ST. CLOUD - You can celebrate National Rose Month here in June by visiting one of the finest public rose gardens in the country - The Virginia Clemens Rose Garden in St. Cloud.

Head Rose Gardner Deb Keiser says you'll get to see several varieties of roses that aren't even available to buy yet.

We usually get a lot of our trial roses at least one or two years before they go on the market. Some of them longer, depending on if it's an amateur and it takes them a while to get them on the market.

Keiser says several major rose companies ask the Clemens Gardens to test their flowers, before they become available commercially. Some of the test roses are from as far away as France.

Keiser says we're very lucky to have this public garden in our backyard, which attracts visitors from all over the world.

That are saying this is a beautiful garden, this is one of the most beautiful I've ever been to. And, we're a free public garden. Most of the gardens I go to I have to pay.

There are over 1,200 roses in the Clemens Gardens.

For 30 years now the rose has been our nation's official flower.  President Reagan signed the law in the White House Rose Garden back in 1986.

Virginia Clemens Rose Garden, photo by's Jim Maurice