Vicksburg spruces up its Memorial Rose Garden

February 19, 2022 GMT

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — Crews are in the process of restoring Vicksburg’s Memorial Rose Garden.

The garden is home to roses and other flowering plants, monuments honoring the city’s war dead and has hosted ceremonies on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, The Vicksburg Post reported.

However, it fell into disrepair in recent years.

This month, employees of the city’s parks and recreation department began the process of restoring it. Officials hope to begin putting in new plants soon.

“We took everything out of the Rose Garden; all the roses, all the irises; redid the beds,” Parks, Recreation and Landscaping Director Rick Daughtry said, adding workers have been pressure-washing the park’s sidewalk.

The flowers removed from the garden will be replaced by roses, azaleas and other flowers, said Libby Beard of the Flower Center.

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“We’re doing Encore azaleas,” she said. “They actually bloom three times a year in the spring, summer and fall into the winter and they keep their foliage all winter. There will be drift roses — those are a low-maintenance rose; they only get 2 feet tall.”

With fertilizer and a little pruning occasionally, they’ll stay pretty all the time except during the winter, experts said.

Lantana, a flowering plant that blooms in spring and summer, will replace the azaleas that were previously in the garden. “The butterflies love that, and the hummingbirds,” Beard said.

“With the azaleas, there will be some foliage in the winter,” she said, adding that because the encore azaleas bloom three times a year “it will give the garden something (for people) to look at almost year-round. And most of it is all pretty much low maintenance so hopefully, it will be a whole lot easier to keep it looking nice.”

The Vicksburg Memorial Rose Garden began as a small park to locate a monument to honor Louisiana soldiers who died in the siege of Vicksburg during the Civil War.

A committee of local businessmen and architect William Stanton approached the mayor and aldermen about giving up a square of Monroe Street for the monument and other possible future monuments, the Vicksburg newspaper reported.

The monument was dedicated June 11, 1887. In 1919, United Daughters of the Confederacy promoted the addition of a memorial “to our brave soldiers and sailors who gave up their lives in the recent war (World War I).”