The garden was owned by a wealthy industrialist, Charles H. Pond and given to the City of Hartford to be a horticultural park named after his wife. The City hired the the Olmsted firm to design the park and Theodore Wirth to design the garden. He planted roses 'to please the people' and there now over 15,000 roses in the garden (seen at their best in June).
As I understand it, this park was designed by Theodore Wirth and the garden was landscaped by Olmsted and Sons. The Anonymous poster of 2010 is giving the garden only one star because this site got the attributions wrong?
I only gave three stars in my review, but I had had solid reasons for it and I explained them. Why would you penalize a public garden park in a review because the website got some historical information tangled? That has nothing to do with the public garden itself.
I found the park attractive and pleasurable enough, I simply found the famous roses (why I went there in the first place) to be below par in appearance in regard to maintenance and think there are too many roses for the City of Hartford and its volunteers to look after. I have no complaints with the layout...I think Hartford is lucky to have this lovely space.
Attractive park overall; loved walking through it. I saw it for the first time yesterday, after the 2012 Rose Show awards. I then viewed the rose garden, and while I had never seen a large municipal rose garden before, only the large private garden at Saint Gaudens in New Hampshire, I found the Elizabeth Park rose garden rather messy (i.e., the condition of the roses, please understand, not the grass or the sidewalks--I'm NOT talking about trash or discarded litter from people) and frankly, it was somewhat disappointing.
Many, although not all, of the rose beds looked undertended, with the many dead blooms and dead or yellowed leaves left on to fall on their own (which looks frankly awful), and many were broken and laying over on their sides (perhaps unsupervised visitor damage). Many also looked sickly and spotty, at least with respect to their foliage. Many also did not have plates or guides as to the specific variety of rose I was viewing, which I found quite surprising; isn't that part of the mission of educating the public?
I photographed a few roses, but I found most of it not worth photographing, isn't that sad? A huge lawn full of rose beds and not pretty enough to photograph? It made me much less critical of my own roses, but perhaps this is the way a large number of roses are supposed to look the end of June in Connecticut? I don't know.
I just know that the garden looked tired and messy. We just had a sudden spell of heat for a few days, and I know that has impact, but still. Is this scruffy display because of a discouragement of spraying pesticides and fungicides? Or is it simply lack of experienced people and the time to deal with them? If so, beautiful roses of this kind will die out in the marketplace and in the public mind for sure, as they are suffering badly for the lack of this essential care.
If I am being hasty in my judgment, please forgive me. I'm only describing what I see, and I got into the business of planting roses in great earnest only last year. Now I have 15 bushes of various kinds, and have researched roses a great deal over time. Admittedly new to this. I just know if my garden of roses looked anything like these, I would be very unhappy with them, and wouldn't show them to anyone until I cleaned them up.
I expected to be transported and instead I was troubled by what I saw.
If there are literally too many rose bushes and not enough volunteer care, I don't think this garden is really an asset to the public in this form. This is probably heresy for me to speak, but it seems that a simplified but more beautiful rose garden would be a finer, more inspiring thing. If I hadn't already caught the "Rose Bug", I wouldn't find this rose garden one that would inspire me to plant roses...and isn't that part of the point of maintaining a garden like this? To inspire love for roses in the heart of the public?
The park was disigned by Theodore Wirth. Other Hartford parks were designed by the Olmsted firm.
lokking very good
Beautiful Park with many points of interest including a lovely perenial garden, an interesting rock garden as well as herb and annual gardens. The rose garden is magnificent. The Pond House Cafe on site serves delicious food and there are some interesting birds around the lake. Designed by the Olmstead firm the park has some resemblances to Central Park in NY, in some of it's features. Be sure to look for the stone footbridge tucked in a shady spot banked by some tremendous Japanese yews. It appears as if the massive boulders of this small bridge are magically held in mid air. A beautiful place for a picnic, and relatively quiet on weekdays.
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