A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

I wanted to include a video I made recently about roses. I hope you enjoy it, more will be following. 

I have always been fascinated by roses, such a combination of beauty and thorns. And it only gets worse the more I find out about this ancient plant that has been connected with human kind at least since the Greeks. There are roses depicted on Minoan Frescoes, one called ‘The Blue Bird’ that was found on Crete and illustrated several 5 pedaled pink roses that are dated at 1700 BC.

There is a myth that comes from Greek mythology and tells us that while it was Aphrodite who gave the rose its name, it was the goddess of flowers, Flora, who created it. One day while Flora was cleaning in the forest she found the lifeless body of a beautiful nymph. To right this wrong Flora enlisted the help of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who gave the flower beauty; then called upon Dionysus, the god of wine, who added nectar to give the flower a sweet scent.

When it was their turn the three Graces gave the flower charm, brightness and joy. Then Zephyrus, the West Wind, blew away the clouds so that Apollo, the sun god, could shine and make the flower bloom. And so the Rose was created.

The rose flourished under the Romans and followed the Roman legions on their march to empire.  It was Julius Caser himself that took a red rose into Gaul with him, the very same rose that eventually became the red rose of Lancaster during the English war of the roses, and is now represented by the red color in the British union jack flag.

It was during the age of the British Empire that the first of the modern day roses was developed.  “La France”, the first Hybrid Tea rose, was developed in 1867 and now there are over 30,000 hybrid teas. 

 The first recognized Floribunda rose was in 1908, and was “Guss an Aachen” which was a cross between a Hybrid Perpetual and a Hybrid Tea, and now there are over 7,400 Floribunda roses.

And finally, Grandiflora roses were created by crossing Floribunda’s back into Hybrid Teas, “Queen Elisabeth” being the first, developed in the early 1950’s.

I could go on and on about the history of roses and all the stories and myths and trivia about the wonderful plant that has been so connected with us for so very long, but will save the rest for another posting.

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