The Conservancy and the City of Salem are working together to rehabilitate the center focal point in the Tarter Old Rose Collection. The focal point consists of a brick circle divided by four brick pathways. The area between each of the pathways is currently planted with red roses.
Both the brickwork and the roses need restoration. The brickwork is dangerously uneven and unsightly. It needs to be stabilized and reset on concrete to ensure that it lasts. The roses are near the end of their healthy life cycle and should be replaced with newer disease-resistant varieties. In addition, we will be resetting two benches near the focal point on new brick pads and adding a third bench to improve sightlines in this part of the garden.
In addition to its aesthetic value, the focal point is important as a feature designed by Lord & Schryver Landscape Architects. The Salem Historic Landmarks Commission has approved the work as consistent with the requirements of the historic district and its historic significance. Work on the bricks will start in the fall of 2021 when the existing roses are removed. Riverdale Landscape Construction, a local firm with experience in Lord & Schryver brickwork, will do the masonry work. In the early spring 2022, the Conservancy will plant the new roses. In May or June 2022, when the roses are at the height of bloom, we will celebrate the restoration of this once-elegant feature of the Municipal Rose Garden.