The Rose Man
  • For 15 years the Rose Man has grown beautiful roses and given them away
  • He often delivers 140 bouquets of roses each day throughout the summer
  • He washes 200 vases each day before rose picking time

Willard Campbell has been a teenage coal miner, wartime soldier, but in his hometown of Lake Placid, he is known as "The Rose Man."

No grass grows under Willard's feet. For the past 15 years he has dedicated his energy, money and time to growing beautiful roses and giving them away on a daily basis.

At the break of dawn, Willard is in the garden picking roses. As he picks, he puts them in vases filled with a mixture of Listerine and water to keep them germ free. He then puts them in vases filled with his recipe for rose food. He has special carriers made for him by a good friend.

Willard's rose bushes bloom most of the winter when the weather is "Chamber of Commerce" perfect. Some days, in the middle of summer, when his 150 tea rose bushes and 40 miniature bushes are already blooming, he makes two trips into Lake Placid with 70 bouquets on each trip. It would be hard to name a business in Lake Placid that has not received a bouquet from "The Rose Man."

On the weekend, Willard provides bouquets for patients in the hospital, nursing homes and assisted living facilities and for special occasions.

There is a thorny side of growing roses. He awakens early and washes 200 vases before rose picking time. Hours are devoted to fertilizing, pruning, and spraying. When he reads the notes expressing thanks for comfort, joy and delight received from the gifts of roses, he considers the time well spent.

Willard gets a great pleasure from growing roses, but his greatest pleasure is in giving them away. His philosophy is expressed in the refrain from a song. "Give me the roses while I live, trying to cheer me on, useless the flowers that you give after the soul is gone."

"He wears the rose of youth upon him."
William Shakespeare

Artist Location Size Sponsor Note Audio
Roger Cooke Dr. Richard Janiga's Office located at 117 N. Main Street 12  ft wide x 8 ft high The Friends of Willard Campbell Find the trimming shears N/A

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