Roses a class act

If there is one plant that commemorates the significant events in our lives it’s the rose. Above all others, the rose is planted to celebrate and memorialise important moments, both with its good looks and the name it carries. Naming of the roses is in fact a carefully considered process to fit a person, a moment in time, event or charity.

The world behind the bush you buy at in store represents years of trial and error. Not just in the perfecting of the colour and scent but in the choosing of its name. All roses are recorded in a registry that details their parentage and lineage. It would be hard to find another flower that enjoys the same honour.

Often proclaimed as the “Queen of Flowers” the rose has reigned supreme for many centuries. Fossilised plants over thirty million years old have been linked to the modern rose species. In Greek mythology roses were said to be only white and were dedicated to Venus as an emblem of beauty. The red rose came into existence when Cupid knocked over a cup of nectar staining the flowers red. The red rose then became the flower of Cupid or Cupids flower. Universally the rose is the symbol of love especially the red rose on Valentine’s Day.

Historically their value was not just in their beauty and scent. Roses would have been grown for their many uses around the home. Medicinally it was used to treat hay fever, heart complaints, even baldness! In the kitchen it was turned in to jam, added to vinegars, butter, honey and wine. The rose hips are still drunk today in a tea and are now known to contain a high level of Vitamin C.

Its scent of course is unsurpassed, it is almost impossible to not to instinctively inhale its heady fragrance. Rosary beads were so named because they were once made out of the compressed petals, giving off their lovely scent when handled. Cosmetically they are still today the base for many perfumes, soaps, oils and lotions.

All of that all rolled up in to one flower makes the rose pretty valuable today as it ever was. Whether it’s a modern, old fashioned bush or climbing rose, we reckon there is always a place for the rose in any garden.

Handy Hints

  • Deadheading is an important maintenance function for roses it encourages the regular succession of flowers through summer and autumn. For hybrid tea roses remove half of their length and for floribunda remove the whole flower truss. Always cut to an outward facing bud.
  • To get the best out of roses as a cut flower, cut early in the morning just when the bud is beginning to open. Stand in water as soon as they are cut, remove any thorns and leaves that will be submerged. Change the water often and cut a little off the bottom of the stem each time.
  • Ever wondered why roses are planted at the end of grapevines? It’s not just because they look lovely. They are an indicator plant both roses and grapes suffer the same mildew diseases. The roses will show early signs, alerting the grower to the problem before it spreads to the vines.