Outdoor Recommendations June 22, 2022

Merrick Rose Garden Evanston & Centennial Fountain

Did you know there is a small Rose Garden that can be rented from the city on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays with permitted access for events?  How lovely this space is!

A bit of history from Evanston’s Website:https://www.cityofevanston.org/government/departments/parks-recreation-community-services/parks/merrick-rose-garden

My photos taken in mid June of 2022!  Enjoy!

In July 1948, the Merrick Rose Garden was dedicated in honor of Clinton Merrick, a prominent attorney and second ward alderman for 23 years. The original rose garden was designed by Ralph Melin, the City’s landscape architect. The original garden had over 1,000 roses in 48 varieties, which were selected by C. Eugene Pfister, president of the National Rose Gardens Association.

In 1969, the Rose Garden contained 1,200 roses and 65 varieties. In 1985, an early frost killed many roses. In May 1987, redevelopment began in the garden, including a new brick outer wall with wrought iron fence and an irrigation system. Bricks were recycled from the old brick city streets. The fountain was refurbished at a cost of $30,000 (see “History of the Fountain,” above). Garden clubs and individuals donated over $8,800 for new plantings. The Merrick Rose Garden and Centennial Fountain was rededicated on July 4, 1988.


In 2003, new garden lighting and irrigation systems were installed and the retaining walls were reconstructed. In 2004 the garden contained approximately 2,000 roses and 200 varieties.

The Merrick Rose Garden is an All American Rose Selections, Inc. (AARS) display garden. The AARS is a not-for-profit consortium of growers and hybridizers. Each year the AARS selects and donates new varieties of roses for the Merrick Rose Garden to display the year before they are available in retail outlets. The new roses are identified in the garden, so you can pick your favorite to grow in your own garden next year!