Bradley Rosaceous Collection
This five acre (two hectare) garden showcases 874 plants representing 439 taxa (kinds), 334 species, 80 genera, and 34 families. Eighty-three percent of the plants in the garden are members of the rose family (Rosaceae). Taken together, the collections provide rich learning opportunities and seasonal interest.
In June 2011, the Arboretum installed and dedicated a new rose arbor in the Bradley Rosaceous Collection. The arbor honors Elizabeth Cabot Sluder, a longtime friend and supporter of the Arboretum and daughter of the collection’s benefactor and namesake, Eleanor Cabot Bradley. The installation of the arbor capped off a four-year renovation of the collection and its garden landscape, a collaboration between Arboretum staff and landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy. With a graceful design inspired by Messervy and developed by metal artist Peter Andruchow and his company WovenSteel, the arbor supports new accessions of Rosa ‘New Dawn’ and R. ‘Sombreuil’.
- The Prunus (cherry) promenade, along the eastern end of the garden, is in peak bloom from late April to mid May.
- Amelanchier nantucketensis (Nantucket juneberry or shadbush) is one of many threatened plants grown by the Arboretum. Cream-colored flowers inconspicuously jewel the banks of Dawson Pond from May to early June.
- Species and cultivar roses grace the beds and arbor of the rose roundabout. Sit on the Bradley Bench above the western end of the garden for a bird’s-eye view.
- Sorbus yuana and Malus baccata are two of many outstanding specimens from the 1980 Sino-American Botanical Expedition growing in the garden. [pdf]
- The North American native Hibiscus moscheutos ssp. palustris (swamp mallow), around Dawson Pond feature large pink flowers between July and September. [pdf]
The Bradley Rosaceous Collection is located at the intersection of Meadow Road, Bussey Hill Road, and Forest Hills Road. Look for a metal arbor marking the entrance on Meadow Road.
The Bradley Rosaceous Collection consists of open grass lawns and grass paths between large planting beds. It is not wheelchair accessible. There are three ponds in the Bradley Rosaceous Collection. Dawson Pond has a stone ramp that allows visitors to safely observe the pond while protecting its edges from erosion; please use caution.
Map tables at Forest Hills Gate and Dawson Pond provide Arboretum wayfinding information.
How long should I explore?
Plan to spend from twenty minutes to one hour exploring this five acre collection.
Plan your visit to the Arboretum.
- Shaw, J. 1983. Gardening with Species Roses. Arnoldia 43(3): 3-16. [pdf]
- Whitacre, B. 2015. Filing a Missing Rose Claim: Jackson Dawson and the Arnold Rose. Arnoldia 73(1): 17-27. [pdf]
Search for related articles in Arnoldia, the magazine of the Arnold Arboretum.
- Schneider, S. A Garden Reimagined: Renovations Underway in the Bradley Rosaceous Collection. Silva, Spring 2010: 5-6. [pdf]
- Read more about rose arbor metal artist Peter Andruchow on Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio’s website.
- Learn more about roses from the American Rose Society.
- Visit the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, the residence of the late Eleanor Cabot Bradley; benefactor of the Bradley Rosaceous Collection.