Roses are surely one of the most beautiful of garden plants, with so many different varieties, with gorgeous colours and scents. They have been loved by gardeners for centuries! Here are some Rose facts.
Most wild roses are native to Asia, with some native to Europe, North Africa and America. There is over 100 species of rose and 1000s of cultivars. They are thought to have grown in ancient Babylon. Paintings of roses have been discovered in Egyptian pyramid tombs dating from 1,400 BC and are known to have been grown in Ancient Greece & Rome.
Old Garden Roses are those that have existed from before the mid 19th century. For example, The Apothecary's Rose, R. gallica officinalis, was grown in monastic herb gardens in the middle ages. Damask roses (Rosa x damascena) arrived in Europe from Syria in the 13th century. Rosa chinensis are from Chine and were first grown in Europe in the 18th century.
Hybrid Teas are the most popular type of modern rose and were first created, in 1867, by hybridising Hybrid Perpetuals with Tea roses. Most cultivars in gardens are this type of rose, and this type of rose is the one used by the floral industry for bouquets.
The fruit of a rose is known as a Rosehip. However, many of the modern varieties do not have them, due to tight petals restricting pollination. Rosehips are a popular food source for birds such as thrushes.
Rose oil is a popular ingredient in perfumes. It is extracted by distilling crushed rose petals.
The War of the Roses, was a battle between two rival families for the English throne. The House of York was the White Rose and the House of Lancaster, the Red Rose. To this day Yorkshire has the white rose on its flag, and Lancashire the red rose.
In the UK, the Royal National Rose Society has a large rose garden at its HQ, near St Albans with over 7000 roses and at least 2,500 varieties on display. Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire has a National Collection of historic shrub roses.
In the USA, The Gardens of the American Rose Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, HQ of the American Rose Society has 20,000 roses on display. Europa-Rosarium in Sangerhausen, Germany, created by the German Rose Society has over 2000 cultivars in its collection. The garden, Roseraie du Val-de-Marne, L'Haÿ-les-Roses in the south of Paris, has 3000 cultivars on display. Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, Asia's largest, located in Chandigarh, India has 1600 cultivars, and at least 50,000 rose bushes in the garden.
It is possible to name a new commercial rose, but usually costs thousands of pounds.
The image at the top is Rose 'Charisma'. Four month flowering period. Lovely scent, deep pink petals. Great disease resistance. Available from Thompson & Morgan 1 bare root rose - £14.99. To order click on the image or HERE.
To view their whole Rose collection view HERE.