PORTLAND - Portland's oldest rose garden will be brand new for the Peninsula Park centennial celebration this June.

Volunteers began planting more than 3,000 new roses onTuesday. The work will continue most of this week. The project is being completed with mostly private donations, such as $100,000 worth of roses and sweat equity from volunteers.

Helen Davalos, one of many volunteers from the Portland Rose Society, said the garden has been in poor health for years.

The new roses will be more disease-resistant and bring more fragrance to the garden then the previous 100 years.

Oregon State University Master Gardener Ann Gardner said the work is rewarding.

Lots of folks have memories, their parents were married here, they brought their children over the years, all strong feelings about this very special garden, she said.

Peninsula Park's garden is the city's original rose garden, first planted in 1913. The now, more famous International Rose Garden in Washington Park was planted in 1917.

The volunteer project is still in need of more than 200 yards of mulch. If you would like to contribute, please contact:

One fun planting tip I learned today from a master gardener is to put a banana in the hole underneath the rose bush the next time you plant. Apparently roses like potassium.

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