The four rose beds in the historic Public Garden are cared for by the Rose Brigade. These are volunteer rosarians of the Friends of the Public Garden working in collaboration with the Boston Department of Parks and Recreation. The Brigade is made up of men and women of all ages. Newcomers are happily welcomed, as are occasional or one-day helpers. We enjoy teaching about roses and we supply gloves and tools.
During the high season of roses, June through September, the Brigade gathers every Tuesday from 5-7 pm. As the days grow shorter in October we meet earlier. Ad hoc projects occur in April, May, and December. There is a colorful flag to help everyone find where we are working.
We always begin at the smaller twin beds, “Mr Hale” and “Mr Lincoln,” near the statue of Edward Everett Hale (the one with the hat) located close to the Garden’s center entrance on Charles Street. Next we go to “Tiffany” in the quadrant bounded by Arlington and Boylston Streets. We end at the Peace or Ether bed in the Arlington/Beacon Street quadrant. Brigade founder and leader China Altman says: “Try it and see if it makes you happy. No guilt, no meetings, and one party once a year. I’ve always found it a particular privilege to take care of the roses here. We garden in the middle of a great city, rewarded by talking with passersby and greeted constantly by beautiful roses as they bloom throughout the summer in their own way, unique in the world.”