Freedom Gardens

Open Garden Days

Sundays in June

2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 June 2024

10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

19 June 2024

Thank you to everyone who visited on Father’s Day last Sunday.  It seemed like a hot day to us, but a visitor from North Carolina assured us that it was quite comfortable, so we went with that.  In addition to North Carolina, it was great to welcome rose lovers from Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware as well as from throughout Ohio. And a big thank you to John and Marianne for volunteering as Welcome Ambassadors and organizing the parking!

Most remarked-upon roses included Cymbeline, Teasing Georgia, Piano, Meine Rose, Ring of Fire, Gruaud La Rose, Simon Robinson, Clothilde Soupert, Sourire de Orchidee, Florentina, Georges de Cadonel, Porcelaine de Chine, Mango Veranda, Garden Delight, Golden Eye, and Susan Schneider.

This week the front yard floribundas, most of which are recent disease-proof Kordes introductions in every possible color, will be at their peak.  There will be more David Austin English roses in bloom this week than there have been so far this year. Some climbers are finished but others are still going strong, or just coming on. The miniatures are blooming well, but hybrid teas will not be at their best until the end of the month.  Therese Bugnet is starting her second cycle of bloom, while other rugosas are still full of bloom in their first.

Question of the Week
Q: Do you have snakes?
A: Yes, but they are not poisonous, not large, and not in any way interested in humans.

Several of you have phoned or emailed to ask what is the least-busy time to visit.  This can vary from week-to-week, and is often influenced by weather predictions (more than actual weather).  But, in general, the busiest time is between 10 and 1, and the least-busy time at the end of the day between 3 and 5.

Whichever time you decide to visit, we look forward to welcoming you.

When you pull into our driveway please keep going until you meet Rick, our Welcome Ambassador (the friendly man in the Hawaiian shirt).  He will show you where to park and get you off to a great start on your visit.

Everyone is invited to Freedom Gardens' 27th Annual Open Gardens, Sundays 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 June, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, at the homestead of Susan and Peter Schneider, 6193 Vair Road, Freedom Township, Portage County, Ohio.

Our collection of over 1300 different roses features newer and hard-to-find hybrid teas, floribundas, climbers and shrubs from the European nurseries, and heritage roses imported from Andre Eve in France,  Peter Beales in England, and Martin Weingart, the nurseryman near the Sangerhausen Rosarium in Germany. Many of these roses cannot be seen anywhere else between Europe and California.

All of our roses are grown without winter protection, which provides an excellent opportaunity to see exactly which varieties are winter hardy in northern Ohio.

We grow nearly complete collections of Paul Jerabek's Ohio-bred creations and the Canadian Explorer roses, and have more than 110 different cultivars of David Austin's English roses. Rudolph Geschwind was the greatest rose hybridizer ever produced by the Austro-Hungarian empire, and we have a lot of his roses too. If you want to see the new disease-proof and often fragrant roses from Germany, we grow the full range here. We've rescued dozens of heirloom roses from the much lamented and now destroyed Gardens of Roses of Legend and Romance at Secrest Arboretum in Wooster, Ohio. Freedom Gardens now has what may be America's largest collection of hybrid perpetuals, the voluptuous, fragrant roses which defined the Victorian era. Our rose garden has been featured in Horticulture and Ohio magazines, and its story is told in Peter Schneider's most recent book, Right Rose, Right Place, which Peter will of course be happy to sign during your visit.

We also have a growing collection of noteworthy trees (including mature specimens of Acer maximowiczii and Rehder wingnut), an orchard, lily ponds, vegetables and berries grown the No Dig way, a new hosta garden (please direct all hosta questions to Susan!), many other plants and a multitude of song birds, frogs, dragonflies and newts situated on a bucolic eight-acre setting.

An interesting selection of winter-hardy potted roses, all propagated at Freedom Gardens, will be offered for sale. Regular visitors know that we always have a selection of highly sought-after roses not listed on the webpage, as well as specials offered only to in-person visitors.  We continue to offer a selection of rare and choice lilacs propagated from our collection of nearly 100 correctly named cultivars.

We'll be open rain or shine (no rain dates). Children and picnickers are welcome. There will be a portable toilet on site. Please do not smoke in our garden. There is no admission charge and no need to make a reservation.

We look forward to welcoming lots of rose friends every Sunday in June!

The map below is more useful than these things used to be, but still not perfect.  Main thing: from State Route 88 take King Road south until it ends at Vair Road. Turn left, and we are 1000' (and fourth driveway) on your left.

[There is indeed a "Ravenna Arsenal Street" but we as civilians have no access to it.]

Important note:  These are the only days on which our garden is open without an appointment.