The retired lawyer and his wife, Maria Reames, have opened up the 13-year-old garden for the public to visit and enjoy, including stops at 14 stations of the cross.
“We really felt it was a way to do something for the community that does not have a bad impact,” said Allen Reames. “It’s visually pleasant and the gates are open. We want people to enjoy the roses and express the peacefulness of the garden.”
The Reameses began work on the garden in 2002 with one red rose that Allen Reames’ mother planted before her death.
Nearly dead when it was found in the yard, the rose bloomed with care from the Reameses, who had moved into the house. During the next few years, the couple built fences and beds for the roses and added a 12-foot cross in front of a replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta and a fountain.
The couple attends Holy Cross Church in Santa Cruz and decided last year to build the Catholic stations of the cross in the garden — 14 stations that commemorate Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross during the Easter season.
The garden had been blessed in 2008 by Maria Reames’ brother, the Rev. Carlos Evangelista, who was visiting from the Philippines.
Allen Reames said that because Easter is celebrated early this year, on March 31, only some of the roses are blooming. However, the garden — with nearly 70 varieties of roses — remains open to visitors throughout the year.
He said the garden needs maintenance during about 10 months each year, including pruning in late fall and trimming of spent blossoms throughout the summer. But the drip irrigation system uses relatively little water, Allen Reames said.
Visitors may drive up to the gate, which opens automatically, and park alongside the driveway. The Reameses’ dog, Kara, is friendly to guests.
What: Reames Serenity Rose Garden
Where: 3009 Granite Creek Road, in Scotts Valley
When: Open to the public during sunlight hours