The Rose Garden at Tony Hillerman Library has a rich history and has been meticulously maintained by the Albuquerque Rose Society, which has volunteered its services since its inception in 1962. All along the rose garden are benches and seating, making it a great place for a picnic or reading a book and providing a zen place to unwind right in the middle of the city.
The rose bushes wrap around the building in several colors and mixture of variations. There are more than 1,200 roses, and the month of August is the last before the flowers go fully dormant, making this month a good time to see the last blooms of the year.
Once called the Prospect Park Library, Tony Hillman Library had renovations in 1995 and 700 bushes were donated by nurseries from all over the country. Five-hundred more were fundraised through the Rose Society’s efforts.
The “Fragrance Walk” starts at the northwest walkway leading up to the library doors on the southeast side with an arched trellised arbor and pergola patio in company of roses lined from side to side.
The highlight of the garden, besides the fragrances and flowers, is the Peace Memorial Bed in memory of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II and the founding of the United Nations. Among the 15 rose bushes in the Peace Memorial Bed five are peace rose varieties.
There is also a public art sculpture installation in the garden called “Sharing the Joy of a New Discovery” by Alice and Wes Thompson, which was placed in 1996. The sculpture depicts two abstract cast aluminum figures reaching out to one another while also holding abstract aluminum books.
The Rose Society has events throughout the year, including workshops to learn about rose planting in Albuquerque, and is always looking for new members and volunteers. The society does takes out dying flowers on at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays throughout the summer. Those wanting to volunteer should bring gloves and clippers, and members of the society can teach people how to properly prune. Additionally, the organization’s Rose Enthusiasts Swap Meet is Sept. 14. For more information, click here.
To go see the last rose garden blooms this month, Tony Hillerman Library is tucked away on 8205 Apache NE, just west of Wyoming behind Hoffmantown Shopping Center