There is a rose garden blooming in one of the busiest parts of Newport News. Nestled between the YMCA and the Virginia War Museum on Warwick Boulevard is Huntington Park Rose Garden. Between early May and late October, visitors from all over can enjoy the colorful blooms of the garden.
The space is solely maintained by Matthew Gobla of Virginia Beach, who has been tending the roses since 2014.
“My interest in plants started with my grandmother. She had a big vegetable garden and I really enjoyed seeing all the types of things she would grow.”
During the growing season, Matthew is at the garden six hours a day, five days a week tending to the roses, pruning, and mulching. Even through all the frustrations and hard work, though, he keeps coming back and even keeps his own home garden looking good.
“You come back to your senses and you realize the joy that you do get…the adversity does make the joy and fulfillment much sweeter…”
For Matthew, it’s always about plants or bird-watching. He planted a garden outside of his home church back in Colorado, which he visits about 4 to 5 times during the year to maintain. His mom waters the plants in the off seasons. So, his vacation from the rose garden is more gardening.
“My reason for creating this garden was to offer the beauty and joy to the members of the congregation and it brings me a lot of joy as well to go and work on it.”
For more information about the garden, visit the park website.
This episode was filmed by Josh Wingard and Laura Christian.
Photos courtesy of Matthew Gobla.