Avery House Rose Garden Expands to Memorialize Influential Volunteers


The Avery rose garden is receiving a much-needed upgrade. This long dreamed-of project began years ago as a way to memorialize dedicated Avery House volunteers who have passed away, and it is now becoming a reality thanks to community partners Vaught Frye Larson Architects and Ripley Design Landscape Architects, with assistance from United Way’s Make a Difference Day program.


The first phase of the rose garden expansion began last Friday, Oct. 27th with United Way’s Make a Difference Day. A rose expert identified the existing heirloom roses and created markers to label the roses, and new flagstone brick pavers were placed in the border of the garden. On completion, the rose garden expansion includes: doubling the size of the garden, installing a bench and memorial stone to dedicate the space, replacing roses that have died over time and planting new roses in memory of other volunteers. The garden will be finished with compost and mulch.

The improved rose garden is dedicated to one of the Avery House’s stalwart volunteers, Ethel Ashley. Ethel joined the Avery Guild in 1985 and will be remembered as a keystone volunteer in the preservation and restoration of the Avery House. She and her husband Ash spent hours working to memorialize the Avery House and the founding of the city. Ethel gave special attention to the rose garden near the Carriage House, where she and her husband faithfully mulched, cut deadheads, and pulled weeds. It was a loving task done all year-round. During the holiday, Ethel and Ash went to the mountains to cut fresh greenery and a huge evergreen to create Victorian-influenced holiday decor. When the physical demands of the gardening became too much for Ethel, she reluctantly gave the work up to continue as supervisor. Ethel left us with a beautiful reminder of how commitment and dedication continue to enrich lives in Fort Collins in something so simple as a rose garden. Her efforts live on today in a most pronounced way.

Poudre Landmarks Foundation is in need of donations to cover the remaining project materials, particularly the roses, bench, and concrete pad for bench. Some of these materials have been donated, and we need your help to finish this project. Tax-deductible donations can be made through Colorado Gives.

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This project would not be possible without help from our community partners Vaught Frye Larson Architects and Ripley Design Landscape Architects. Special thanks to Emily Potts at Vaught Frye Larson architects, along with Poudre Landmarks Foundation volunteer Evie Reuter for her work orchestrating the project, and finally United Way’s Make a Difference Day program.