The Rose Garden's "Next Plane to London" was one of the more well-remembered one-shot hits of the flower power era, reaching number 17 at the end of 1967. Like many of the records coming out of Southern California during the era, it bore the heavy influence of Los Angeles folk-rockers the Mamas & the Papas and the Byrds, though it had a more of a sunshine pop feel than the Byrds did. Like the Mamas & the Papas, the group featured male-female harmonies, with the group's sole female member, Diana de Rose, taking the lead on "Next Plane to London" with her deeper-than-average vocals.
The group's sole, self-titled album was produced by Charlie Greene and Brian Stone with Pat Pipolo; Greene and Stone were also involved, as managers and/or producers, in the early careers of Buffalo Springfield, Sonny & Cher, and Bob Lind. Most of the material on the LP actually had a more pronounced Byrds influence than "Next Plane to London" did, with many of the 12-string guitar lines specifically recalling Roger McGuinn's style on that instrument. The Byrds comparisons were further engendered by the inclusion of two Gene Clark songs, "Till Today" and "Long Time," that were never recorded by Clark, the Byrds, or anyone else.
The Rose Garden began in the mid-'60s as the heavily Byrds-influenced band the Blokes, picking up de Rose before changing their name. Although the group is sometimes recalled as having virtually vanished after their hit single, the album did actually sneak up to number 176 on the charts, and was followed by a flop non-LP single, "Here's Today"/"If My World Falls Through." They split in late 1968 without recording anything else, though they briefly re-formed in 1969 with an altered lineup. ~ Richie Unterberger