25 November 2008

Majestic gardens

Speaking of the landscape of Main Street U.S.A., Kevin Markey in Secrets of Disney’s Glorious Gardens said, “…evokes turn-of-the-century, small-town America with formal Victorian gardens, manicured lawns, and shade trees.” Left out, however, are the finer details of the Plaza Rose Garden. The rose garden, positioned just below Cinderella Castle, offers a quiet walk, a shaded pavilion to sit under, some photogenic topiaries, and some truly lovely flowers to see and smell. While passersby may take notice of the elegant garden, what most do not realize is that the Plaza Rose Garden has been honored by the All-America Rose Selections, Inc.

The AARS plaque in the garden states that Walt Disney World is, “contributing to the common interest in rose growing through its efforts in maintaining an outstanding public rose garden.” Though this accreditation was bestowed upon Walt Disney World in 1985, it stands true to this day, as those who take some time to enjoy the blooms in the Plaza Rose Garden seldom leave without thoughts of their own rose garden.

For those you who may not be familiar with what, precisely, the AARS is, let’s look at what they have to say for themselves:
All-America Rose Selections is a nonprofit association dedicated to the introduction and promotion of exceptional roses. The AARS runs the world's most challenging horticultural testing program, and consistently recognizes roses that will be easy to grow and require minimal care by today's busy homeowner.Since 1938, the AARS testing program has encouraged the rose industry to improve the disease tolerance, ease of care, and beauty of roses. Today, the AARS program is one of the most successful and highly regarded of its kind, having brought to the forefront some of the most popular roses in history, such as Peace, Knock Out and Bonica. AARS Winners are labeled with the AARS red rose seal of approval to distinguish them from other plants in the nursery.
The Plaza Rose Garden is one of only three AARS accredited rose gardens in Florida, the other two being The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota and Sturgeon Memorial Rose Garden in Largo. So, unless you are a local, I highly recommending that on your next visit to the Magic Kingdom you take some time to, well,… stop and smell the roses.

For those of you interested in finding your own local rose garden, the AARS has them all viewable by state on their website.

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