Our Story

Rose Garden

The Centerpiece of Columbia Gardens – The Memorial Rose Garden

Since the 1960s, the Memorial Rose Garden has welcomed visitors to Columbia Gardens. Today the garden contains nearly 200 rose bushes including hybrid tea roses, grandiflora, shrub and floribundas.

The beautiful statue at the center of the garden was purchased in the 1940s from the estate of Dr. Presley Rixey, a prominent Washington doctor who was the personal physician to presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.

“The Rose Garden brings back memories of my mother, who tended the garden and maintained it,” says Daun Thomas Frankland. “Our house was always filled with roses and she would take buckets of roses to friends.”

Honor a Loved One in our Rose Garden

Create a living tribute to the memory of a loved one. We invite you to select one of the 200 rose bushes in our Memorial Rose Garden, or work with our rosarian to choose a new bush to plant. Your rose bush will have a placard with your loved one’s name and a QR code that links to your tribute of their life. We welcome you to host a gathering or ceremony on the day the rose is planted. For more information about a Rose Tribute, please contact our office.

Work in a Rose Garden is Never Done

As part of the natural cycle, many of our original roses had reached the end of their life span – the average life expectancy of a tea rose is about 10 years, while a standard size rose bush can live for 35 years or more. But, under the supervision of Daun Thomas Frankland and with the care and guidance of a certified rosarian, our Rose Garden has experienced a renaissance. Our goal has been to repopulate the garden with some of the rose varieties from the original garden plan, combined with modern-day varieties.

We are always adding new roses and architectural features such as arbors to make it an inviting, interesting and peaceful place for visitors. Rose experts use the garden for demonstrations and local rose societies have meetings there. And our new, all-pink rose arbor is a perfect setting for weddings and photos.

The Memorial Rose Garden is open to the community during regular cemetery hours. All are welcome to visit this beautiful centerpiece of our property.