Santa Barbara Mission. | Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

Every rose has its thorns, and for Santa Barbara’s A.C. Postel Memorial Rose Garden with more than 1,500 rose bushes, the annual pruning needs as many hands as possible. The Parks and Recreation Department is currently seeking volunteers to help with the annual event on January 8, at the garden across from the Old Mission Santa Barbara.

“The timeless beauty of the roses is nothing without the care and dedication from all of our volunteers,” said Parks Supervisor Ramiro Arroyo. “Every year, there are comments made about how magnificent the roses look when they bloom after each pruning, and every year, we think they look better than the year before.”

The garden, which is located in Mission Historical Park, in the shadow of the Santa Barbara Mission, is a local hotspot for sunny-day picnics, playing fetch with the pups, or lounging with a book and cooler full of beverages. The thousands of roses are maintained throughout the year by Parks and Recreation Department staff and Santa Barbara Rose Society members, but each year, the city holds a volunteer pruning day where local green thumbs can gather and take part in keeping the garden beautiful.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own garden gloves, pruning shears, and long sleeves to the event, and training and refreshments will be provided. Rose Pruning Day will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on January 8, at the garden on Plaza Rubio between Laguna Street and Emerson Avenue. If there is rain on January 8, the event will be postponed to January 15.

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