The Fishburn Rose Garden at Mountain View came into being in the late 1950’s when the Men’s Garden Club of Roanoke received permission to design a rose garden on the grounds of Mountain View. Under the devoted care of the Men’s Garden Club, the rose garden grew to include over 700 roses and was accredited by the All-American Rose Selections. The garden held this designation from 1965 to 1980. In the early 1980’s care of the garden became difficult for the club, and the City of Roanoke assumed complete responsibility for the maintenance of it. Due to limited resources and the intensive care that roses require, the rose garden fell into a decline for several years. In 1989, the Roanoke Master Gardener Association expressed interest in helping restore and maintain the garden. Working in partnership with the City of Roanoke, they began restoring the garden, and eventually planted over 700 new roses. A celebration of the renovation was held on June 8, 1994, and the garden was officially named the Fishburn Rose Garden at Mountain View. Unfortunately, in Spring 2001, the Master Gardeners had to discontinue their work with the garden due to a restructuring of the Master Gardener Program and city forces took over the maintenance of the garden.
Over the past several years, as the economy declined and resources became severely limited, the roses declined as well. They have also suffered from environmental stress and possibly insect related damage. However, we are in the early stages of planning another renovation of the rose garden. This time, plans are to reduce the total number of roses so that available resources can be utilized to properly maintain them. Also, since roses usually only have one full bloom period in spring, and a smaller display of blooms later in the summer, other flowering plants will be incorporated into the garden. Numerous events take place in the garden, including many weddings, each year, so a varied plant pallet will provide a more attractive area over a longer period of time.
Included in the renovation plan is the development of a Commemorative Rose Program, similar to the Commemorative Tree Program. The specifics of the program are still being developed, and details will appear on this web site once the program is established.