The fountain is a popular backdrop for photos. Inevitably when you flip through photos of your neighbor's weddings, proms, graduations and Mother's Day you'll spot the fountain. It has to be one of San Jose's most photographed backdrop.
Around 1930 John McLaren, designer of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park along with Dr J. Horace McFarland, president of the American Rose Society, and City of San Jose's Planning Director Michael H. Antonacci drew up the original plans.
The reflection pool was donated by the San Jose Rotary Club with a $1,000 donation. It is this same rotary club that is now celebrating their 100th anniversary by giving our neighborhood another generous gift. They are building the Children's Rotary Playground next door to our sister Heritage Rose Garden off Coleman Avenue in the Guadalupe Park.
The two-tiered fountain was added in 1967 by a very generous anonymous donor. I haven't come across any info on when the fencing around the reflecting pool was added.
The Day The Rose Garden Got Bombed!
Now I had 2 Great Uncles who told some great WWII stories, so it wouldn't surprise me if the Korean War pilot was eager to impress his buddies by dummy bombing the Rose Garden!
The Garden's Guardians
Each year, San Jose park staff put out a wood plank into the reflecting pond so that the ducklings can get in and out of the water.
During duck season you'll see dirt, duck poop and snail shells littering the bottom of the reflecting pool.
You should resist the urge to feed the ducks. If you do break the rule, please don't feed them bread! It isn't nutritious for them and it attracts rats which can attack the ducklings. Ducks love eating the weeds, grass, snails, bugs and worms they find in the Rose Garden so let them earn their keep!
Keeping the Fountain On
By outsourcing and using volunteers the cost has been whittled down to $8,000 but since the fountain doesn't get any of the money from the fees charged for wedding & professional photography we still have to pass the hat around. You could toss coins in the fountain, but I don't think they are great for the ducks and just encourage transients to go wading for the coins.
If you want to help consider giving your time, talent or treasure to the Friends of the San Jose Rose Garden! It's amazing at what the neighborhood can accomplish when we come together!