Roses restored to bank behind Oak Hall as part of beautification

Published 12:34 am Friday, November 13, 2009

Back in its heyday, when people traveled for miles to stay in the Oak Hall Hotel, the steep bank behind the hotel was covered with roses. Long-time residents remember small pink roses as well as small white roses. In the continued effort to beautify Historic Downtown, Tryon Downtown Development Association (TDDA) is restoring the area to its former glory.

Local rose expert Paul Zimmerman was approached about the project and immediately agreed to use his expertise. Small towns across the United States all used to be unique. In this day of the ubiquitous strip mall/fast food/ box store blending of America, that uniqueness is blurring. Anything that restores a towns identity is, in my opinion, a good thing.

Having been in the area since 1993, Paul has developed a sense of the uniqueness of Tryon. Based on historical descriptions of the roses, his notion is that the small pink rose must have been Dorothy Perkins, a rose widely grown in the Southeast for years.

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He has chosen Super Dorothy, a repeat flowering version of Dorothy Perkins. In addition, he has selected a healthy variety of white rose that will complement the pink and be in keeping with what residents remember.

With an informal fundraising effort, enough money was raised to plant over 100 rose sets to complete the restoration.

Watch for the work and notice the improvement when you drive through historic downtown. Perhaps you, like Paul Zimmerman, will love to see just how versatile roses are and will be pleased with the transformation of natures chaos.

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