Both Bethlehem and Allentown have large public rose gardens filled with fresh, colorful flowers for local residents to enjoy during the summer months and into the fall.
Now Upper Saucon Township is looking to join the club, with a suburban rose garden set against a panoramic backdrop of verdant fields and hills.
The Lehigh Valley Rose Society has announced plans to begin planting and construction of what will be the third public rose garden in the area at Hopewell Park off W. Hopewell Road–next to Hopewell Elementary School in Center Valley–by this fall.
Upper Saucon Township Manager Tom Beil said that while some details still need to be finalized–including a lease agreement–there is reason to be optimistic about the plans.
“I think it will be a real good addition to our park,” he said. “Our park has walking trails and I think it will be a really nice place for people to visit when they come to our park and (will) add some color to the park.”
Beil said the Hopewell Park Rose Garden will be smaller than its urban cousins, and will feature both a seating area and a gazebo at its center.
“I think it will have some really nice, interesting features that will be incorporated into the garden,” he predicted.
Lehigh Valley Rose Society president Nate Fisher has designed the new garden, which according to the society’s website will incorporate 672 roses and 576 bulbs, annuals and perennials in a 60’ x 120’ rectangular space surrounded by a fence which will be covered in climbing roses and clematis.
The website notes that Fisher has drawn design inspiration from well-known rose gardens throughout the country, such as the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden in Bronx, N.Y., the Bicentennial Rose Garden at the Norfolk Botanical Garden in Norfolk, Va., and the Longwood Gardens rose garden in Kennett Square.
The Malcolm Gross Rose Garden in Allentown and the Bethlehem Rose Garden have also served as inspiration for what is planned for cultivation in the Southern Lehigh area.
On a webpage devoted to the Hopewell Park Rose Garden, LVRS site visitors will find a map of the garden’s layout, a 3-D rendering of what the garden will eventually look like and information about the fundraising that is taking place to help pay for the beauty spot.
Donors can opt to support the garden by purchasing an engraved brick for $100 (250 are available) or a garden bench for $1,000 (12 are available), according to an order form. Corporate sponsorships are also available, and will help the society meet its fundraising goal of approximately $225,000; a goal highlighted on a progress board at the park.
Rose Society board member Tyler Fatzinger–who is a PA certified horticulturist–also plans to develop a 4,000 square-foot “Pollinator Garden” which will surround the outer perimeter of the rose garden and serve as a “Monarch Waystation” for butterflies.
“The rose garden will be paid for (through fundraising), planted and maintained by Lehigh Valley Rose Society, as a gift to the community,” the LVRS site says. It notes that the garden will be an educational resource, where community members will learn about caring for roses from LVRS members who will offer demonstrations on everything from disease and pest identification and management to fertilizing, watering and pruning.
Anyone who is interested in volunteering or becoming a member of the Lehigh Valley Rose Society can find more information here.
Anyone interested in donating to help fund the development of the Hopewell Park Rose Garden can do so here.