In late 1959, a new Rose Garden (www.schenectadyrose.com) was sited at the Wright Avenue entrance to Schenectady’s Central Park. In April of 1960, 400 rose bushes were planted to start the garden. More were added in the fall. In the following year, several hundred additional hybrid teas, floribundas and grandiflora roses were introduced to the garden. Subsequent years saw numerous additions to the garden.
The garden peaked in the 1970’s with an estimated rose population of 7,500 bushes. At that time the All-America Rose Selection group (AARS) added the garden to its select list of only 125 test gardens around the country. This honor entitled Schenectady’s Rose Garden to test grow new rose varieties for the coming year, before they were released to the retail market and garden centers.
In 1995, the Rose Garden Restoration Committee, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization was formed. Over the subsequent five years, a new watering system was installed and more than 3,000 new rose bushes were planted. An annual Garden Party is thrown in the summer to support and bring more people into the garden to enjoy this beautiful urban oasis.
Mr. Charles W. Carl, Jr.'s love of roses throughout his lifetime and his generosity in supporting the Rose Garden will enable the garden to continue to grow and thrive into perpetuity.
The garden has returned to its former prominence as a destination for residents and visitors in the City of Schenectady. On a visit to the garden on any given day, one might see a wedding party, painters or photographers, volunteers tending to the roses, or a small group doing their morning Tai Chi.