Update: Town Hall / Market Square Rose Garden Care

by | Aug 17, 2015 | News

By Susan Larson. Photos copyright Fredericksburg.Today.

Residents and visitors have expressed concern this summer about the Town Hall / Market Square Rose Garden in downtown Fredericksburg.

The usually well-kept space at the corner of Princess Anne and William Streets looked neglected, with overgrown and dead rose bushes, weeds, cigarette butts and other trash.

“Loved looking at the beautiful rose bushes as we drove by … sad site now,” said Brenda on Facebook.

“I always thought volunteers took care of the rose garden. What happened to them?” asked Kay.

“Can someone offer their services for the garden? You have so many creative people in your city,” said Brandi.

The garden is just outside the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center’s (FAMCC) Old Town Hall entrance. The FAMCC suspended operations in May 2015, while “restructuring to ensure its long-term financial viability,” according to Susan Glasser, museum president and CEO. Some thought perhaps this had something to do with the lapse in the garden’s upkeep. We contacted the city with your concerns.

As it turns out, Dr. Sam Smart has volunteered hundreds of hours for more than 25 years maintaining the beautiful space, which is on city owned property.

“Your article prompted [Parks Director] Bob Antozzi to reach out to Sam to see if it was time for the city to take over maintenance of the garden,” a staff member said.

“That would be great,” Smart wrote to Antozzi. “I have been spraying the roses about every two weeks, but have not been able to enlist any help to trim or deadhead. If your people could take them over completely I can concentrate on the roses at the library and the Baptist church.”

“The Parks Division for the city took over maintenance of the rose garden on July 14, 2015,” said Mike Ward, division manager of Parks & Athletics. “Since that time our Head Gardener has deadheaded the roses, and begun putting together a plan to reinvigorate the rose bushes, which includes pruning them this fall when it is appropriate to prune them.”

“At this time, the rose garden is on our schedule, but not necessarily the top priority,” Antozzi said. “Rose gardens, by the way, need very particular care. Dr. Smart worked with our already very excellent gardeners to ensure they understood the particulars of rose garden maintenance.”

“We would like to get the rose bushes under control again before we look to have another volunteer provide us with assistance,” Ward said. “We certainly appreciate how much the community cares about the many areas of the city that we maintain, and would love to give these volunteers the opportunity to help, but we need to make sure that the volunteers are properly trained first.”

The Sad State of a Downtown Rose Garden

FAMCC Suspending Operations to Face Financial Troubles

Summer Concert Series to Continue Despite Museum’s Financial Woes

Historic Fredericksburg Foundation Looses Executive Director, Reports Financial Troubles

Historic Bank Closes its Doors in Downtown Fredericksburg

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