Sunday, June 21, 2009

National Rose Month

Did you know that June is National Rose Month? The rose has a long history of symbolism, and here are a few fun facts about roses you may not have known:

*George Washington was the first rose breeder in the United States.

*Over a billion roses are sold annually!

*Samuel de Champlain brought the first cultivated rose to North America in the 17th century.

*The most popular modern rose is "Peace", shown above. It's always been one of my favorites, along with "Princess Diana", below.

*Five states call the rose their State Flower: Georgia, Iowa, New York, North Dakota, and the District of Columbia.

*Since 1986, the rose has been the official Emblem of the United States. It is also the National Flower of England, long known for its love of roses.

*The largest private rose garden in the world is in Cavriglia, Italy and holds over 7500 different varieties of roses.

*The world's oldest living rose is believed to be 1000 years old, and grows on the wall of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in Germany. Its presence is documented since A.D. 81.

*The oldest garden rose variety is the Apothecary Rose.

*The largest rose ever bred occured in California. It was a pink rose measuring 33 inches in diameter!

*The rose is the favorite flower of 85% of Americans.

*Every rose color has a meaning associated with it. The most popular color (and most traditional) is red. There are as yet, no true black roses.

Some of the most fragrant roses are the 'antiques", such as the Bourbons, the Gallicas, the floribundas. Famed British rosarian David Austin is responsible for improving the old roses and reintroducing them to a new audience. I love the old varieties like this gorgeous "Mary Rose"

Portland, Oregon is known as the Rose City. It's home to the International Rose Test Garden, which was founded in 1917, making it the oldest continuously operated public rose test garden in the U.S.

McKinley Park Rose Garden in Sacramento, CA., another beautiful spot boasting over 1200 rose plants of all varieties. I love this delicate single called "Dainty Bess" with it's shell-pink blush of color.

Elizabeth Park Rose Garden in Hartford, CT. has the distinction of being the oldest municipally operated rose garden, and cares for an eye-popping 15,000 plants! If you can't find a rose you like here, then you don't like roses!

In Texas, the Tyler Rose Garden is the largest, encompassing 14 acres. They host the annual Texas Rose Festival. Since everything is bigger in Texas, how about this "Dolly Parton" rose for eyepopping?

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