For lovers of roses the place to go is the Rose Garden at Exposition Park. Interestingly the roses (about 200 varieties and approx. 20.000 rosebushes) are presented like a collection, nicely divided into individual plots, like stamps in a collector’s album. The garden itself is on the smallish side with just 7 acres (28.000 qm), but it is so well laid out that it never appears cramped or overcrowded. With lovingly manicured lawns, a fountain and several buildings as backdrops it is also a popular venue for weddings and other festivities.
Of course this would not be Los Angeles if such a lovely piece of real estate had not been eyed for “better uses” in the past. In 1986 the garden was threatened to be dug up to make room for an underground parking garage. This plan led to loud protests. My favorite opinion comes from the Los Angeles Times of that year with this memorable editorial:
“There are times when the leaders of Los Angeles seem perversely intent on living up to the image that many outsiders have of them—insensitive and uncouth rabbits who would, say, dig up a garden to put in a parking lot.”
Whatever one might think about the Los Angels Times today, way back then they got it right and they certainly did not mince their words. This was not the only, but the last threat to the Rose Garden. In order to protect it, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
And now for some roses. Just imagine the scent hanging over the garden and enjoy.