Memories of the Sacramento Cemetery Open Garden

In mid-April every year there is a big event at the Sacramento Old City Cemetery Historic Rose Garden. The roses are at their peak bloom, and look amazing. But it’s the people who I go there to see. Rose loving friends come from around  California and even Reno to help out with the rose sale, see the roses and visit. I arrived Friday afternoon while the volunteer group was finishing setting up tables of roses for sale. I detoured just before the garden to go to Kobasics (best chocolates and really friendly family business) to get a box of truffles for the volunteers. People are always happy to see you when you show up with good chocolate.

The evening was spent at La Mision, an accommodating Mexican restaurant on Florin. About 20 of us rosenuts enjoyed a long visit with good food and margaritas, seated around one long table. I feel sorry for any other diners who were nearby. We’re a noisy bunch.

Saturday was a whirlwind of activity, with people lining up to buy roses, ask questions about the roses, take tours of the cemetery rose garden, buy raffle tickets, etc, etc. An added pleasure this year was a sale of perennials, and I bought half a dozen. I had a nice long chat with Kathy and Joy from Grass Valley. They’ve been caring for the remaining old roses in the cemetery there, and adding to the collection.

After the big event, the gang went to Katherine’s house a few blocks away to have “Rose Growers”, a drink started by Mel Hulse and the Virtual Rose Society. We continued chatting well into the evening.

Sunday morning has become a “Brunch at the Cemetery” day for those of us who could stick around for it. Anita made scones and someone brought coffee and other goodies. I toured all parts of the garden I hadn’t gotten to on Saturday, and made a list of roses they had that we don’t have in San Jose.

I was able to get to the Farmer’s Market just a few blocks from the cemetery before the brunch. It was great! I didn’t have a big enough cooler to buy some of the things I would have liked. They have an impressive array of vendors. There were two vendors of pastured beef, both with much lower prices than I’ve seen elsewhere. There were also two cheesemakers, so I got a piece of smoked cheddar. I also got several bags of assorted vegetables, a few oranges and apples, and a jalapeno-sourdough loaf.

It was hard to leave the rose garden and all these good friends for the long drive home.


About Jill Perry

Since 2005, I have been the Curator of the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, a part of Guadalupe River Parks and Gardens near downtown San Jose. I write about the Heritage Rose Garden, my garden and my travels when I feel inspired and have time. Since I have no regular schedule, if you'd like to know when I write a new article, please subscribe to this blog.
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