Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

McCarty-Fickel Home Museum to plant rose garden, four other gardens

April 19, 2019 | Local News

By Shelley Widhalm

The Surveyor

The McCarty-Fickel Home Museum will start with 10 rose bushes that given time will flourish into a beautiful garden right at home in the Garden Spot.

Volunteers will plant the rose bushes April 20 on the grounds of the museum to beautify the area and reflect the home’s history. The plantings of donated vintage roses will kick off a large-scale gardening project to beautify the area around the home with five gardens.

Courtesy photo – Cherri Robb, board member of the Berthoud Historical Society, cultivated old rambling pink roses that will grow over an arbor at the future Jennie Fagan McCarty Rose Garden at the McCarty-Fickel Home Museum.

The first garden will be the Jennie Fagan McCarty Rose Garden, named after the wife of David D.W. McCarty. The McCartys had their Denver Square architectural-style home built in 1916, which through a donation in 2008 became a historic home museum at 645 Seventh St.

“It’s in recognition of the first lady of the house. She was a great gardener, so it made sense to dedicate it in her name,” said Mark French, president of the Berthoud Historical Society. “It will certainly beautify the property.”

The museum has access to the home’s original architectural blueprints and invoices and the landscape plans for the grounds. McCarty started planting her rose garden in spring 1917 but wasn’t in the home long, since unfortunately she died near the end of World War II, French said, adding she also planted vegetables and ornamental flowers.

“The landscape plans we have were never completely carried out,” French continued. “We really don’t have much documentation about the things she grew, but we know she had a large garden here.”

The Berthoud Historical Society decided on a rose instead of vegetable garden, since there already is the Pioneer Garden at the Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum, 224 Mountain Ave.

“This sort of garden makes more sense, to have beauty rather than the utility of vegetables,” French said. “It’s going to be a nice sitting area as well, kind of a neighborhood garden feel to it.”

The rose garden, spanning 1,225 square feet on the northwest corner of the museum property, will include steel fencing around three sides, three commemorative benches, ornamental container plantings and a rose arbor. There also will be inscribed paving stones and an art installation, likely a bronze sculpture, in the central area. Once it’s finished the garden will be open all year during daylight hours.

The roses selected for the garden are David Austin Old English Roses in bare-root stock vintage varieties. They are repeat bloomers with a large bloom in June and smaller blooms in July and August. The blooms will be in five colors; salmon, pink, soft pink, red-orange and velvety crimson, and the roses will have fruity and myrrh fragrances.

“These roses are very fragrant,” said Cherri Robb, board member of the Berthoud Historical Society.

The garden also will have lavender and an assortment of ornamental grasses.

“They will sway in the wind, so it will be a natural and organic feeling,” Robb said. “You have fragrances and the movement of the grasses.”

The arbor will be decorated with pink vintage climbing roses. Robb started growing the cuttings for it last fall, which come from her great-grandmother’s south-central Kansas garden from the 1930s and 1940s.

“We hope people will come here and sit and meditate and pray,” Robb said.

The rose bushes will be planted by volunteers from the Berthoud Historical Society Garden Group and the community, who, along with a volunteer group from a group home, prepared the soil in the fall. The garden group will serve as project lead and, with the help of the community volunteers, will maintain the garden.

The Berthoud Historical Society will begin seeking support for the garden in the beginning of May and at that point will determine the amount needed to be raised. The fundraising will include sale of the pavers and sponsorships of the plants, benches, arbor and other garden features.

The garden will take three years to complete, as will all of the other gardens that will include a front patio garden, a Zen garden, a sensory garden, and an events lawn. Each garden will begin with planning and fundraising in the first year, followed by the installation in the second year and the finishing work and dedication in the third year. Plans for the next garden then will start in the third year.

“Year three is the same as year one to repeat for the next garden,” French said.

For information about the museum, visit

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