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The Odyssey of a Moroccan Rose

By Meye Maier
Photograph by Meye Maier

For the full article see The Mediterranean Garden No 51, January 2008.

Meye Maier writes: “As we drove through the Dades Valley between the Middle and High Atlas mountains in Morocco, I kept seeing, to my surprise, natural rose hedges edging the cultivated fields. This rose was brought to the valley by pilgrims from Mecca, according to legend, and has been cultivated for centuries. It’s a delicate rose that nevertheless has been able to adjust to the rigorous climate on the edge of the desert and thrives here, needing barely more care than regular pruning."

Meye succeeded in acquiring cuttings, one of which accompanied her from Morocco home to Spain, from Carmona to Madrid, then to Germany on a family visit, then back once more to Spain. And there at last she saw it flower for the first time: “I had placed it on the main terrace facing the peak of Almanzaor, and it was there, opposite a slope of flowering almond trees, that when next I went to check it I found it blooming, and recognized the beautiful deep pink colour and sweet perfume. It presented itself before my incredulous eyes, on April 14th, timid, beautiful and discreet: my very own much-travelled Moroccan rose."
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