This site is a pictorial tribute to the late John Dallas and his Napa Valley, California rose garden. Hundreds of print and digitized photographs of his garden and close-up snapshots of its roses and other flowers have been collected. Many photos are presented here for your viewing pleasure. After passing from cancer in February 2000 this website was created by John's family to honor him and celebrate his life and love for roses. We hope you will enjoy your visit and that you come back often to see how the garden grows.
Click on for site's latest additions. The next open garden is Saturday, May 13, 2006, the day before Mother's Day.
Family member Suzy has been collecting the names from the marker tags for many of the roses in the garden. The list, now close to 300 entries, can be seen by clicking on the Garden's Rose List image below. If we can determine a proper match for rose listed we will link to the photo(s) we have here in the cyber garden. Anybody that would like to assist the non-rosarian family members attempting this grand undertaking would be very much appreciated. We added a Closeup Index; it lists only the roses that we have matched to pictures on this website. Clicking on the rose picture below right will take you directly to that web page. This will be the first web page updated with new close-up photographs.
From an old "Fact Sheet" that John once handed out to garden visitors it was learned that among the many varieties of roses included in his garden at that time there were: 65 Hybrid Teas, 51 Florabundas, 14 Grandifloras, 9 Bourbons, 8 Chinas, 4 Damasks, 19 Hybrid Musks, 18 Hybrid Perpetuals, 7 Mosses, 13 Polyanthus, 10 Rugosas, 30 Shrubs, 14 English Austins, 13 Teas, 40 Climbers, 5 Gallicas, 3 Portlands, 4 Noisettes, 3 Centifolias, 7 Species, numerous miniatures and seedlings. When the sheet was printed (We're guessing mid 90s) Dad talked of 15 arbors supporting numerous types of climbers, 25 different varieties of trees he added to give height to the landscape view and five grass lawn areas to fill open spaces. His garden was constantly changing as is evident by the mention of Daffodils, Tulips, and Irises being present during their blooming seasons. We will try to keep this rose list updated when new roses are planted.
The garden always had scores of annuals, wildflowers and perennials to help the roses show guests the beauty that could be created in their own gardens. In Dad's eyes his garden had no real weeds they were simply volunteers that came up in the wrong place. For instance, more often than not Dad left the California Poppies that popped up on their own untouched even when they appeared in the middle of one of his walkways. One gardener performed the constant maintenance and upkeep of this magnificent garden. It was only after his death that family members learned how much effort this actually involves. Seldom did Dad seek help and when he did it was usually only for a real big project like the automatic irrigation system he put in a few years back. With the exception of an occasional student he alone lovingly did the year round pruning and weeding.
John Dallas' fully landscaped acre-and-a-half rose garden in Napa Valley, California, started in 1972 as an open grassland lot with a small cinder-block structure and a storage-shed. Over the years that followed while John taught landscape/horticulture classes at Napa and Solano community colleges he slowly transformed this horse pasture into what is known today as "John's Rose Garden." Besides the hundreds of roses additions to the garden included many bark-covered paths, numerous arbors, an assortment of garden benches and even a duck/goose pond. Three varieties of redwoods planted also flourished and grew to become a pleasing shady grove for summer sitting and meditation.
The real life "John's Rose Garden" is closed to the public. Unfortunately this includes the small retail nursery where Dad sold his own-root roses and miniatures to help defray the cost of the upkeep of his garden. This website attempts to give you a hint of what the garden is like when the roses are at the peak of bloom and the property is at its best. Of the 500 plus varieties of roses in the garden there are examples here of many including miniature roses, large roses, shrub types and climbers. Like Dad tried to do over the last twenty-five years with his free public garden we hope the pictures here will give you some ideas in using roses in the landscaping of your own garden. You are welcome to browse the cyberspace garden paths here but please respect the family's privacy and not visit the actual garden unless we have another open garden or you have been invited. To read stories about the man and his garden click on John's picture.
The Napa Valley College scholarship fund established in John Dallas' name is still accepting tax-deductible donations. The fund is now self-supporting and generates assistance every year for at least one deserving student. The Dallas family thanks all those that donated to the fund over the years. Visitors to 2005 May's Open Garden again exceeded all prior year's donations by contributing over $1,825 on the one day! We give thanks to all of those who helped make the event another special day of memories. Their contributions, public support and promotion of Dad's memorial event are very much appreciated. For more information about college donations go to the foundation's web page by clicking on the NVCF button.
Thanks for visiting my Dad's rose garden on-line.
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