Rose garden at Fair Lane, the Fords’ Michigan estate.
Clara Bryant Ford, the wife of Henry Ford for 59 years, had a passion and love for roses. Fair Lane, the 1,300 acre Michigan estate of the Fords had more than 350 varieties of roses and 10,000 rose plants in their five acre garden.
The historic rose garden at the Ford’s winter estate features antique and heirloom roses of the 1920s era, adapted to the southwest Florida climate. Mrs. Ford’s favorites were tea roses in shades of yellow and white. Alongside these other soft pastel colors of pink and peach have been added as accents. The rose garden is designed to be viewed and enjoyed from the front porch of their estate, or by a short stroll along the path leading to the Edison Ford Friendship Gate.
The rose varieties are on Fortuniana Rootstock and are available through the Edison Ford Garden Shoppe located at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. Call Edison Ford Historic Garden Manager, Steve Hottovy at 239-334-7419 to order roses.
The August Edison Ford Garden Talk, “Growing Roses in Southwest Florida” will be held on Saturday, August 10 at 9:00 a.m. Hottovy will lead a tour of the Edison Ford Rose Collection and offer tips on planting, pruning and general care of roses. More information will follow on this blog.
Funding for the Clara Ford Rose Garden was provided by Peggy Campbell, great niece of Clara Bryant Ford. Garden materials provided by Forestry Resources, Inc. and Nelson’s Florida Roses.
Rose varieties in the Clara Ford Rose Garden include: Sunfare, Sunsprite, Belinda’s Dream, St. Patrick, Nightingale, Midas Touch, Flo Nelson, Mellow Yelloe, September Mourn, White Success, White Christmas, Love & Peace, Marilyn Monroe
Left to right: Steve Hottovy, Historic Garden Manager; Sass Edwards, Board Chair; Ann and Tom Smoot, Charles Edison Fund; Bern Davis, Edison Ford Patron; Chris Pendleton, Edison Ford CEO