- SCHOOLS &
A Place to Meet…McKinley Rose Garden sprawls over 1.5 acres, and is the largest of Sacramento`s rose gardens—1,200 roses. McKinley Rose Garden is one of only 130 All-American Rose Selection display gardens. The well-known garden, which grew from its initial 400 rose plants to about 944 rose plants in 1940 to more than 1,200 rose plants today, is a popular site for daily visitors, weddings and memorial services.
The Original Designer… Frederick N. Evans, a landscape architect with a Masters Degree from Harvard, was the city`s first parks superintendent. In 1929, Evans began work on improvements to the garden with a drive to “make the garden a showplace of the city park system.” Prior to this time, the garden, which then included an under construction pool at its center, had been established with no particular planting plans. The rose garden replaced a running track in this location, the oval shape of the rose garden reflects the original shape of the track.
Evans experimented with the varieties of roses that were planted there until he had a mix that would prosper in the hot Sacramento summers. He also presented a plan to have the garden rearranged into definite patterns with all rose varieties labeled with both their English and Latin names. It was his intention to have the garden created as an educational garden “where Sacramentans interested in flowers and plants may come and study their culture.”
On Dec. 13, 1946, the garden was named after Evans, who was also an original member of the Sacramento Rose Society, founded in 1940.