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  • 4 May 2024
  • 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Accokeek, MD

Join The Potomac Rose Society on Saturday May 4, RAIN OR SHINE, between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, as  we kick off The PRS TRIPLE CROWN of visits to three stunning local gardens  during the month of May. As luck would have it, horse racing’s Triple Crown will begin on May 4 at 6:57 PM with the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby. Often referred to as The Run For The Roses, a lush blanket of 554 red roses has been awarded to the Kentucky Derby winner each year since 1883. What better reason to throw a garden party!

To celebrate the beginning of the rose season and our very own Triple Crown, THE PRS RUN FOR THE ROSES will begin at the beautiful Southern Maryland garden of Rose and Jon Gazarek, where they garden on ⅙ of an acre. They grow 170 different roses amongst companion plantings including native plants, espaliered fruit trees, and a garden designed to provide all-season interest. Almost every tree has a rose trained to climb it, and clematis are now being planted to extend seasonal interest. The organic garden is free from synthetic chemicals and pesticides and strives to be peat-free by instead using pine fines. Hardscaping consists mostly of Pennsylvania fieldstone and reclaimed clay bricks from Alexandria, Virginia. 

The garden is in the Coastal Plain eco-region near the Potomac River in the Chesapeake Bay watershed where blackspot is a major issue, so most of the roses were selected precisely for resistance to black spot. The garden is a certified Monarch Waystation, a National Wildlife Foundation Certified Wildlife Habitat and is Bay-Wise Certified by the University of Maryland Master Gardener Program. Both Rose and Jon are Master Gardeners and Consulting Rosarians. We also encourage you to follow them on Instagram at @rosegazarek and @dmvgardener. 

Gorgeous blankets made from hundreds of red roses, identical to the one in the photo below, have been awarded to Derby winners for the last 141 years.  In honor of this rosy tradition, feel free to don your best Derby hat to the party.  Prizes will be awarded for best hats and best Derby style, so feel free to let your inner fashionista shine!  Light refreshments will be served. Registration will remain open through April 30 and directions will be provided to registrants in the days leading up to the event.

Animal Kingdom, ridden by John Velazquez, had never raced on dirt before winning the 2011 Kentucky Derby. The colt won by 2 1/2 lengths and was a 20:1 long shot.

ARS Consulting Rosarians will earn one credit toward recertification for attending this open garden event.

We look forward to seeing you all at a PRS TRIPLE CROWN OPEN GARDEN EVENT in May.  This Trifecta of garden visits will provide us with an opportunity to get to know fellow rose lovers and to celebrate earth friendly roses and gardens.