GARDEN DESIGN WITH A THEME: “The History of the Rose in America”

Thank you Jackson & Perkins for sponsoring the Great Garden Restoration Design.

Gears of vintage Rolex watch was the inspiration for the garden design.

PAUL ZIMMERMAN, ONE HALF OF THE GARDEN’S DESIGN TEAM of Zimmerman and Beales tells how the Garden Design came about, and how the great rose company, Jackson & Perkins, came to fund the garden design. January 2018

by Paul Zimmerman

The American Rose Society certainly has a special place in the world of roses in America. It’s a source of education, preservation, and perhaps most of all, inspiration to all gardeners in this country when it comes to roses. Through our magazine, website, bulletins, conventions, Consulting Rosarian program and more; the American Rose Society has continued to live that mission as stated by J. Horace McFarland. 


The American Rose Center, located in Shreveport, Louisiana, has been a part of that vision since McFarland called for “a rosarium of its own” for the ARS. That goal was reached in the early 70s when the property was donated and the gardens were created. The original design consisted of more than 60 gardens spread over 40 acres. Over the years, conditions changed, trees matured, shading most of the garden and causing it to deteriorate. The need for a major renovation was recognized by the American Rose Center Committee.


The Great American Rose Garden Restoration Project was begun by a core group consisting of President, Pat Shanley, ARS Past President, Marilyn Wellan, Executive Director, Laura Seabaugh, Gulf District Director and Chair of the American Rose Center Committee, Allen Owings and ARS Chair of Development, Gaye Hammond. Marilyn Wellan is the Master Plan Coordinator and with her vision and focus the garden’s Master Plan was created and the project moved forward. 



Richard Beales, Marilyn Wellan, Laura Seabaugh, Paul Zimmerman at the American Rose Center, November 2017.

All Rights Reserved. American Rose Society. Copyright 2019