With Mothers Day just around the corner we have got roses on our mind.
The Rose Box is our most popular gift at this time of year, an enduring symbol of love and affection. No other flower has so many rich associations and allegorical meanings. Its no wonder that the brilliant beauty of the rose has served as inspiration to poets, musicians and artists (as well as gardeners!) throughout time and across all locations and cultures.
Two million year old fossilized rose fragments have been discovered, and the oldest depiction of a rose is in a fresco in the palace of Minos in Knossos, It depicts a five-petalled pink rose blooms, amongst delicately painted leaves. The fresco dates to about 1450 B.C, but the worlds oldest living rose is believed to have been growing on the wall of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in Germany for a thousand years. In 1945 allied bombers destroyed much of the cathedral, yet the roots of the rose remained intact beneath the rubble and the bush soon flourished again.
In 2002 a rose was cultivated especially for an extra terrestrial journey. It had to be especially small to fit inside the Astroculture craft, which transported the adventurous little plant into space, where it was studied to investigate the effects of gravity on the fragrance of roses.
La vie en Rose, Everythings Comin Up Roses and A Kiss from a Rose. Some of the finest love songs of all time have employed the romantic symbolism of this famous flower. Whilst Dolly Parton didnt promise us a rose garden, she did give her name to a red rose variety. Alongside the Dolly Parton rose growing in your garden you could plant a Paul McCartney, an Elizabeth Taylor or a Barbara Streisand, who have all also had roses named in their honour.