The Voorhies courtyard Garden of Ladyes is a theme garden based on new English Roses named after women in famous works of English literature. This web site has been provided so that you may have the pleasure of "meeting" some of the ladies and appreciate how beautiful they look at their fullest bloom.
All but one of the roses in this garden have been created by David Austin, who has been called, "Father of the English Rose." He likes to name his flowers after characters in English literature, especially those found in the works of Chaucer and Shakespeare. Most of the roses here are named for main characters, but a few represent secondary characters, which makes it a bit more tantalizing to remember who they were. Along with our tour, we have included a fill-in-the-blank quiz to test your knowledge of the literary works these ladies come from. As you read about each rose in the virtual tour, you can jot down the answers and compare them with the answer key located on the Rose Tour page.
The garden in general is planted to resemble an English country garden, with due respect to the climate of Northern California. If you are fortunate enough to visit the garden in person, you will find as the folksong says, "lavender, sage, rosemary and thyme," plus foxgloves, peonies, violets, lilies, the English cottage-door climber clematis, and many other traditional garden flowers. Other surprises include two "vignettes" representing scenes in famous stories or poems. June is the best time to visit the garden and catch the roses in their fullest bloom.
Now it is time to begin the virtual tour. If you follow along on the map, we begin the tour at the flowerbed with the bench in it, at the end of the garden just off A Street, and then move to the left. There is a page dedicated to each type of rose that tells you the name of the lady and provides an image and brief description of the rose. The blanks allow you to identify the literary source each name comes from. (Go ahead and keep score before going to the answers at the end of the tour. You may know more than you think you do.)
UC Davis Grounds Division
University of California, Davis
UC Davis English Department