Mary 'Meg' Peterson
Once upon a time there was a little girl named Meg. She and her Granny were both fond of flowers and roses, especially roses. Granny gave her roses as much care as a mother of 13 children can, but it usually came down to copious amounts of dish water at least three times a day. Her roses responded by blooming from early spring to the first hard frosts of late fall.
With this as her background, Meg has her Granny’s flower gene firmly implanted in her psyche. After graduating from nursing school in Chicago, she took a position as Head Nurse at Chicago Childrens Hospital. But the professional challenge of working abroad found her working in the operating theatres at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London, England. Hearing the call to service by President Kennedy, she returned to the States and joined the United States Air Force Nurse Corp and that is where she met her husband. Their first foreign assignment was the Philippines after a stint at Fairchild AFB in Spokane. By the time she finally settled down to marriage and rearing a family, Meg had seen some of the finest gardens in England, Europe and the Far East.
Her first home in Virginia came readymade with a rose garden that had about 24 rose plants. But it wasn’t until they relocated to upstate New York that Meg finally got ¾ of an acre to plant her beloved roses on. Each year another patch of grass was removed and another bed added.
The year was 1974 and she and her husband learned of a local rose society and soon became members of the society and the ARS. It wasn’t long before they were working at local and District rose shows and conventions. Both serve on National ARS committees: Roses In Review – Associate Chair; E-Rose Committee; Program Services Committee; and Meg is the site coordinator for All About Roses on the ARS web-site. Meg also writes a quarterly column on Mini-Mini/Flora roses for the New York District Empire State Rosarian. Meg’s articles also appear in several newsletters nationwide, the ‘American Rose’ magazine, and several other national publications.
Then came that fateful year when Meg discovered Miniature Roses. She purchased 7 tiny plants and each year thereafter usually added about 25-50 new plants to her landscape design. Presently the gardens have about 400 plants in 8 beds and range from OGRs, to HTs, Fls, Grs, to Miniatures. She tried climbers but found they took up too much space and needed extraordinary winter protection in her area of upstate New York where winters can be long, dry and windy and cold.
The roses are grown with an eye toward IPM and Organic means to control infestations and diseases. Natural predators are encouraged and chemical sprays are used sparingly and only when other methods have proved ineffective to control a major outbreak of disease or pests.
Natural fertilizers, compost and amended soil encourage healthy growth supplemented by an in-bed watering system that her husband built from PVC and emitters.
Meg enjoys using her roses in arrangements and is mad for Oriental Design. She also dries her roses and makes potpourri and found making beads from rose petals to be an especially rewarding hobby.
Now that her family is grown and on their own, Meg and her husband enjoy traveling to the National Rose conventions in various parts of the US. Meg has entered her roses and arrangements in several of the National rose shows as well as her District convention and looks forward with eager anticipation to each new opportunity to meet old friends and make new friends at the various conventions.
Meg and her husband were awarded the Bronze medal by their local society of which Meg has been the President for 6 years. They were also awarded the Outstanding Consulting Rosarian Award and the Silver Honor Medal. Meg is also a Master Rosarian.
Each time she sees a new, fragrant rose bloom, she thinks back to a time when this activity was shared with her Granny and a smile teases her lips in fond remembrance.
Award winning articles by Meg: In the Beginning - Part I, In the Beginning - Part II,
Web Designer note: Meg exudes the grace and beauty of roses through her eloquent and poetic approach to roses. Her passion and willingness to educate others reaches us from the east coast...thank you Meg!