Mercury News editorial: Don’t forget to vote! (For San Jose’s Rose Garden)

June 28, 2010

Mercury News Editorial Staff

And speaking of civic pride, we’ve all got until midnight Wednesday to cast one more important vote this summer: for the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, which is in the running for America’s Best Rose Garden. Vote at

If you haven’t visited the garden this spring — and if you’re not one of the hundreds of volunteers who have helped the city and Friends of the San Jose Rose Garden work their collaborative magic — you really should stop by. The city block along Naglee Avenue is a riot of color, filled with healthy bushes with fabulous blooms. It’s hard to imagine one prettier.

The garden is definitely America’s Most Improved, thanks to bionic volunteers Terry Reilly and Beverly Rose Hopper. They came to its rescue in 2007 when it was in such bad shape, it was about to lose its certification from All-America Rose Selections. In loaves and fishes fashion, their contributions multiplied as rose lovers from as far away as San Mateo and the East Bay came to work days and donated their energy and expertise. Now the Friends group organizes the major planting, weeding and pruning chores, and the city provides support services.

Contests like America’s Best Rose Garden aren’t objective measures. This is Internet voting, after all. But the volunteers have been campaigning for the title, giving tours and the like, and a vote is a way to say thanks for their extraordinary civic contribution. Besides, in this summer of budget cuts and general unease, we could all use a municipal win.