But the Missus knew. My last post was on our trip mid-June up to the the Gold Country; one reason we went up to the northern foothills was to re-visit the gardens at the Empire Mine State Park.
On our prior trips we had focused on the mine and the museum, on our way out we had cursorily strolled the gardens before leaving. This time, we went back to see the gardens of heritage roses.
We spent a very pleasant night at The Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley, a fine old place built in the 19th century with rooms named for long-gone presidents and celebrities such as Mark Twain, who had stayed there.
It was pretty hot, even up in the hills, so I got up early that first morning and walked the dogs before the heat and traffic got bad, then we got out to the state park shortly before they opened. We have to find a shady spot to warehouse the dogs. I hate this, but we can’t leave them at the hotel, so we leave them with water and roll the windows down so they get some air.
We found a huge tree in the parking lot, completely shaded, so we were all set. And then made our third very-pleasant discovery about Empire Mine State Park: it’s dog friendly. We could take Ernie and Edie with us! So we did.
Man, it was hot! But they were with us, which really helps, as it means they aren’t cooped up in the mobile den, tormented by all those interesting sights, smells, and sounds outside their reach. Plus, after we’re done touring the place, they — are already exercised!
Heritage roses are older varieties, more closely related to wild roses; so this is what roses looked like before the species became widely hybridized. One of the nice things about these gardens, which were built in the 19th century, is that they have preserved many of these original rose stocks. The arbor above features Cecile Bruner roses, a climbing variety.
The rose above is the Duchess of Richmond. I like how the old roses have so many more petals. Maybe they don’t have “perfect” petals the way newer strains do, but I like how raggedly they are.
This is a close up of the Cecile Bruner roses.
We don’t remember which variety this one is, but I like how shiny the leaves are.
We think this is a Fantin La Tour rose — but don’t quote us. (It was two weeks ago!)
More of the Fantin La Tour patch. They did a nice job with the paved paths, as you go from terrace to terrace.
Quite the tower, eh? These are foxgloves.
And some day lilies.
This is one wing of the mine owner’s cottage — the rose gardens are behind this home.
This time we took a guided tour of the park, which was fun. We enjoyed the stories of the men who built and ran the mines, including the mine director who built the mansion that once stood above these ruins. Yup, the place burned — it sounds like it as quite a house, too.
Here’s one last shot of the mine buildings — I liked the coppery red color of the roofs in the afternoon sun. The old abandoned equipment is cool, too. Think of these ore cars going so far down the rails they were at the same elevation as the ocean floor!