Margaret Merrill – an exceptionally fragrant rose from the Oil of Ulay beauty consultant

DSCF9820One of my most favourite roses, which I’ve just bought as a standard specimen, with large ruffled creamy white and intensely fragrant flowers – a floribunda of great style, poise and with superb health. And oh! did I mention the fragrance!

DSCF9812The rose was chosen by Oil of Ulay/Oil of Olay and named for their beauty consultant, Margaret Merril – and you could write and pose your beauty questions to the good lady. However, she wasn’t a real person, a whole department of ‘Margarets’ dealt with the post and replied, signing off one and all, Margaret Merrill…


Floribunda. 1977.  3ft-4ft

Ask any rose enthusiast which rose has the best perfume, and invariably this rose is at the top of many lists.    For over thirty years this beautiful rose has been grown all around the  world, not only for it’s outstanding perfume but  for it’s beauty, reliability and health.
It has taken pride of place in  millions of private gardens, and planted profusely in public and municipal gardens in practically every country where the climate allows.
A truly remarkable rose which has won numerous awards around the globe which include.
Geneva Gold Medal 1978.
Monza Gold Medal 1978.
Royal National Rose Society Edland Fragrance Award 1978.
Rome Gold Medal 1978.
New Zealand Gold Medal & Fragrance Award 1982
Royal National Rose Society . James Mason Medal 1990
Auckland Fragrance Award  1992.

It has often been called the perfect floribunda rose which is high praise indeed considering how many floribunda’s have been bred over the years.
The blooms on ‘Margaret Merrill’ are quite large for a floribunda and often measure 4ins (10cms) across . The blooms begin as hybrid tea type buds and open very wide, singly, and in clusters. The almost transparent petals are white with a faint blush tint towards the centre, and have attractive golden stamens. The flower production is  exceptionally prolific and the blooms are produced on short to medium length stems which are ideal for cutting.. The flowering period is quite remarkable as the blooms appear almost continually from early summer and well into the autumn. The abundant handsome foliage is big and glossy and the leaves are very close to the flower, giving a high shouldered effect that shows off the crisp flowers to perfection. The plant will tolerate a wild range of climates, but we have found that it does best in a cooler climate. We have always found it a very healthy and robust rose which is easy to maintain. Occasionally in wet weather it does  tend to show a little black spot, but this can be easily kept under control with regular spraying and is not a big problem.

The sublime quality of Margaret Merrill’s perfume is legendary.  Even after forty years  it’s as stimulating and exciting as ever. The perfume has been described as a mixture of citrus and spice. The perfect bedding rose which also makes an amazing scented hedge.

Who was Margaret Merrill ?
The rose was named after Margaret Merrill,   which was the  nom de plume for a fictitious  Oil Of Ulay beauty advisor.

Bred by Harkness. UK


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