Everything’s “Coming Up Roses” at Empire Mine State Historic Park

What: Heritage Rose Sale from Estate Gardens, Empire Mine State Historic Park

Where: Empire Mine State Historic Park, 10791 East Empire Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945

When: Saturday August 21, 2021 from 10 am until all sold

Who: Sierra Gold Parks Foundation and park docent volunteers

Cost: $20 per 1-gallon container 

Visitors to Empire Mine State Historic Park will have a special opportunity to take home a living piece of history on Saturday August 21, 2021. Fledgling heritage rose bushes have been propagated and nurtured for two years by dedicated park volunteer docent Marsha Lewis. They are now ready to find their “forever home” and adorn the gardens of the first 49 fortunate park visitors to secure these enduring symbols of beauty and hope. Fifteen to twenty different varieties are in the lineup from Cecil Brunner to Baronne Prevost and Reine des Violettes.

A mature specimen of the exuberant Fortuniana bush (introduced in 1850) can be observed atop the New Rich Hill Shaft stone and iron structure as you enter the park grounds, and one can purchase its relative for just $20.

The roses for sale were selected from the formal gardens at Empire Mine. The plantings represent a virtual timeline of rose history from the oldest cultivars that predate 1300 to the nineteenth century. Ten groupings are represented on the estate garden grounds: Gallica, Damask, Alba, Centifolia, Moss, Bourbon, Hybrid Perpetual, Hybrid Musk, Hybrid Tea, and Hybrid Rufosa.

The roses will be on display at the park entrance area Saturday August 21, 2021 from 10 am until all are sold, and the transactions will be performed with cash only, to facilitate smooth and efficient processing. Purchases will be limited to one rose plant per family, since the demand far exceeds the supply. Last year, would-be rose tenders lined up well before the opening of the sale, and unfortunately, many rose aficionados left empty handed.

The roses are ready to plant, and will need frequent watering to become established in their new location according to Marsha Lewis, Program Lead for the Garden Tours and Rose Propagation Program. Each rose bush purchased comes with an information sheet describing the formal Latin name, parentage, introduction date, environmental preferences, and recommendations for planting locations, and comments specific to the individual variety.

All proceeds from the sale will go to Sierra Gold Parks Foundation, the non-profit park cooperative association supporting Empire Mine State Historic Park, South Yuba River State Park, and Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park. https://www.sierragoldparksfoundation.org/