Smell the Roses (Before it’s too Late)

I know, I’ve been beaten to the punch. Chances are you’ve already heard about Avery Rose Garden’s new interactive map, which offers clickable icons detailing each individual rose bush, as well as tidbits of history that give depth to an already overwhelming amount of beauty one encounters while strolling through the gardens of Avery Park. 

While an exciting development deserving serious recognition as to how much time and effort it took to create, from old Corvallis Rose Society records and the Parks and Recreation department — map or no map — I encourage all Corvallisites to get out and see these beauties while many are still in bloom, and as some varieties are exiting peak season. 

With the luxury of living only a few miles from Avery Park, one of my favorite summertime traditions is taking a light jog to and from the rose gardens. There’s nothing better than settling my tired lungs with a nosedive into the varietal bushes spanning a spectrum of vibrant pinks, purples, reds, yellows, whites, and oranges. It’s a calming treasure hunt finding my favorite aromas week by week, and I’m always taken aback by the sheer enchantment that is rose-crawling awnings, park benches, and sky-scraping sequoia trees speckled between the east and west gardens.

Adrenaline pumping, I feel a peaceful sense of euphoria after a few snoutfuls of roses. Some say the benefits of smelling roses include heart rate reduction and anti-anxiety or depressant properties. Avery’s 12000 rose bushes, with 250 varieties, provide endless benefits and fun, while scouting for preferred aromas. So far my favorites include the soft lavender Violet’s Pride variety, the deep red Firefighter variety, and newly introduced to the park, the electric purple Twilight variety. Though hard to describe, each differs in intensity of smell, from the subtle to the overpowering, with hints of herbal and earthy flavors that only a smell doctor could describe. For me, the experience is enough — and what it does for my psyche, the reward.

Visit the gardens yourself, and don’t forget to explore with this new interactive map:

By Stevie Beisswanger