On Saturday April 10, 2010 over 200 volunteers planted over 800 rose bushes at the Walnut Hill Rose Garden. The theme in selecting the roses to be planted was “New Britain Comes Together”. Seventy-five different varieties of roses type, color and fragrance were selected to represent the diversity of our community. 


The initial details of the Rose Garden restoration project were announced at our Public Informational Meeting at City Hall on June 23, 2009 by Kate McCue, Project Coordinator from Friends of the Walnut Hill Park Rose Garden; Bill DeMaio, Director of New Britain Parks and Recreation; and Jim Sperry, Landscape Architect from Kaestle Boos.

Images of the proposed design follow:

This layout was chosen to compliment the powerful design of the World War I monument and the elliptical courtyard that so many of Walnut Hill Park’s visitors already enjoy.

A cross-section of the design is shown here:

Although dubbed a “restoration”, the plan called for some modifications to the original design of the Rose Garden, most notably, its location within the park. The Rose Garden was planted originally on the eastern slope of Walnut Hill Park, along Grand Street. The restoration plan moved the Rose Garden to the courtyard near World War I memorial, taking advantage of the current infrastructure: established flower beds, pavilions, utilities, irrigation and parking. These features enhance the garden and provide sustainability for the future. The new site also allows for handicapped accessibility so that everyone might share in the beauty of the Rose Garden. We are committed to have the best Rose Garden possible!

The specific types of roses for the garden were selected with the intention to include a variety of roses including All American Rose Selection roses. The overall theme for the planting was New Britain Comes Together. The selection of rose varieties, colors and fragrances represent the diversity of our community and its inherent beauty, including

Hybrid tea roses – like Let Freedom Ring, Memorial Day, Home & Family, St Patrick and Peace
Grandiflora and Floribunda – like Julia Child, Sentimental, Ch-Ching and Dream Come True
Climbers – like Don Juan and Graham Thomas
David Austin English roses – like Crown Princess Margareta, Falstaff, Glamis Castle, Heritage and LD Braithwaite

While the location of the Rose Garden is different from the one created by James F. Burke in 1929, the Friends of the Walnut Hill Park Rose Garden work to retain the spirit of the original, by planting many of the same varietals of roses that were once enjoyed by visitors to Walnut Hill Park. Unfortunately, the records are incomplete. To gather more details on the original roses, we continue to request submissions of photos or home movies of the garden. Please contact us with your photos.

The Rose Garden is funded solely by private donations and grants – there are no tax dollars being allocated to this project.

Garden Layout

This layout was designed by Michelle Malinowski, a Friends of the Walnut Hill Park Rose Garden design committee volunteer. Her vision was to have waves of color variety with bilateral symmetry in the layout. Quadrants I & IV are mirrored in planting. Quadrants II & III are also mirrored. To commemorate the World War I monument, the first roses visitors see when visiting the garden are deep red ones called Veterans Honor.

map of roses

Layout of the design in numerical order.

color layout

The Overall color design layout is shown here

trellis_installPlans for four trellis spanning the walkways were designed by Brennan White of Kaestle Boos and were erected in this spring of 2010. The trellis used recycled wrought iron material donated by the City of New Britain and were constructed by East Side Welding of New Britain. The trellis were installed the week prior to planting with the generous help of Willie Pabon and New Britain Fence Co. and donation of material from Tilcon.