Garden Club Members “Adopt” Roses

PERTH AMBOY—In 2006, veteran Royal Garden Club By The Bay in Perth Amboy member and former president Jeanette Miller had a dream.

She envisioned transforming the Kearny Cottage backyard into a garden that resembled the way it would have looked at the time Commodore Lawrence Kearny lived there.  The house was constructed in 1781 and was the residence of generations of the influential Kearny family.  City officials agreed and Michael Keller, the director of the Office of Economic and Community Development, obtained an additional federal grant to fund the project.


A rose garden in a profusion of pink colors was planted and cultivated with tender care by garden club members as part of their creation and maintenance of ten gardens in Perth Amboy.  A birdbath and bench were added to further enhance the charm of the beautiful oasis surrounded by a white picket fence.

When the tennis court building burned down recently, Keller told the members that the city was going to bulldoze the site and that the roses had to be moved so that they wouldn’t be trampled on.

Having created such a visually stunning garden after so much dedication and hard work, it was upsetting to have to move them during the prime of their blooming season in June. Four garden club members: Jeanette Miller, Betty Crews, Janice Jensen, and Donna Pemberton “adopted” fifteen rosebushes, temporarily planting them in their own gardens until they could be transplanted back to Kearny Cottage during the fall season.

Keller said, “It was great of the garden club members to transplant them or they would have been wiped out.  You preserved the roses.”

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