David Austin Roses’ Michael Marriott, one of the world’s experts on quality roses and gardens, visited the Nixon Library’s gardens Tuesday. His visit came at the end of a 9 state tour – plus Canada – of America’s premier rose gardens.

The Library’s roses, Marriott believes, are among America’s best.

“The Madame Alfred Carriere, the great big roses, I don’t think I’ve seen such magnificent specimens of those anywhere,” said Marriott… “It’s very impressive to see long sweeps of one variety, it really emphasizes the layout of the whole gardens.”

Marriott also commented on the gardens’ variety of vegetation and their environmental attributes.

“It would be easy to keep this garden just roses, but the other plants mixed in makes it a more environmentally friendly garden,” said Marriott.  “The other plants help break up the monoculture and attract beneficial insects to help control the pests.”

The Library’s gardens include floribundas, hybrid teas, specialty and Old English rose bushes, as well as perennials, annuals, shrubs, palms, and flowering trees.

Marriott said that the Library’s Madame Alfred Carriere Roses are among the best he’s ever seen.

Tricia Nixon Cox presided over a ceremony dedicating the Pat Nixon Gardens to longtime friends of President and Mrs. Nixon, Gavin and Ninetta Herbert, owners of the President’s former San Clemente estate La Casa Pacifica and founders of Roger’s Gardens, Orange County’s most renowned garden center.

Open from 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday, and 11am to 5pm on Sunday, the gardens surround the memorials of President and Mrs. Nixon, the President’s Birthplace,  a 120 foot-long reflecting pool, an amphitheater funded and dedicated by Bob and Dolores Hope, and the hand crafted white gazebo under which daughter Tricia and Edward Cox were married at their White House Rose Garden wedding in 1971.

Mr. Marriott will be featured in an upcoming garden speaker series at the Library next spring.

Photo: Rose expert Michael Marriott, of David Austin Roses in front of the President’s birthplace.