Roses are considered among the earliest plants cultivated by humans - they were grown in the territory of ancient Persia approximately 5000 years ago. The University of Tart Botanical Garden received its first roses already in 1807, when specimens of eight popular cultivars were planted in front of the side wall of the garden house facing the pond.
The current Rose Garden - created in 1949 by the botanist Vello Veski in order to collect and breed new cultivars for various greenery applications in Estonia – is located near the same building. Over time, the collection – and the Rose Garden itself – has evolved and now holds over 200 varieties of park, bed, ground cover, shrub and climbing roses. The roses have been grouped by cultivar type and colour of flowers, and among others feature new and older cultivars bred in Estonia.