The Vicksburg Rose Garden is getting a makeover

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The Historical Vicksburg Rose garden, located on Monroe Street next to the Hebe Fountain, is being remodeled and replanted.

There was a freeze in 2021 that forced the city to rework the sewer system near the garden and they had to block the street off for months. After the freeze, there was underground work that needed to be tended to. As a result, the rose garden was put on the back burner.  According to the community advocate, Marilyn Terry, the garden hasn’t been attended to in at least 2 years. “It is time to redo it again,” said Terry.

The Rose Garden today. Photo by Marilyn Terry.
The Rose Garden today. Photo by Marilyn Terry.

The rose garden has been around since the early 1960s, according to Terry. It was first started by a men’s gardens club. “They planted a lot of hybrid roses that require a lot of maintenance. We’re trying to reduce that maintenance by using landscape roses that use less chemicals,” explained Terry. “They will bloom bigger and fuller and require less fertilizer.”

The last time the garden was redone was 18 years ago when Jeff Richardson became the landscape designer, under the Lawrence Lyons Administration. They refurbished the entire rose garden, and now the time has come to give it a makeover again.

When asked to elaborate on how she became associated with this project, Terry responded, “I take my mother around town a lot. She’s 92 years old. We ride around the city because of the pandemic; we can’t really go anywhere. The rose garden has been in disrepair for too long. My father has two purple hearts from being in WWII. My mom asked that I ask the mayor if we could fix the rose garden and so he assigned it to me.” Terry is also involved in the renovation of the Vicksburg animal shelter.

The Rose Garden. By Janie Fortenberry.
The Rose Garden. By Janie Fortenberry.

Rick Daughtry, landscape manager of the new rose garden for the city, is also the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Vicksburg.  “We’ve also gotten expert opinions from the local nurseries and the Garden Center,” Terry continued. “After the design for the new garden is complete, the city is going to plant the new roses.”

“We have three bird boxes as well as two monuments of two brothers that were lost in WWI. There is also a monument dedicated to people who died in Korea and Vietnam. The monuments need to be cleaned and maintained individually. The new garden is going to be really attractive and pretty and will be on the walking tour in Vicksburg.” Terry added.

This project has a special place in Terry’s heart because her mother, Mary Frances, has a sentimental attachment to it. Terry’s father, Joseph Stanford, is a decorated combat-wounded veteran “That park is special to my mother because there are bricks and memories of those who were wounded in the war and there is a brick of my father there.”

The bricks in the Rose Garden. Photo by Marilyn Terry.
The bricks in the Rose Garden. Photo by Marilyn Terry.

“I think the rose garden will be complete within the next 2-3 weeks,” concluded Terry.

The project will be ready around spring and open to the citizens and tourists of Vicksburg for enjoyment and serve as a memorial of those who gave their lives fighting for our country.