Flower of the Week:

Garden Rose

It’s hard to imagine that there is such an elaborate library of variety in garden roses, the popular garden plant – from shrubs to vines, from rose-scented tea to elegant cut rose, from rose tea to essential rose oil. The garden rose has been deeply grounded in our lives, admired by generations of breeders, and conquered both Eastern and Western gardeners from different cultural backgrounds. In fact, both the United States and England use the garden rose as their national flower.

Flower of the week:garden rose
Places of Interest
1. San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, California, USA

Located in San Jose, California, the garden is home to more than 4,000 grass clumps and hundreds of rose varieties. You will find it hard to believe that this rose garden was originally an orchard full of plums. In 2010, the garden won the first “America’s Best Rose Garden” contest. From April to November every year, you can see different kinds of flowers. Undoubtedly, if you wish to see the spectacle of your life, May is your best bet with all roses gracefully blooming and exuding aromatic fragrance. Furthermore, a leisurely walk in the garden is also a decent option to relax and you can even get a detailed map at the entrance to learn the names of these roses in detail.

Flower of the week:garden rose
2. Royal National Rose Society Gardens, Hertfordshire, UK

As the name suggests, the Royal National Rose Society Gardens is the official garden of the Royal National Rose Society, located at its headquarters near St. Albans. After four years of closing and redesigning, it finally reopened in 2007, containing more than 7,000 plants of 2,500 varieties. Features of the park include the display of rose related history and roses with companion plantings and designs. If you want to plant garden roses in your own little garden, you can definitely get your inspiration from this place.

Flower of the week:garden rose
3. The City of Sakura Rose Garden, Chiba, Japan

From Narita Airport on the outskirts of the Metropolitan of Tokyo, it takes only 30 minutes to reach this famous rose collection. Although it is only 20 years old, its vintage style is very enchanting and is highly prized by authorities around the world. The traditional rose varieties here give off on outstanding aroma, far surpassing the modern hybrid varieties which usually have no fragrance. Among the thousands of roses in the park, the world-famous Rose breeder in the 20th century, Seizo Suzuki, donated 200 rare varieties, including many Japanese, Chinese, and other Asian varieties.

Brief History of Rose

The garden rose has a long history. It symbolizes love, beauty, war, and politics.

According to fossil evidence, the garden rose is 35 million years old. In nature, there are about 150 species of garden roses in the whole Euroasia, North America and North Africa. Rose gardens for viewing purposes started its cultivation in China about 5,000 years ago.

Flower of the week:garden rose

Lady Banks’ rose, originated from China, a rare yellow rose

During the Roman period, garden roses were widely cultivated in the Middle East. They were used as raw material for medicine, perfume, and confetti in celebration activities. The Roman aristocrats also built a large-scale public rose garden in the south of Rome. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the popularity of the garden rose had its ups and downs in the gardening trend at that time.

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War of the Roses

In the middle of the 15th century, a civil war broke out in England to fight for the throne. The two rivals in the royal House of Plantagenet – the House of Lancaster and the House of York – engaged in many wars in 32 years. The war ended with the marriage of Henry VII of the Lancaster family and Elizabeth of York. It also ended the rule of the French Canary Dynasty in England and opened the new rule of the Welsh Tudor Dynasty. This famous war in history is called the War of the Roses. After that, England’s Middle Ages ended and entered a new Renaissance.

Flower of the week:garden rose

Framed print after 1908 painting by Henry Payne of the scene in the Temple Garden from Shakespeare’s play Henry VI, Part 1, where supporters of the rival factions pick either red or white roses

In fact, the name “War of the Roses” was not used at that time, but in the 16th century, Shakespeare marked the beginning of the war with the plucking of two garden roses in the historical play Henry VI. The name comes from the family emblem chosen by the two families – the red rose of Lancaster and the white rose of York.

In order to commemorate the war, England took the garden rose as the national flower and changed the Royal insignia into the red and white rose – a combination of the two family insignia.

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Queen Josephine's Garden

In the 17th century, garden roses were very popular. The royal family even used them as legal tender. They were used for barter and payment. In the 19th century, Napoleon’s wife Josephine collected a large number of roses at Chateau de Malmaison, seven miles west of Paris. This garden became the creative background of the famous plant illustrator Pierre Joseph Redout é. In 1824, he completed his watercolor collection Les rose, which is still considered one of the best plant illustrations.

Flower of the week:garden rose

Rosa centifolia foliacea From Les Roses, Pierre-Joseph Redouté

The Birth of the First Modern Rose

At the end of the 18th century, China rose was introduced into Europe from China. Before that, the native rose in Europe only bloomed once, but China rose had the decent nature of a long blooming period, repeated blooming, and even a rare yellow rose, which aroused great interest of breeders. In 1867, in Queen Josephine’s rose garden, the world’s first hybrid of China rose and European rose was born. The famous rose hybridizer Jean-Baptiste André Guillot successfully bred Rosa ‘la France’, the star that changed history, which also marked the arrival of the modern rose.

Flower of the week:garden rose

Rosa ‘La France’, the first modern rose variety, still popular to this day.

Can I Grow a Decent Garden Rose?

Through the efforts of generations of breeders, the garden rose finally has a rich variety of appearance and friendly prices, and now appear in all gardening greenhouses. However, the maintenance of the garden rose has always been a problem. After all, the garden rose is too fragile, easily gets sick and grows yellow leaves. As long as you master the following points, your garden rose can easily sprout healthy and beautiful flowers.

Flower of the week:garden rose

First of all, don’t blindly pursue new varieties. You should get familiarized with the actual situation of your garden or balcony, and choose a more suitable variety. Many garden roses like to have more than five hours of full sunlight and good ventilation every day, so it is very important to plant them in open and ventilated places. If your balcony is enclosed, it’s hard to grow garden roses well. For a small area of the balcony, you can choose some miniature garden rose varieties.

In the season when the garden rose will be in full bloom, you can apply more fertilizer. After the flower is withered, the remaining flowers need to be cut immediately to preserve nutrients and promote other flowers to bloom. Try to prune it on sunny days so that the wound is less susceptible to infection.

Flower of the week:garden rose

Garden roses can easily produce diseases and pests. Compared with spraying a lot of pesticides when the pest problem is serious, the better way is to carefully observe and prevent it in advance. If there are diseases and insect pests, it is also necessary to find out the types of pests and select the appropriate control.

Size: From tiny garden rose to rose vine, the size varies greatly with varieties

Hardiness: Zones 5 through 9

Sunlight: Full sun

Soil: Fertile, well-drained, pH 6.0-7.0

Bloom Time: From spring to autumn