This was a day of remembrance and honor. Lynn Anderson, the trailblazing country legend that held the record for “Top Grossing Song by A Female Artist” for 27 years, finally got her Rose Garden with the unveiling of the Lynn Anderson Rose Garden at Woodlawn-Roesch-Patton Funeral Home and Memorial Park in Nashville, TN on Friday, June 15, Lynn Anderson Day in the state of Tennessee.
This garden at Lynn Anderson’s final resting place features 114 Lynn Anderson Hybrid Tea Roses and is open to the public every day from sunrise to sunset. In a private ceremony attended by Country Music Hall of Fame Member Brenda Lee, Lynn Anderson’s daughters Lisa Sutton and Melissa Hempel and her father Casey Anderson were joined by representatives from the American Rose Society, Weeks Roses and Woodlawn’s executive team for a standing room only dedication and ribbon cutting.
“We are honored to unveil a permanent memorial to mom here in Nashville at Woodlawn,” says Lisa. “The beauty of this project is that we also brought back the rose, which has been out of commission for almost two decades. Rose Garden changed my mom’s life and it also changed the face and sound of country music. We are happy to share these 114 Lynn Anderson Hybrid Tea Roses, the largest collection ever of the rose, with the community.”
Lynn’s daughter Lisa Sutton, Woodlawn’s Jeff Duffer & Lynn’s daughter Melissa Hempel
Credit: Randy Dorman
The Lynn Anderson Rose Garden
Credit: Anna Lipson
In a two-year initiative that was led by the Weeks Roses horticultural team, the Lynn Anderson Tea Rose was re-grown for a limited run for family and friends and to create this impressive collection of the singer’s namesake rose in a memorial that will pay tribute to her songs and to roses for years to come. Lynn’s daughter Lisa Sutton spearheaded the effort to create the garden in 2016 and once they broke ground on May 2, 2018 the build out only took just a little over a month.
“Lisa worked tirelessly for the last two years to make this happen,” says David Johnson of Weeks Roses. “Unfortunately, in the rose world, you must drop four to five roses a year, to make room for the new releases, and the Lynn Anderson Rose was one we dropped several years ago. However, we usually keep three to four plants around, should we want to revive it. I contacted Christian Bedard, Weeks Roses breeder & Director of Research. He called me back with a ‘Eureka! I have 3 plants!’ It was such an honor for me & my wife Mary, as well as Weeks Roses to be part of this project. The Lynn Anderson Memorial Rose Garden is absolutely beautiful, and I hope it brings peace and joy for many years, to all that visit.”
“The Dignity Memorial Woodlawn Roesch Patton family is truly honored to host and perpetually maintain such a fitting and beautiful tribute to the Great Lady of Country Music, the Lynn Anderson Rose Garden,” says Jeff Duffer, Area Manager for Dignity Memorial Woodlawn-Roesch-Patton Funeral Home & Memorial Park.
While country and equestrian fans are certainly aware of the accolades and ground-breaking achievements she acquired in both arenas, the Lynn Anderson Hybrid Tea Rose won several awards of its own. The American Rose Society even crowned it “Queen of Show,” the highest distinction that can be bestowed upon any rose. During this dedication, the American Rose Society’s Marilyn Wellan presented the “Presidential Citation” to Lynn Anderson “in recognition of her love and support of the rose and the American Rose Society.”
“The American Rose Society was honored to join the celebration of one of Nashville’s and America’s super stars, Lynn Anderson, the beautiful and talented lady who rose to the pinnacle of success in her every endeavor, in every passion of her life – music, horses and roses,” says Marilyn. “She was the ‘queen;’ she inspires us still with her life’s story.”
“There is so much more to mom’s story,” says Lisa. “She is a country music trailblazer who achieved a coveted moment in music history by having one of the biggest smash successes of all time. This little song about a rose blossomed into a record breaking career. We look forward to sharing additional stories and exhibitions with her fans.”