Today the McGill Rose Garden has over 200 varieties of roses, along with annuals, perennials, and herbs, as well as fountains and statuary.
However, the McGill Rose Garden has not always been this way. The plot of land on which the garden currently sits was once a coal yard and was purchased by Henry McGill in 1950. Mr. McGill ran the coal yard and his wife, Helen, thought the land was dreary and decided to add some beauty to it by planting some roses.
Mrs. McGill succeeded in transforming the once dull piece of land into a beautiful rose garden and in 1967 the garden was opened to the public every Mother’s Day. In 1975, Mr. McGill closed his coal business and the property officially became known as the McGill Rose Garden.
In 1985, Mrs. McGill passed away and Mr. McGill took over the tending to the garden in her memory. Additionally, Mr. McGill and the City Of Charlotte (represented by Mayor Harvey Gantt) dedicated a lovely fountain in the garden to Mrs. McGill’s memory.
In 1996, the McGill Rose Garden was officially recognized as a non profit organization and is managed by a volunteer board of directors. In 1996, the McGill Board entered into a lease with the City of Charlotte to manage the garden and continues to do so.
Mr. McGill worked everyday in his beloved garden until the age of 93. Then he worked in it, at least once a week, until his death in 2007 at the age of 103.
Now, the McGill Rose Garden covers over 1.3 acres and includes meandering paths, fountains, benches, sculptures, and over 1000 rose bushes in over 200 varieties as well as many annuals, perennials, and herbs. As if not to forget the past, a full size coal cart sits discreetly in a shady corner of the garden.
The McGill Rose Garden is open to the public most days of the year and charges no entry fee, but donations are appreciated. The McGill Rose Garden can also be rented for weddings and other occasions.
McGill Rose Garden
940 North Davidson Street
Like gardens? Visit the UNCC Botanical Gardens in Charlotte!