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AMERICAN MEMORIAL GARDEN

TO GET INTERNATIONAL AWARD

Edisto Memorial Gardens is poised to be catapulted into the international spotlight.

During a visit to Orangeburg last week, Pat Shanley of the Great Rosarians of the World™ steering committee announced the gardens have been nominated for and will be receiving the distinguished Great Rosarians of the World™ Rose Garden Hall of Fame Award for 2014. As Jay Hiers, superintendent of the Orangeburg Parks and Recreation Department, gave Shanley, who is also vice president of the American Rose Society, a tour of Edisto Memorial Gardens, she explained the purpose of the award. “This award is to promote a wider knowledge and appreciation of our treasured botanical gardens to the rose growing world and the gardening public,” Shanley said. “I believe that the Edisto Memorial Rose Gardens meets all of the qualifications and more. In addition, the garden is a major part of the recreational and educational facilities in Orangeburg, and this is a major accomplishment that should be recognized.” To be considered for the award, a rose garden must be open to the public (with or without a fee); be recognized as having an outstanding design or historical significance; display an outstanding collection or broad display of roses; and/or promote rose growing with educational outreach programs. Hiers said he is pleased Edisto Gardens will join this select listing. “We are definitely pleased to be considered for the Great Rosarians of the World™ Rose Garden Hall of Fame out of all the other rose gardens across America,” he said. There are nearly 5,000 rose plants in the main display at the gardens, which is open year-round to the public, dawn to dusk, free of charge. Edisto Memorial Gardens grows and evaluates new, unnamed varieties of roses in its ARS Award of Excellence Test Garden, which has space for more than 270 specimens. Hiers is currently testing five Great American Rose Selections entries for 2013. After two years of testing, their merits will be considered, and qualifying varieties will be named and released for sale within the rose industry. The city of Orangeburg also offers the ARS Kidz n Roses program, which is available to local schools. Accompanying Shanley on her tour of Edisto Memorial Gardens were rose hybridizers Girija and Viru Viraraghavan, the 2006 Great Rosarians of the World™ honorees. Gene Waering, who is on the executive committee of the American Garden Rose Selections program, was on hand, as well. Waering and Shanley, along with Peter Kukielski, co-authored the book “Sustainable Rose Garden,” which focuses on creating environmentally friendly yet enduring rose gardens, with sustainability as the key. Recognition by GROW™ will bring local, national and international attention, Shanley said.

“The gardens that have received this award in the past have reported it has been instrumental in helping them to receive the support, both public and governmental, that allows them to continue to provide outstanding services to the public,” Shanley said. “The existence of our botanical gardens is continuously threatened by the economic conditions and restrictions felt by most municipalities today. Recognition by GROW™ gives them the visibility to stay in the forefront as necessary institutions that need to have their funding continued, at the very least, and hopefully to have it increased.” During their tour, Waering and the Viraraghavans proposed the idea of adding a Species Garden to Edisto Memorial Gardens that would feature and help preserve many of the original roses that are the foundation for today’s varieties. GROW™ Rose Garden Hall of Fame Awards for 2014 will be presented on Saturday, May 31 next year at the Great Rosarians of the World™ Lecture Series — East at The New York Botanical Garden. According to Shanley, the gardens receiving the award in addition to Edisto Memorial Gardens in Orangeburg will be: Biltmore Rose Garden, Asheville, N.C.; Heritage Rose District, New York City; City of Sakura Rose Garden, Sakura, Japan; Portland International Rose Garden, Portland, Ore.; and Balboa Park Rose Garden, San Diego, Calif. HISTORY OF THE GARDENS The Edisto Memorial Gardens is a place of history and beauty. In 1865, a force of less than six hundred Confederate soldiers gathered on the land that is now the Gardens. Soldiers temporarily halted the advance of the Union Army. On February 12, 1865, outflanked by a much larger force, these defenders were compelled to withdraw to Columbia. A marker honours this site.

This site was first developed in the 1920's with some azaleas on 5 acres of land. A playground was added in 1922, and a greenhouse and nursery facility in 1947. To extend the season of beauty, the first rose garden was planted in 1951. Currently, there are more than 82 beds of roses ranging from miniatures to grandiflora to climbers. The fountain was moved from the Memorial Plaza and placed at the entrance to the Gardens in 1950 to honour the brave individuals who gave their lives in 1st & 2nd World Wars, Korean War, and the Vietnam Conflict. The name was changed to the Edisto Memorial Gardens. The Gardens attract visitors from all over the world because they are filled with award-winning roses, azaleas, and other flora and faunas. The Orangeburg Festival of Roses, one of the Southeastern Tourism Society's top twenty events, is held in Orangeburg the weekend before Mother's Day in May each year to celebrate the blooming of the City's roses.

The Edisto Memorial Gardens displays past and current award winning roses from the All-America Rose Selections. Some 4,800 plants representing at least 75 labeled varieties of roses are always on display in the Gardens. This site is also honored to be one of only 15 official test gardens in the United Sates sanctioned by the All-America Rose Selections, Inc. This test garden, which was established in 1973, is dedicated to recognizing up to five of the most desirable hybrid rose introductions each year. In 2008, The Gardens became affiliated with the American Rose Society's testing program - Award of Excellence. This program picks the top miniature and mini-flora roses in the US. The rose named 'Edisto' is one of these winners. Also in 2008, the Noisette Garden was planted. This rose is they only class of rose to be created in North America - Charleston,SC to be exact. Currently 55 varieties are on display and more added as they are found. The 200th Anniversary of the Noisette Rose will be held in August of 2011 at the Edisto Memorial Gardens.

The Children's Garden Christmas is a drive through light display coordinated by the City of Orangeburg, the Parks and Recreation Department and the Department of Public Utilities. This event features a one-half mile trail through the Edisto Memorial Gardens featuring 30 animated displays, 20 still displays and 60 lighted cherry trees. The Kids Walk with an additional 18 displays. The lighted displays vary in size from 6 feet to 20 feet tall. The Gardens are illuminated seven days a week from the Monday before Thanksgiving to New Year's Day for everyone to enjoy free of charge. In July 1992, a major new theme was added to the Gardens with the establishment of the Horne Wetlands Park. This 2,600 foot boardwalk takes the visitor into a Tupelo/Cypress wetland that lies between the Display Garden and the North fork of the Edisto River. The Park also features a boat dock with a gazebo. The boardwalk is fully handicap accessible. The Gardens also feature a butterfly garden, a serenity garden, and a sensory garden. Also, a beautiful terrace garden has been developed on the river side of the Arts Centre. The Edisto Memorial Gardens are open seven days a week from dawn to dusk. Admission is free to the public.   Over 600,000 visitors experience the Gardens each year. Visitors come from all fifty states and some foreign countries. The Gardens are located within the City limits on U.S. Highway 301 just four blocks from the heart of the City. The average peak Spring blooms of crab apple, azaleas, dogwood, etc. is from March 15 to April 15. Roses begin blooming soon after the middle of April and continue until the first killing frost of November.

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.

www.countrygardenroses.co.uk


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