In the Garden with Miriam Jabour|MSU’s Veterans Memorial Rose Garden — you gotta check it out

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 25, 2008

A must-see for this fall is at Mississippi State University — the Veterans Memorial Rose Garden. It showcases more than 30 rose cultivars in a formal setting, complete with a gazebo, paved walkways and arbors enclosed in an ornate brick and steel fence. It was completed in fall 2007, but the roses have been in the ground since spring 2006. Visitors, students and faculty have found it an excellent addition to the campus.

If you go

The Veterans Memorial Rose Garden at Mississippi State University is located at the Mississippi 182 entrance to the R. Rodney Foil Plant Science Research Facility. Information is available here.

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Designed by MSU landscape architect Darryl Ray, this is one of a comprehensive group of gardens that provides teaching, research and public outreach opportunities. The gardens have been developed over a period of years within the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and are supported by the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. Another garden area adjacent to the Veterans Rose Garden is in the planning stages. It is to be a new arboretum on a 3-acre field that is now a soybean test plot.

The rose garden was planted by the Oktibbeha County Rose Society and Master Gardeners. It is divided into six sections, 19 roses in each. It is laid out somewhat like a color wheel.

Sector No. 1 features roses with blooms that fall into the mauve, purple and lavender hues. These include the hybrid teas Moon Shadow, Paradise, Lady X and Chrysler Imperial, the shrub rose Home Run and the floribunda ground cover type rose Electric Blanket.

Sector No. 2 includes all reds. Nine Eleven, Miss Rainbow, Veterans Honor and Opening Night are hybrid teas.  Watermelon Ice, a shrub rose, is used as a ground cover in the section.  The next sector, No. 3, includes only orange and orange blends. Sheer Elligence, Elina, Jane Pauley and Touch of Class are hybrid teas. Floribunda roses Bill Warriner and Electric Blanket, which is multihued, are also used here.

Sector No. 4 is filled with roses that bloom in shades of white and yellow. Rio Samba, Love and Peace, Maid of Honor, Pearl and Henry Fonda are hybrid teas. Gold Medal is a grandiflora, Sunsprite a floribunda and Watermelon Ice, a shrub, is used as a ground cover.

Sectors No. 5 and No. 6 are pink roses. Marilyn Wellan, Pop Wariner, Signature, Key Largo and Tahitian Sunset are hybrid teas. Electric Blanket , a floribunda, is used as a ground cover in Sector No. 5. Memorial Day and Marijike Koopman are hybrid teas in Sector No. 6. Sexy Rexy is a floribunda, and Lady Elsie Mae is a shrub rose. Watermelon Ice, another shrub, is used as ground cover.

Rosarian James Mills, owner of K and M Nursery in Buckatunna, and Dave Shanklin, an MSU graduate who is a sales representative for Jackson and Perkins Roses, donated most of the cultivars in the garden.

Pictures are available online, but if you happen to be in Starkville, check it out for yourself.

Miriam Jabour, a Master Gardener and master flower show judge, has been active with the Vicksburg Council of Garden Clubs for more than 20 years. Write to her at 1114 Windy Lake Drive, Vicksburg, MS 39183.