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E.M. Mills Memorial Rose Garden beckons SU and local community to its annual Rose Day
The scent will draw you in and the colors will keep you coming back.
Each spring, at the intersection of University Place and Ostrom Avenue, the E.M. Mills Memorial Rose Garden in Thornden Park comes alive with reds, oranges and pinks; climbing vines over decorative archways and visitors strolling through the pathways.
The Syracuse Rose Society, which maintains the blooms in partnership with the City of Syracuse, hosts an annual public event each June to celebrate the peak of the rose season. Rose Day was held this year on Wednesday, June 19, from 12-3 p.m. with light refreshments and entertainment by Dixieland Update.
Syracuse Rose Society volunteers, such as Joe Gibson, will be there to answer visitors’ questions about the garden, which was dedicated in 1924. The society itself has a long tradition, having been organized in 1911. “We’re the oldest continuous running rose society in the United States,” Gibson says.
Gibson and about 15 volunteers were there on a recent Wednesday, weeding and “deadheading” faded blooms as they do every Wednesday morning between April and October. New volunteers are welcome to help out Wednesday mornings and evenings from 5:30-7:30 p.m. SU students will be helping out in the fall.
Another volunteer, Dan Magaro, helped Syracuse city workers establish new borders to some of the rose garden beds. He encourages anyone to come out and join in the community activity. “Gardening is good for the mind,” he says.