Did you know that “America’s Best Rose Garden” is here in the Bay Area? Thousands of visitors are flocking to the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, which has exploded into a vibrant spectrum of pinks, reds, oranges, and yellows. The expansive 5.5-acre garden has over 3,500 plantings in 189 different varieties, and it’s completely free to visit.
The garden is situated on the site of an old prune orchard and is exclusively devoted to rose family varieties, 75% of which are hybrids. Plantings include miniature roses, climbers, both clusters and single-bloom stems, and low-growing rose shrubs. The garden is unique in that something is always in bloom all year round, but the best time to visit is in May. In any case, you can expect to see quite a show all the way from April into November.
San Jose Municipal Rose Garden is known for its extensive hybrid varieties, which are tested by the All-American Rose Selections rating organization. The organization sends new hybrid varieties to San Jose’s garden for evaluation in an array of categories such as health, amount of blooms, color, and form before they can be released to the public as an official new rose variety. All varieties are marked in the garden, and you can refer to a detailed map of the garden (available on-site or in digital form). Discover dozens of roses with names like “Rainbow Sorbet,” “Hot Cocoa,” “Ch-Ching,” and “Julio Iglesias.”
The famous garden’s origins date back to 1927, when the Santa Clara County Rose Society petitioned the city of San Jose to establish a dedicated space for growing roses. It still has many of its original features, which include a reflection pool, garden vases, a two-tiered fountain, and more.
The garden has first-come, first-served picnic areas available, as well as restrooms, barbecues, and street parking. It’s free to visit from 8am until an 30 minutes after sunset. You can find the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden at the corner of Naglee Avenue and Dana Avenue in San Jose.