"The Rose Garden at Mesa Community College" was established in 1997 in partnership between Mesa Community College and the Mesa-East Valley Rose Society. Through the efforts of countless volunteers and generous contributors, the garden has become a landmark that celebrates roses as the National Floral emblem of the United States, a symbol of "Love, Friendship, Beauty and Peace". The garden is maintained by the “Deadheaders” and "Pruners", all volunteers from the community, as well as volunteers of the Mesa-East Valley Rose Society.
The Rose Garden at Mesa Community College has been constructed and planted in phases with the first and second phases planted from 1997 to 2000. Phase one and two contain approximately 4,000 roses making it the largest public rose garden in Arizona and the desert southwest and the only major garden developed since 1974. The seatwall and terrace patio area in the East garden were dedicated to two of Arizona's favorite roses, former Governor Rose Mofford and the Honorable Polly Rosenbaum, former State Representative.
In 2000, the Rose Garden at MCC received formal approval from the All-America Rose Selections (AARS) to become one of 26 test gardens nationwide. When the garden was visited by Frank Benardella, a leading rose hybridizer representing the AARS, reported that that the Rose Garden was among the top three AARS Test Gardens in the United States, based upon the design, maintenance and quality of the garden. At a subsequent visit by hybridizer and rose expert Johnny Becnel, he declared the garden to be one of the finest public gardens he had seen. With phase one and two completed work began on Phase three and four.
Phase three "The Veterans Rose Garden" plantings began the winter of 2003 and was completed in 2005. The garden was designed to honor "Past, Present and Future" members who have, are and will serve in the five branches of the United States of America military. All Roses planted in this garden are varieties with “patriotic” names. There are over 60 varieties with names such as "About Face, America, Fourth of July, Peace, Purple Heart, Stars and Stripe and Veterans Honor". The garden features our National, State and POW flags along with those of the five Service Branches surrounded by nearly 2,000 Roses.
Phase four includes rose beds symbolizing "Love, Friendship, Beauty and Peace" with plantings to be completed in 2011. These garden beds symbolize "Love" with two heart shaped beds, for "Friendship" two rose beds parallel side by side, for "Beauty" a large five petaled flower bed and for "Peace" two circular beds with contrasting roses planted to create the Peace symbol.
The Rose Garden at Mesa Community College is indeed a beautiful garden to visit and enjoy! With nearly 9,000 roses of over 300 varieties to view, admire, smell, and enjoy in multiple beds, now is a good time for you take the time to "SMELL THE ROSES". The Rose Garden is open to the public at no charge and can be enjoyed every day of the year. The Roses in our Sonoran Desert Climate are most beautiful during the months of April, May and June, and again in October, November and December.
Remember if you would like to volunteer and learn about pruning and planting join us in the Rose Garden every Saturday of January and February, with deadheading the third Saturday of each of the remaining ten months.