Bethlehem Rose Garden Restoration

  Mount Airy Neighborhood Association (MANA) is very grateful to  Lehigh County for our award of $5000 for improvements to the historic 1931 Rose Garden, a tourism draw from its inception and badly in need of replanting and updating (picture). Hundreds of volunteers worked throughout the summer of 2020 to weed and clean-up the park for a spring, 2021 restoration.

Thanks to the grant we were able to order over five plants of 12 different varieties of roses (see attached rose list), including twelve President Herbert Hoover, one of the original roses in the garden. These new plants come from nurseries that specialize in crossbreeding antique and modern roses that require minimal care and superior pest tolerance. Some are classified as “Earth-kind” roses.
Orders were also placed for four different kinds of perennials and native species plants. These perennials complement the roses by enriching the soil, attracting cross-pollination and insects. Four beds were set aside in the design for soil rejuvenation and will be planted with red clover.

We have begun an effort to have the 1931 Rose Garden classified as an historic landmark. It should be noted that Stephen Scaniello, our consultant and current rosarian of the NYC Botanical Gardens, passed up a request to redesign the White House Rose Garden, but accepted to do Bethlehem’s historic garden. Stephen designed the plan for the eight center rectangles of the garden. This plan will be implemented in the spring and summer of 2021.

Pam Ruch a Lehigh Valley designer and curator of the BFBL nurture garden designed the plan for the surrounding beds. The beds include native species plants, perennials and annuals that will ensure colors throughout the summer and into the fall.


Historic 1931 architectural landscape design




Basic template layout of eight center squares (2020 design by Stephen Scaniello)




Layout of North East Quadrant (template for all quadrants, surrounding the center beds. (2020 Design by Pam Ruch)