10-27-2016  9:46 am      •     
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Right now the air is frosty and every one of the Peninsula Park Rose Garden's 3,000 blooming shrubs has been pulled up.

Come June 27 – when the park's 100th anniversary is celebrated – the replanted garden will be in full bloom with thousands of new roses gifted from local growers.

But there's one hitch: the garden needs mulch – a lot of mulch -- which is critical in protecting the flowers from midges.

Portland Parks & Recreation and the newly formed Friends of Peninsula Park Rose Garden say they need about $15,000 to put in the protective layer.

Parks spokesman Mark Ross says the celebrations commemorating the park's centennial this summer will be action-packed – and free of charge.

"There'll be a big shebang with kids activities, rose garden historical presentations and a movie in the park, just to name a very few elements," he says. The Parks Bureau is also planning a string of events leading up to the June celebration.

Many local businesses have contributed to the park renovation, from rose growers Weeks Roses, Star Roses and Bailey's Nursery to coffee shops, hardware stores and more.

The value of the rose bushes alone is estimated at $80,000-$100,000.

This week dozens of volunteers spent hours in the freezing mud, platting out the rows with blue and white flags and fertilizing the spot where each plant will be set in the soil.

Volunteers are welcomed to the planting days, which run from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. daily on: Tuesday, Feb. 19; Wednesday, Feb. 20; Thursday, Feb. 21; and Friday, Feb. 22 (if needed).

Some 30 volunteers per planting day are sought, and people are encouraged to being a shovel if you have one. Lunch on those days is provided from 11 a.m.-noon.

Sign up at penrosevolunteers@gmail.com .

The Friends Group has also raised cash for a new sign, which will be unveiled June 7 from 10:30-noon.

"Be sure to wear outdoor work clothes to keep you warm and dry, including sturdy boots and gloves," Ross says.

Make a contribution to the garden mulch fund at www.portlandparksfoundation.org .

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