Rose Society tends to library garden as its own

Join the Kitsap County Rose Society on the second Monday of the month. Meetings start at 6:30 p.m. at the fire station on Old Military Road in Bremerton.

Sometimes it is good to just stop and smell the roses.


Just outside of the Silverdale Library, an entire garden of roses overflows with beautiful blooms just waiting for passerby to stop and take a sniff.

Even with a quick walk past, one will note the fragrance wafting in the air.

The garden didn’t just pop out of the ground like a magical fairytale that might be found just inside the library. It came to be from the Kitsap County Rose Society gardeners who started it in 1999.

“You have to have a thing for roses,” said Ed Evans, a member of the society. “We don’t call it work.”

Evans has 135 roses in his own yard, which makes him somewhat of an expert to lead the volunteer crew at the library. As chairman, he makes sure that there are volunteers on site at least a few times a week.

Two to three hours a few times a week, volunteers tend to the 17 bushes on site to make sure the garden looks kept. It’s their hope that when the library’s location moves that the roses go, too. Each rose bush has been donated to the library by the society.

On clean-up day, the volunteers are sure to clip a bouquet to bring in to the library staff, one of their favorite parts of tending to the garden.

“The roses brighten our day and beautify our library,” said Silverdale Library Branch Manager Melody Sky Eisler. “Often when the volunteers are tending to the roses they will kindly bring in bouquets to display in the library to brighten the staff and patrons’ days. Their kindness and hard work mean so much to us and their volunteerism at the library really illustrates the wonderful ways that libraries bring the community together.”

Not only does it delight the senses to take a whiff of the floral scent, but it brings great joy to the ones who planted the roses there.

“They’re so beautiful and inspiring, how could you not want to come see them?” asked Madeline West, a member of the society.

Some of the roses would reach the rooftop if the members weren’t so on top of clipping them, Evans noted. One rose bush, named Playboy, also dominates a corner of the garden, a bush that most members like to laugh about.

For some members, it is as much about the other gardeners as it is about creating a free, beautiful garden for the library.

“My favorite part is visiting with other people,” said Lois Forbes. “I think the nicest people in the world grow roses.”

While Forbes is a newer member, there are others who have been at the garden volunteering for years.

“We got a good group this time,” said Evans, noting that members of the public can join the society at any time.

Sky Eisler and others would have to agree.

“We are so thankful at the Silverdale branch that we have a group of expert volunteers with the Kitsap County Rose Society, who have given us a magnificently beautiful rose garden,” she said. “We have many patrons compliment us on our “world class rose garden” at the Silverdale Library.”