A Rose By Any Other Name

By: Lori Myers

A rose by any other name may very well be called the M.S. Hershey

Rose, and for good reason. This rich, red hybrid tea rose was introduced at the Hershey Rose Garden – now called Hershey Gardens – in 1941 and was re-introduced in the new M.S. Hershey Tribute Garden last month to commemorate the garden’s 75th anniversary.

“It’s an excellent bloomer, and it quickly repeats its bloom,” says Sara Ensminger, communications and public relations specialist with The M.S. Hershey Foundation.

The return of this beloved rose is a welcome gift for visitors who appreciate the garden’s lush landscaping and colorful array of flora.

Milton Hershey loved flowers and plants and, in 1936, was asked to sponsor a national rosarium in the nation’s capital. Instead, he chose to beautify the place closest to his heart – the town of Hershey – and arranged a plan for the 3.5-acre Hershey Rose Garden.

More than 12,000 rose bushes and 700 varieties of roses were planted.

In 1940, the American Rose Society named a rose after him. The following year, the M.S. Hershey Rose took root. But over the years, the number of M.S. Hershey Roses declined.

With a special anniversary coming up, it just seemed right to revive and propagate a bloom bearing the name of Hershey.

Several new bushes can be enjoyed by visitors this summer. By 2013, 75 of these heirloom rose bushes will grow amid the other annuals, perennials, rhododendron, specimen trees and vibrant scenery.

Milton Hershey was not only a candy man; he was also a purveyor of beauty.

“Mr. Hershey gifted the community with the rose garden,” Ensminger adds. “Since then, it has grown to reach more than 23 acres, including 11 themed gardens, a butterfly house and an educational children’s garden.”