Friends of the Rose Garden

Rose Garden in Full Bloom

Read the 11/19/98 Berkeley Voice article about the renovation of Totland, Thousand Oaks Park and the Rose Garden.  Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

12-02  Berkeley Rose Garden's New Sign

Several years ago Friends of the Berkeley Rose Garden (FOBRG) began the process of replacing the dilapidated sign at the entry to the Rose Garden on Euclid Avenue. To help us along, FOBRG was awarded a mini-grant in 1998 for the sign replacement and council member Betty Olds provided much encouragement and support.

Helene Vilett, a local architect, Rose Garden neighbor and FOBRG volunteer developed a series of design solutions compatible with the recent changes to the Garden entrance and the surrounding landscape. Jeff Hunt, a set designer and another volunteer, further refined the design concept and built a model of and provided working drawings for the trellis and support structure. Since the existing sign was landmarked, there began a lengthy process to obtain design approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Jeff worked tirelessly with LPC's special subcommittee on the Rose Garden on design details and with City engineers on the structure of the trellis.

Thanks are due to local graphic designers and design/build contractors Bill Moore & Associates who donated the sign to the City of Berkeley. We are deeply grateful for this extraordinarily generous donation and for the work of Alastair Cumming, who guided the sign's design, supervised its manufacture and designed and engineered its installation. The trellis was built and installed by deSmidt Builders of Oakland, using salvaged Western red cedar.

Finally, there's a beautiful new sign that properly locates and announces our 65-year-old regional treasure. A celebration and dedication was held October 15 and now FOBRG's next task is to put in landscaping in the area underneath the sign and a couple of climbing roses tall enough to escape our hungry urban deer.

Berkeley Rose Garden Overview

The Berkeley Rose Garden is one of Berkeley’s best-loved attractions. Since its construction in 1937, it has been a destination for people from throughout the Bay Area. It is situated in a 3.6 acre park between Euclid and Glen Avenues. To the east is Codornices Park and the two parks are linked via a pedestrian tunnel under Euclid.

The Rose Garden nestles in a ravine formed by Codornices Creek which emerges from a culvert at the base of the garden. The steep site provides excellent views of the San Francisco bay and the Golden Gate. The southern portion of the park is covered with a dense woodland which includes native trees such as coast live oak and California bay. There are four tennis courts on the northern side of the rose beds.

Roses are planted in an amphitheater of six stone terraces. A massive rustic redwood pergola surmounts the amphitheater and provides support for the many beautiful climbing roses. Altogether there are approximately 1700 rose bushes at the garden.

The construction last year of the new entry and overlook on Euclid Avenue sparked a renewed interest in the park and its many activities. A group of Berkeley residents formed Friends of the Berkeley Rose Garden, an adopt-a-park members group of Berkeley Partners for Parks. Friends is dedicated to restoring and maintaining the historic features of the Rose Garden. To this end, we raise funds for special projects, we participate in the upkeep of the roses and other plantings as volunteers/assistants to garden personnel, and we monitor proposed changes to insure the high standards of design and architectural detail that the originators of the Garden envisioned.

Friends of the Berkeley Rose Garden is a recipient of a City of Berkeley PERS mini-grant in the amount of $3,500 to purchase roses and other plants for the new overlook and for plants for the hillside below the entry. Please call (510) 525-3005 if you would like to join in the excitement of this planting project or to find about other ways to help at the Berkeley Rose Garden.