George and Ann Sturgeon moved to his area in 1961. During their long life together of 57 years,
they shared many interests. One they most enjoyed was growing roses. The Sturgeons felt roses were one of God’s most
wonderful creations. They became, for them, a consuming hobby. Mr. and Mrs. Sturgeon were active in the American Rose Society
and both had been officers and board members of the Pinellas Rose Society. Mr. George Sturgeon became an ARS consulting rosarian
and an accredited rose judge. He also served as President of the Pinellas Rose Society. They traveled extensively, judging
In a moment of introspection, they decided that a fitting memorial would be the creation of a beautiful public rose garden
which all the members of the community and visitors from near and far could enjoy. Acting on the idea, they made provisions
for the establishing of a memorial rose garden and set aside funds to maintain it after their deaths.
In 1979 Ann Sturgeon passed away and she was interred at Serenity Gardens. George Sturgeon felt that there could be no
more appropriate location for their memorial garden. Families visiting their departed loved one could be comforted by the
living beauty of the roses blooming on the shore of the tranquil lake.
Serenity Gardens provided Mr. Sturgeon with beautiful lakefront property to be developed into the garden. With the cooperation
of friends, a nonprofit corporation was formed for the funding and operation of the garden. Beds were laid out and watering
and drainage systems installed. The soils in the concrete bordered beds were enriched so that the roses would thrive in this
The Garden, now grown to more than 650 bushes of more than 129 varieties, was dedicated April 4, 1981. The growth and maintenance
of the garden has been assisted by persons making contributions of rose bushes and living memorials.
In 1985, the garden was approved by All-American Rose Selections as a public display garden, of which there are only about
100 in the United States and only two others in Florida
Mr. Sturgeon lived to be 94 and was honored by a memorial service in the rose garden on May 26, 1992.
One of our members, George Storms, tends the Sturgeon Memorial Rose Garden. When new roses are needed, they are propagated
by George Lawler, also of the Pinellas Rose Society.
When our society has a rose show, and needs roses to sell, or our annual rose sale, we have had the good fortune of being
able to go to the Sturgeon Memorial Rose Garden and cut roses for those events.
In the past the Garden has been a scheduled stop for many rose garden tours. If you have not been, take a few hours and
enjoy the beautiful scents and colors of this beautiful rose garden. You will find the garden at Serenity Gardens Memorial
Park at 13401 Indian Rocks Road, in Largo, Florida.