Elizabeth Park is located at the corner of Prospect Avenue and Asylum Avenue on the Hartford / West Hartford line in CT.
We stopped by the famous rose garden at Elizabeth Park yesterday on our way home from New York. It’s always been on my list of local garden places to see. What a treat to see the roses in full bloom!
The park opened in the spring of 1897 after the City of Hartford, CT was willed the estate of industrialist and statesman Charles M.Pond with the stipulation that the land be used as a horticultural park and named after his late wife Elizabeth. The first park superintendent, Theodore Wirth, designed a rose garden with 100 bushes to “please the people.”
The gardens eventually fell into disrepair, so in 1977 a group of volunteers formed the Friends of Elizabeth Park to raise funds for renovations and improvements. They volunteer, sponsor tours and run educational workshops from March to November. www.elizabethpark.org/calendar-2012.htm
Today the extensive rose garden encompasses two and half acres with about 800 different rose varieties and 15,000 bushes. It is still owned and maintained by the city of Hartford with the Friends of Elizabeth Park helping fund projects and volunteering. It is the oldest municipally operated rose garden in the country.
What a nice day in the park. There were many families with picnics under shade trees enjoying the wide open spaces of green grass and gently sloping hills. There are 102 acres, a pond, garden areas, greenhouses, tennis courts, a baseball field, lawn bowling and a Pond House Cafe.
The park is open dawn to dusk everyday of the year and parking is free. www.elizabethpark.org
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