SYRACUSE, NY (NCC News) – Rose day at the E.M. Mills Rose Garden in Thornden Park brought in dozens of visitors despite the rain. With the flowers known to peak in June, the event is held annually during the month.
Sonia Kraugh, a volunteer at the garden, said the event reaches beyond state lines.
“People from out of state come. I asked them how they found us, and they just look up gardens and we’re among the 10 best in the region, and second in the country,” said Kraugh.
With over 3,000 flowers and 300 different types of roses planted, the event takes several months of meticulous planning and preparation. Lee Ginenthal, another volunteer with the rose garden, said the hard work is all worth it in the end.
“You know, it just makes me feel good. It makes all that labor on our hands and knees worth it. As we’re working, folks will come by and they’ll thank us for what we’re doing. It truly is an amazing experience,” Ginenthal said.
Ginenthal is no stranger to rose gardens, with his interest beginning in planting four decades ago. Now he’s the proud owner of a rose nursery in Ithaca, and said these gardens are not just for show, but also for a place of healing.
“People come here, not only just to smell the roses and see the beauty, but to find a retreat from life as it is these days. They are both a safe haven and an escape,” Ginenthal said.
Ginenthal and Kraugh both say when it comes to visitors, they wouldn’t want it any other way.
Regardless of why people visit the garden, or why they volunteer at the garden, many will always turn out yearly to wake up and smell the roses.