A symbol that predates the heart as the ultimate illustration of love and beauty, roses are an internationally favored flower. Not only are they England’s national flower, but they are also the provincial flower of Alberta, Canada. In addition, they are the emblems of numerous communist and socialist parties around the world. Expressing such a broad range of emotions and ideas is part of the reason that these lovely flowers make up the World Peace Rose Garden in Capital Park.
Established in 2003 by the International World Peace Rose Garden Organization, this Victorian-inspired garden in Capital Park offers over 600 roses with 153 varieties that vary from the spiritually named Love & Peace Rose and Desert Peace Rose, to the more eclectic, like the Rosie O’Donnell Rose. Together, this plethora of charming blooms expresses the importance of love, understanding, acceptance and peace throughout the world. In addition of the roses and several dedicated park benches, the garden also celebrates several children who were given the opportunity to express what peace means to them in a short poem or prosaic piece. This seems fitting, since the park was dedicated to women and children worldwide, however many of the sayings thought up by these young and creative minds speaks of hopes and dreams well beyond their years. The garden also honors veterans and their services to the United States, with many rose varieties named after different wars.
Capital rose garden also serves as a test garden for the All American Rose selections. This floral competition sees several new roses selected each year that embody everything American rose consumers want in their plants. Several different criteria include fragrance, manageability, and of course, overall aesthetic appearance. In addition to these tests gardens, the ADR (Allgemeine Deutsche Rosenneuheitenprüfung), based in Germany, also conducts a series of tests on the flowers to determine their overall heartiness. Those with the highest marks are given chosen as All-American Roses. The International World Peace Rose garden is one of a handful of gardens in the United States that have been selected for this very high honor.
If you are interested in the International World Peace Rose Garden, visit it at 15th and L street in Downtown Sacramento. Capital Park is also home to many veterans memorials and pieces of California history, making it both a beautiful and informative weekend stroll.