The Rose Border is a collection of China, Gallica, Musk, Moss, Damask, and other once-blooming, antique and species roses. This double border peaks in May, and is celebrated in the Center’s annual Wine and Roses Open House, typically held on the third Saturday of May. The first rose to bloom here is the European Scotch Briar Rose (Rosa pimpinellifolia), bearing single, creamy-white flowers with a boss of bright yellow stamens, followed by perfectly round, wine-red hips; this is likely the “Prim rose,” one of ten rose varieties ordered by Thomas Jefferson from the William Prince Nursery on Long Island in 1791. Also included in Jefferson’s rose order and grown in the border is the semi-double Rosa Mundi (Rosa gallica versicolor); the oldest striped rose (pre-1581) with unusual crimson and white-variegated petals. According to legend, it was named for Henry II’s mistress, Fair Rosamund. The flowering of this collection is carried into late June by the Prairie Rose (Rosa setigera), a North American native with single, pale to deep pink flowers beloved by pollinators.

Rose Border Planting List (updated 2021)