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Rose Garden

The Piedmont Recreation Department's Walking on Wednesday group had to pull their umbrellas out of summer storage last Wednesday. They thought they were finished with the rain portion of their "we walk rain or shine? mantra, but that was not the case. However, the rain was only a spring shower, not like a couple of the "atmospheric river" storms the walkers experienced during the winter, and it didn't deter 11 walkers from gathering at the Exedra Wednesday morning.

With an interest in seeing flowers blooming in the city, they chose the Morcom Rose Garden as their destination last week with thousands of roses to enjoy. Getting to the Rose Garden was a straightforward walk. down Magnolia Avenue to Wildwood, across Grand Avenue to Jean Street to the park's entrance. Whiel walking on Magnolia, they observed all the liquidambar trees marked with blue ribbons for removal, largely due to invasive roots damaging the sidewalks. Many of the walkers ex-pressed concern over the impact that removing so many trees would have on the aesthetics and appearance of the street.

As they entered the park, Priscilla Wanerus wanted to share a secret side attraction of the gar- den. Up a short set of stairs at the left of the entrance is a cyclone fence with a neighbor's chicken coop and a hens. The walkers were impressed by the size of the rose garden and its large variety. While there, they met Royal Krieger, the garden's rosarian and a former Piedmont resident. He explained that the Rose Garden was constructed in 1932 as a project of the Works Progress Administration, and was named in honor of a former Oakland mayor, Fred N. Morcom. The garden has thou- sands of roses, many walkways, a reflecting pool, and a cascading fountain.

Royal also told the group about the Peace Rose, a hybrid tea rose and one of the most popular roses in the world. It was developed by the French rose breed- er in the 1930s who, when he saw that war with Germany was inevitable, sent cuttings to friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany, and to the United States on the very last flight before the German invasion of France. In the U.S. the rose was successfully grown and kept safe during the war. The rose was officially named "Peace" on day


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