The focal point of the Tarter Old Rose Collection is a mortared brick circle with roses planted around a sundial pad in the center. Over the years, the brickwork has deteriorated and needs to be restored and stabilized so that it will last. MSPC, working in concert with the City of Salem, has found a contractor to do the brick work.
The Tarter Collection is perhaps the finest collection of Old Roses on public property in the Pacific Northwest. “Old Roses” are those that were available to the trade prior to 1867. Mae Tarter created this collection by taking cuttings from Old Roses at nearby homesteads and other historic sites. She donated her collection to the City of Salem and, in 1960, landscape architects Lord & Schryver designed the installation in Bush’s Pasture Park.
Now, 60 years after the Tarter Collection was installed in the Park, some restoration work is required. MSPC and the City have already done significant work in the rose garden. It is time to turn to the Tarter Old Rose Collection. The restoration work includes removing the existing bricks, installing a concrete base, then reinstalling the bricks exactly in their original pattern. Bricks that are too worn to be reused will be replaced with historic bricks provided by the City of Salem. A related project includes installing three benches on new brick pads. The sundial itself, broken off in the 1960s, will be replaced at a later time.
The Municipal Rose Garden is one of the Park’s most popular features, especially in June at the height of the bloom season. Restoring the focal point and reconfiguring the benches will give new life to this once-elegant part of the garden and ensure that it enchants visitors for years to come.
For more information about this project and how you can support it, please email MSPC or call MSPC Board President Christine Chute at 503-851-0322.