Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Roses, my favourite flower
For a long time, I used to say sunflowers or violets were my favourite flower, maybe for fear of sounding too cliche, but after so many years of admiration, I decided that a rose is my flower of choice, it always had been. I got my first bouquet of roses from my good friend Renay many years ago, she thought it fitting for my birthday, which happens to be on Valentines day. Since then, it's not been often I've received a rose, but I love them, and actually, feel so sad once they start to wilt, that I am happy to not any at all rather than suffer the pain of watching my beloved rose die and dry up. With all the amazing vintage images and postcards out there for me to find, they fulfill my needs when it comes to the beautiful rose.
I came across this great website, called Vintage Holliday Crafts, She has a very sweet collection of images, and I loved some of the roses, which I will share with you here today.
THE HISTORY OF ROSES"
(I came across this bit of history, it is quite concise in illustrating how the rose came about to be so loved)
Roses have a long and colorful history. They have been symbols of love, beauty, war, and politics. The rose is, according to fossil evidence, 35 million years old. In nature, the genus Rosa has some 150 species spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere, from Alaska to Mexico and including northern Africa. Garden cultivation of roses began some 5,000 years ago, probably in China. During the Roman period, roses were grown extensively in the Middle East. They were used as confetti at celebrations, for medicinal purposes, and as a source of perfume. Roman nobility established large public rose gardens in the south of Rome. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the popularity of roses seemed to rise and fall depending on gardening trends of the time.
White Rose of York
During the fifteenth century, the rose was used as a symbol for the factions fighting to control England. The white rose symbolized York, and the red rose symbolized Lancaster, as a result, the conflict became known as the "War of the Roses."
Roses were in such high demand during the seventeenth century that royalty considered roses or rose water as legal tender, and they were often used as barter and for payments. Napoleon's wife Josephine established an extensive collection of roses at Chateau de Malmaison, an estate seven miles west of Paris in the 1800s. This garden became the setting for Pierre Joseph Redoute's work as a botanical illustrator. In 1824, he completed his watercolor collection "Les Rose," which is still considered one of the finest records of botanical illustration.
It wasn't until the late eighteenth century that cultivated roses were introduced into Europe from China. Most modern-day roses can be traced back to this ancestry. These introductions were repeat bloomers, making them unusual and of great interest to hybridizers, setting the stage for breeding work with native roses to select for hardiness and a long bloom season. Many of these early efforts by plant breeders are of great interest to today's gardeners.