Gardeners Won’t Want To Miss 38th Annual Rose Day

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP — On Saturday, June 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rose lovers will gather at the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden on Mettlers Road (Parking Lot A) in the East Millstone section of Franklin Township’s Colonial Park to commemorate the 38th annual Rose Day Celebration.

Having undergone a complete renovation, completed in 2010, the Rose Garden and the Fragrance and Sensory Garden now have new irrigation systems, walkways, and arbors. The Horticulture staff has selected and planted hundreds of new rose varieties to prepare the garden for the celebration on Rose Day.

The stunning display garden will feature more than 3,000 roses representing over 325 varieties including the award winning All-America Rose Selections. A series of free lectures and demonstrations on rose growing and other horticultural topics will accompany the display. Roses, perennials, annuals, and native and woody ornamental plants will be for sale by Rutgers Gardens. Members of the Jersey Shore Rose Society will be available to answer any rose questions and sell cut roses.

Saturday’s schedule includes:

  • 10 a.m. – ‘Antique Roses for the Home Garden’ Tour by Jeff Van Pelt, Horticulture Supervisor at the Somerset County Park Commission Colonial Park Gardens.
  • 11 a.m. – ‘Basic Rose Care – Feeding & Spraying’ Lecture by Nick LaRocca, former President of the Jersey Shore Rose Society, and Consulting Rosarian with the American Rose Society.
  • Noon – ‘Basic Rose Care – Pruning & Planting’ Lecture by Jeff Van Pelt, Horticulture Supervisor at the Somerset County Park Commission Colonial Park Gardens.
  • 1 p.m. – Cascade of Culinary Herbs – Lecture by Dolores Damianho-Szafran, member of the Rutgers Cooperative Research & Extension Master Gardeners of Somerset and Hunterdon Counties.
  • 2 p.m. – Plant Selection for the Home Garden Lecture by Bruce Hamilton, retired Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, Rutgers University
  • 3 p.m. – Program ends.

There is no admission to the Rose Garden. All Rose Day events are free (suggested donation of $3 per adult and $1 per senior/child is appreciated). The Garden is open daily from 8:00am to sunset, except for Wednesday from noon to sunset, and is managed by the Horticulture Department of the Somerset County Park Commission. The event is sponsored by Mechanical Systems Service, Inc., ShopRite of Somerset, and Sunrise Creek Deli & Grocery.

For further information, call 1-732-873-2459, or NJ Relay at 711 for individuals with a hearing or speech impairment. Information on this event and other Somerset County Park Commission activities may be found on the internet at

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