Rose gardens make me think of Alice in Wonderland. Not just because of “painting the roses red,” which I’m sure is apart of it. There’s something about traditional rose gardens and that seem to hearken back to the days of Lewis Carroll and Victorian England. You can practically see the men and women strolling between the rows of tumbling roses and white greenhouses, with the men’s hands clasped behind their backs and the women all clutching froo-frooy pink parasols–they probably even used the phrase “take a turn about the garden.” And, somewhere there’s sure to be an author or two tucked away on a bench scribbling about everything their seeing and hearing around them.
The Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is magnificent, especially in October when all the roses are in bloom. Opened in 1927, with some of the original planting still growing today, you can find one of the largest collections of roses in North America. When you walk through the garden, you’ll spot a multitude of varieties, with dates of when that particular type of rose was originally developed–I saw everything from 1880 to 1970. With all the different varieties it just adds to the Alice in Wonderland feel, that sense of everything being thrown together and mixed and matched. I half expected to see a game of hedgehog croquet or someone screaming “off with their heads.” Lewis Carroll should be proud he can inspire such imagination by someone just stepping into a garden thousands of miles from where he lived.