The Centennial Rose Garden on the grounds of the Schmidt House has been tended by a loyal group of
volunteers since the garden was dedicated in 1989. However, these stalwart volunteers have been aging
out, so we’ve been looking for some young blood to help out in the garden. The Master Gardeners of
Thurston County have come to the rescue!
On the first of August, 24 Master Gardeners attended an afternoon meet-and-greet hosted by the
Foundation. The get-together included an informal talk on rose care by Dr. Gary Ritchie, nationally
recognized rose expert and de facto leader of our rose garden volunteers. After a break for beverages
and snacks, Gary and other existing volunteers led the newcomers on a tour of the rose garden,
including a hands-on session on deadheading (removing spent blossoms to encourage new flowers).
A full dozen Master Gardeners signed up to continue volunteering in our garden! Midge Price, current
president of the Master Gardener Foundation of Thurston County, was pleased to see such a big
response. She says that our rose gardeners and Master Gardeners have many aligned interests. We all
look forward to a continuing friendship: the rose garden will get extra care, and the new gardeners will
be able to learn from the best.
We’ll be planning special rose-centric events for the 2024 blooming season (cocktails, anyone?).
Meanwhile, come and enjoy the roses in their last burst of bloom this season. We’ll see you at the