Reading the labels in this rose garden is like seeing an exhibition of Old Masters.

Containing rare and heirloom varieties from France, Belgium, Holland, China and the USA, a fine heritage rose garden at the Staten Island Botanical Garden is just a short trip from Manhattan on the ferry and then take the S40 bus to Snug Harbor.

A few select roses were in bloom when I visited in June and it was just a treat to read the labels, dates and countries of origin of the roses in this collection. Some of the varieties present were: Sir Thomas Lipton, La Ville de Bruxelles, Rosa rugosa alba, Rosa chinensis viridiflora (the green rose), Hansa, Comtesse de Murinais, Louis Philippe, Perle d’Or and Mignonette.

Once you’ve immersed yourself in the history and geography of these roses venture further into the the Botanical Garden to discover amongst other delights, colourful perennials and a formal Tuscan garden.

The Botanical garden grounds are open Monday through Sunday from dawn to dusk.