Celebrate Mother's Day at Russian River Rose Company
May is peak bloom time in Sonoma County, and nowhere is that more evident than at the Russian River Rose Company in Healdsburg. This perfumed paradise is celebrating the season with special events and activities that make for the perfect jaunt on Mother’s Day weekend.
Russian River Rose cultivates 650 rose varieties, with more than 2,000 individual plants that range from ancient Species roses to 21st Century hybrids. You’ll find tea roses dating from the 1800s, cluster-flowered Polyanthas, sweet-smelling Noisettes, and tiny miniature roses. You’ll also find shade-tolerant roses, tea roses, painted roses, Chinas and Bourbons, Old Europeans, Middle Easterns, and so many others — along with more than 100 varieties of irises.
Walking anywhere here is a study in beauty. That’s particularly true of the gorgeous Rose Allee, a series of eight 12-foot x 12-foot iron arches along a path leading through a vineyard and rose fields — and each arch is covered with a different “theme” of rambling roses.
There’s also a butterfly garden planted with flowers that attract the beautifully winged insects; the garden includes zinnia, cosmos, verbena, and milkweed. Butterflies seen here include Tiger Swallowtails, Red Admirals, Skippers, Monarch, and many more, and the flowers also attract birds and bees. And for gardeners the outdoor nursery, with its infinite variety of roses and other plants for purchase, is a major draw.
Russian River Rose doesn’t merely grow roses; it also uses a Prohibition-era copper still to distill their petals into rose oil — the basis for the company’s “Rose Embrace” Eau de Toilette. The company’s quality rose water, a by-product of the distillation process, is highly sought-after by chefs. You can order these products online.
Russian River Rose Company Events This May:
- May 13, Saturday, Prelude to Mother’s Day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Enjoy the garden’s fragrances and beauty with your family. $2 suggested donation; no pets or picnics.
- May 14, Sunday, Mother’s Day Open Garden, 10 a.m.-5 pm.: Bring your mother to the rose garden to stroll down the Rose Allee, breathe in the out-of-this-world fragrance of thousands of roses in bloom, and maybe even gift her with a rose plant she’ll treasure for years. All mothers will receive a small gift. Complimentary self-guided tour maps of the garden. No reservation needed; no pets or picnics.
- May 20-21, Saturday and Sunday, Deluxe Gourmet Perfume Rose Harvest Tours, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Participate in the making of genuine rose water and rose oil, while learning about the history of perfume and the rose fragrance in particular. Afterward, enjoy a High Tea, with rose-infused champagne and edible delicacies infused with roses and rose water (rose petal sandwiches, rose water sorbet, and much more). You’ll also experience a “scent-sampling” of Sillage de la Reine, a re-creation of a perfume used by Marie Antoinette, and enjoy a private viewing of antique perfume atomizers. Cost: $75/person. Tour limited to 18 participants each day. Reservations required (call 707-433-7455 or write to email@example.com).
- May 27-29, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, Memorial Weekend’s Tea & Memories in the Rose Garden, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Relax in the rose garden while enjoying a cup of freshly brewed tea. Place a personal message in memory of a loved one on the Memorial Wishing Tree. $2 suggested donation; no pets or picnics.
Russian River Rose Company, 1685 Magnolia Drive, Healdsburg 95448; 707-433-7455