“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns: I am thankful that thorns have roses.”—Alphonse Karr (1808 -1890)
Hundreds of people have discovered the Southampton Rose Society (SRS) Rose Garden since its creation in 2003. Its magnificent display begins in June and, if the weather is right, it can continue to bloom ‘till Thanksgiving. On any given day you can see people lunching in the pergola, reading a book, sketching, taking photographs, or catching a quick snooze on one of the many arbor benches while enjoying the scent of roses and the calm in a busy village.
The Garden was officially opened on June 18, 2003 by Mayor Romanowsky when he also re-named Job’s Lane to “Rose Lane” for the day. This year the Rose Garden at the Rogers Memorial Library on Windmill Lane will celebrate its 10th anniversary. The climbing roses have reached their natural potential and cover the arches and the pergola with spectacular bloom.
To enter the garden on a summer’s day and inhale the scent of 250 rose bushes more than justifies the Southampton Rose Societies efforts to give something wonderful to the residents and visitors of the village and town.
This is the only free Rose Garden on Long Island. Some of the many activities that go on in the garden include an annual hands-on Pruning Demonstration in mid-April open to members and the general public.
There is a Children’s Educational program in May, the Annual Rose Show in June, and continuing seasonal events in conjunction with the Library. Many people have taken the opportunity to be married in the garden and add an engraved brick to the walkway to commemorate the event.
This year we’re also celebrating the 37th Anniversary of the Southampton Rose Society. On the 4th of July, look for our float in the annual parade. The SRS was an offshoot of an earlier society when a group of people met in Nina Murray’s living room to discuss starting a new club. Dorothy Nigro was nominated as the first president, and also present was Jane Cohen, Madelle Semerjian, and Peter Haring, who in some future time would become President of the American Rose Society.
As the club continued to grow we hosted the 1978 American Rose Society National Convention in Southampton. David Dawn was the Toastmaster and he went on to be a major influence in the development of the Society and as a rose consultant.
My term as president corresponded with the SRS 25th anniversary in 2001 and it was then that I suggested we give a garden to the village. Today Helga Dawn chairs the committee for the Rose Garden.
Our members and past and current presidents are committed to continuing the beautification of the village. We have satellite rose gardens growing on the wall of Shippy’s Restaurant across from the public parking lot, on a wall of roses on Hampton Road along the entrance to the parking lot, on Jobs Lane at Featherstone’s Restaurant, and in the garden of the Southampton Historical Society.
New this year is an organic rose garden at the entrance to the Community House facing Lake Agawam.
We invite you all to come and enjoy nature’s bounty.
Come enjoy the SRS Rose Garden on the Rogers Memorial Library property, 91 Cooper’s Farm Road in Southampton, open daily. Check out the Organic Garden Opening Party on June 14 at the Southampton Cultural Center.