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Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe, Vavoom and Brandy
MAGiCal Roses For September, 2012
by Paula Jaffe, Consulting Rosarian

Note: A new column this year called MAGiCal roses will be written each month by our Consulting Rosarians. Two or three roses will be highlighted from the over 130 rose bushes in our garden at MAGC (Marin Art and Garden Center). The garden was planted in 2004 with donated roses from Sunnyside Nursery, West End Nursery, Armstrong Nursery and Sloat Garden Nursery. We have added and subtracted roses each year. The garden is organic and no sprays are used.

ORANGE - I love orange! In my home garden the majority of my rose bushes are orange toned ranging from apricot to near red. And the Marin Rose Garden has some of my favorites.

‘Marilyn Monroe’

Highly rated ‘Marilyn Monroe’ is classified as an apricot blend hybrid tea although it does have a lot of yellow in it. Since its introduction in 2002 by hybridizer Tom Carruth, Marilyn has quickly become a very popular Marin garden rose. A hybrid tea of 23-30 smooth, buttery petals, few bushes can compare with Marilyn when she is in full bloom. Her flowers are high-centered to cup shaped and about 4¼ inches in diameter and appear as solitary blooms as well as in clusters. Her foliage is semi-glossy. Don’t plant it too close to its neighboring roses as it can grow to 4 feet wide as well as 5-7 feet tall. And wear your long gloves when you get near as its thorns are unrelenting.



Be sure to wear your sunglasses when you view the floribunda, ‘Vavoom’. Its florescent blooms are orange juice orange! And instead of fading to pink as they age, the blossoms retain their orange color until the very end. They are stunning against their semi-glossy dark green leaves as well as the mahogany red new growth. Another of Carruth’s creations, ‘Vavoom’s’ flowers are double ruffled, medium sized with over 35 petals. They have a moderate spicy fragrance and bloom continuously throughout the season. Tuck this 24-30 inch compact bush into a small space and it will continue to improve each year as it gets established.


'Brandy’, introduced in 1981, is another apricot blend rose but her color is a honey tangerine orange, much deeper than ‘Marilyn Monroe’. In 1982, it earned the All-America Rose Selection distinction. Her 26-40 petaled blooms have classic high centers and large, very shapely flowers with a mild sweet tea fragrance. They appear as mostly solitary blooms or in small clusters and bloom continuously throughout our season. Brandy’s dark glossy green foliage is a beautiful contrast to its large orange blossoms. She grows between 4 and 6 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide. Moderately thorny, the bush reblooms prolifically in our climate.

The photo of ‘Marilyn Monroe’ is by Joan Goff and 'Vavoom’ is by Gail Trimble.

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