid tea roses, and climbers, to name a few.
And the fragrance! With so many roses blooming together, each breeze brought a fresh, sweet rose aroma. It was not overwhelming at all, but it was fabulous. I’ve never been in a garden that smelled so wonderful!
Investigation was in order. I found out that bloom time for roses works on a 6-8 week cycle; meaning that after deadheading a rose bloom, it will be 6-8 weeks before the plant will grow a new bud and that bud will bloom. The Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society hosts an informative web page that provides detailed information about the care and feeding of roses.
At the north end of the property, I found the M.S. Hershey Garden. Here, a rose named after Hershey has been preserved, after many years of decline.
We’ll continue touring Hershey Gardens in our next post. Please come back to enjoy the beauty!
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