The Wells Fargo Rose Garden

If you’ve visited the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden between spring and fall, you were first greeted by the dynamic, colorful Wells Fargo Rose Garden. We carefully design and organically maintain this garden to challenge the definition of traditional rose gardens—you’ll find more than roses here!

As the first impression that guests see when they walk from the parking lot to the main entrance, the Wells Fargo Rose Garden must look inviting and interesting all season long. To accomplish this, we have turned to incorporating other flowering plants among the rose beds, including colorful Verbena, Zinnia, Lilium and more. This variation in planting not only complements the roses with height and dimension, but it also attracts beneficial insects throughout the season.

The Wells Fargo Rose Garden is carefully maintained using only organic fertilizers and organic pesticides as needed. We also use integrated pest management methods to increase the overall health of the plants while protecting and retaining beneficial pollinators.

The next time you visit the Botanical Garden, take your time as you arrive to walk between the beds of this uniquely vibrant garden. Take in the plant diversity, view some of our favorite roses for Iowa and consider challenging the design potential that lies within your own garden.

We’ve been busy pruning our roses this spring! Here are ten tips for keeping your roses healthy and blooming:

  1. Prune in mid-March to early April, or just whenever you see buds start to swell on the stems.
  2. Use sharp bypass pruners. You may need loppers if you have old, thick branches.
  3. Clean pruners with a bleach or alcohol solution between rose shrubs to avoid spreading disease.
  4. Start with the three D’s:
    • Dead stems.
    • Diseased stems. These will have discolored areas on them (cankers).
    • Dinky stems, meaning stems that are smaller than your pinky. The exception is if all of your branches are this size and are proportional.
  5. Look for crossing branches that interfere with one another or rub together.
  6. You want the rose to have a vase shape and be empty in the middle. Remove any branches that are growing in toward the center.
  7. Prune to keep buds that will grow out and away from the center. Where a bud is situated on a stem is the direction it will grow.
  8. If your rose is less than three years old, do minimal pruning.
  9. Never remove more than one-third of the plant.
  10. Wait to prune one-time blooming roses and climbing roses until they have bloomed.