Historic Rose Garden

The Historic Rose Garden includes more than 500 old garden roses from a variety of sources and sites.  The collection includes some unique roses, not found anywhere else.  Click here for a  catalog of roses in the garden.

  • Species roses - the collection includes several species roses, including those native to California.
  • Found roses - many roses with study names may be seen here.  These are roses found on sites throughout California.  Rose lovers discovered surviving roses in neglected and abandoned sites (pioneer cemeteries, old homesteads mining camps, etc.).  Cuttings were taken (with permission, when available), the roses grown, identified (where possible) and planted in the cemetery.  Many remain unidentified and may be unknown in modern times or perhaps "bird drops" or cuttings rooted from unknown roses back in the day.  These are the roses with study names. 
  • Historical roses - 19th and early 20th century cultivars known to have been available to early Sacramento residents from early nurseries.
  • Rare roses - Roses growing in four or fewer public gardens or nurseries.  Click here to see the list.
  • Legacy roses - those planted by Cemetery plot owners; some even from the 19th century. Click here for map & list
  • Modern roses - roses planted by plot owners which are not part of the collection plus a few planted as being appropriate.  One example is Sutter's Gold from the 1950's which is planted on property originally donated to the City by the Sutter family.

The garden is worth a visit almost any time of the year - yes, even in winter - showing different aspects of these plants.  Available space permits growing the roses without restricting size or shape.  Of course, some shaping is necessary to avoid blocking headstones or paths, but for the most part, these roses grow to their potential just as they did when the Cemetery was originally established as a garden cemetery.