The 2-acre rose garden, a formal garden between the Gardens' two sparkling ponds, was planned and planted by the Oklahoma Rose Society in 1938. It was dedicated in 1940 as the Oklahoma City Municipal Rose Garden, and modernized in 1950. This garden was one of the largest rose gardens in the United States until the 1970's. In 1986, the Rose Garden was renamed after former Parks Department supervisor Charles E. Sparks.
Today, the rose garden offers a colorful respite from the hustle of the outside world. Fragrant blooms of almost every color grace the garden during its prime blooming season, and provides a colorful and romantic setting for weddings and other outdoor events.
Visitors to the rose garden will enjoy the formal look and feel of the space as they wander over graveled pathways that lead to secluded corners and three distinct, historic features.
"Mother and Daughter" This 6-foot-tall bronze sculpture located in the fountain on the north side of the garden, shows two nude forms, a mother and daughter, caught up in a struggle. The sculpture is said to depict the mother's struggle to keep her daughter from crossing the threshold into adulthood, with the fish being held in the mother's left hand symbolizing life's ideals. The sculpture was presented to the City of Oklahoma City in 1930 by Mr. and Mrs. John J. Cullbertson, who purchased the bronze from German artist Richard Aigner (1867 - 1925) while on a trip to Paris. It was moved to the Will Rogers Gardens in 1950, where it was installed as part of the fountain you see today.