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Margaret Merril

Margaret Merril
Rose of the Month For March, 2007
by Barbara Picarelli

Since I redid my entire back yard, building huge retaining walls and taking out all that nasty juniper, I now have room for roses. Lots and lots of roses. Lucky me. But in taking out the roses I already had, some of the name tags got lost, so I couldnít just put an unknown back into the ground without a name could I? Plus, Iím redoing the beds in color combinations, so naturally I HAD to get some new roses, 40 of them!

One of my criteria for new roses is fragrance and in this area the choice was easy. ĎMargaret Merrilí, aka HARkuly, a blush white rose floribunda hybridized by Harkness and introduced in 1977, is indeed a very fragrant rose. This repeat flowering bush produces high centered blooms with a faint blush tint in the center. With 28 petals, by floribunda standards, it is considered large at 4 inches across The plant itself is abundant with foliage and glossy leaves that encircle the rose giving it a nice effect. The bush is disease free, is good at repeat flowering, and also has exhibition form. Itís qualities were not unnoticed by the rose world having won numerous awards including 1978 Gold Medals from Geneva and Rome, 1982 Gold Star of the South Pacific, Fragrance Award Palmerston North, New Zealand, 1990 RNRS James Mason Medal, and in 1992 the Auckland Fragrance Award. Frankly I wasnít aware of any of these awards when I bought it, I just liked the rose and itís smell. So I guess I got a lot more than I expected. This rose is available at most nurseries.

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