The American Rose Center

Lola MagazineCommunity, Lola Shreveport

Each morning as I pull out of my driveway in South Shreveport to make the 20 minute drive to the American Rose Center, I think about how blessed I am. I wonder how it’s possible that only three short years ago I had no idea what was blooming in this beautiful garden.

Have you ever wondered why Shreveport is known for roses? I know why. This fantastic story comes to life within the gates of the American Rose Center.

In 1974, the American Rose Society, a national non-profit, educational organization for rose growers, was looking for a new home for its headquarters where they could create a garden of their own to showcase the beloved rose. A core group of believers from Shreveport – Ida Hayden, Nell Kilpatrick, Virginia Shehee, O. Delton Harrison among others, thought our city was the perfect choice. With support from leading members of our community, and a donation of 118 acres from the Thigpen and Herold families, the American Rose Society selected Shreveport, Louisiana, as their new national headquarters. In celebration of this monumental move to Louisiana, the American Rose Society named a beautiful coral grandiflora rose “Shreveport.”

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

When the American Rose Society created this garden, they invested in our community and our families. The American Rose Center is a quiet refuge from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A place where families can escape computers and TV marathons. Our gardens are alive, breathing and ever changing. When the roses are in bloom, the colors and fragrances are delightful. When the roses aren’t blooming, you will find a nature retreat with sunshine peeking through the towering pines, chirping birds, long walking paths and benches to enjoy an occasional rest. Travelers from across the U.S. plan their vacations down Interstate 20 just to stop in to smell our roses and meet the American Rose Society’s staff.

You may have attended our garden fundraiser and lights display “Christmas in Roseland,” but do you know we also provide children’s rose-science field-trips, private VIP Experience Tours through the garden, quarterly educational seminars, Children’s Train Days in the Garden, an Easter Egg Hunt and Lady Bug Release and we have wedding/special event facilities? The center is home to national rose trials for amateur rose hybridizers, hybridizers of miniature roses and a display garden for Earth-Kind™ Rose Trials roses. We are the International Cultivar Registration Authority for Roses, have more than 11,500 members, create American Rose magazine, have 230+ local rose societies across the US, offer national, regional and district rose shows, provide rose education to the public and fund rose research projects at top universities around the country.

I am very fortunate to spend my work days within the gates of the American Rose Center as Executive Director of the national American Rose Society. A glance out the window or a stroll among the roses and tall pines when the hours at my desk get long is a treasure to me. I now understand why looking at the world through rose-colored glasses is a wonderful thing!
La Vie En Rose,
Laura Seabaugh
Executive Director, American Rose Society