The Hardy Rosarians want people to know that roses can grow well in this area, and they're creating a garden to prove it.
"Roses get such a bad reputation here in South Dakota, when really there are so many varieties that do fine over winter," said Lori Unterseher, member of Hardy Rosarians of South Dakota Inc.
Members of the group and other volunteers are planting a rose garden at Aberdeen's Kuhnert Arboretum. Unterseher said work on the project began Thursday with placement marking. Planting of about 120 rose plants will begin Saturday. Roses being planted on Saturday will have orange, yellow, pink and red blooms.
The public is encouraged to grab a pair of gloves and a spade and come to the arboretum to help with the planting beginning at 7:30 a.m., she said. About 10 people have planned to help, but more are welcome.
"We really want it to be a regional and community project for the public to get involved with," she said.
The garden will feature about 32 varieties. From the garden, the public will be able to see the varieties that grow well in this area, she said.
The garden will serve the community in many ways, said Marilyn Maloney, member of Hardy Rosarians. It will help enhance Aberdeen and serve as an educational tool for the public, she said.
"We are doing experimentation on how deep we need to plant grafted roses for them to survive the winter," she said. "We will be experimenting with depths of 3 to 6 inches."
Grafted roses are a type of rose in which a very small piece of a rose variety is removed and attached to a root system from another rose.
After the main planting, work on the project will continue throughout the summer. The rose garden will be worked on from 7:30 to 11 a.m. the first and third Saturdays every month this summer, Maloney said.
Toward the end of the summer, there will be roses for the public to see, Unterseher said.
Those interested in volunteering should contact Aberdeen City Forester Aaron Kiesz at 605-626-7015.
In October, Maloney teamed up with Unterseher to further develop her idea for a rose garden in Aberdeen. With the garden being a community project, Aberdeen's Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department supplied the space at Kuhnert Arboretum, Maloney said.
The volunteers for the project wanted to have a solid entity with a business purpose, so the Hardy Rosarians of South Dakota Inc. was developed, she said. The project is the result of a cooperative effort between Hardy Rosarians of South Dakota and the city of Aberdeen.
The Hardy Rosarians of South Dakota Inc. is the first and only nonprofit group dedicated to the cultivation, education on and enjoyment of roses on the Northern Plains, Unterseher said. For information or to join, call Unterseher at 605-290-3797.