“ Roses are erect, climbing, or trailing shrubs whose stems are usually copiously armed with prickles of various shapes and sizes that are called thorns. The plant's leaves are alternate and pinnately compound (i.e., feather-formed). The rather oval leaflets are sharply toothed. The rose plant's fleshy, sometimes edible, berrylike fruit (actually the floral cup) is known as a hip. „
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I read in a paper the other day that the rose had been voted the most popular as the gardeners favourite flower and I have to admit its one of my favourites as a visit to my garden would show you the many varieties I have growing.
The rose has been popular since the middle ages, it was grown in monasteries for medical uses and also for their religious ceremonies. This was an old type of rose which was a cross between the French rose and the wild roses and of course the old Lancaster rose, after lots of cultivation and many years of rose growing there are now lots of different kinds of roses to choose from if youre a fan of this lovely flower.
Roses fall into different categories and these are the Hybrid tea roses, the Old roses, the Floribunda, the Climbers or Ramblers, the Wild Roses and the Miniature roses.
I love the Hybrid Tea roses as these have a spectacular vivid colour range and the scent seems to linger around the garden, the miniatures and the other varieties seem to have a more subtle scent, which you have to be sitting near to catch a smell of.
Climbing roses are great for the covering of the fences and can also be grown to add colour to a boring hedgerow around the garden, a climbing rose will grow in most places and will soon make itself a dominant feature to your edges of the garden. I love the pinks and have pink and white varieties around the hedges of my garden, not only does it brighten up the place, it also makes people think twice about climbing over your hedges as these can leave nasty little scratches for any intruder.
I find the best and quick growing climbing roses are :-
Rosa x harisonnii, which is a lovely bright yellow, the Rosa x highdownensis which has a bright pink colour and the Rosa alba which has tiny little white flowers.
The Hybrid Tea rose is quite a spectacular blooming rose, it has large flowers and stands high in the garden, with usually a strong scent and amazing colour, definitely one of my favourites in the garden as it adds colour and brightens the place up, cutting off the dead blooms as soon as they have faded allows the plant to produce more flowers for a nicer display, this is called dead heading.
I love to bring the large blooms into the house to brighten up the rooms over the summer months. If your into roses then finding a Blue Moon rose or a Duke of Windsor will show you just how lovely these plants are, I also like the Alexander rose which is a deep orangey red colour, but if you have the time to look up the ones I have mentioned you will be able to see the ones I have in my garden.
I also have little miniatures in the bedding areas and in pots scattered around the gazebo area, I especially like the one called little flirt, not only do I love the name but I love the colour too.
These can be easily grown in pots inside or out for added display.
Garden centres are great places to find a wide variety of colours and names of roses, but be prepared to shell out anything from £2.99 upwards, depending on the variety and size of the rose on sale. I find the best way of getting yourself a nice rose is to take a cutting from your friends gardens, or find them at the boot sales for a cheaper price.
Taking cuttings from a rose is easy, cut a stem which is none flowering in about September, strip off all the leaves apart from two at the top and then make a hole in the ground where you want your plant to grow, add a little manure and then plant the stem up to the top leaves, water well and you will soon see it set in and grow into another rose bush or plant.
Pruning is easy too I just chop my roses down in the autumn to about three or four inches from the bottom of the plant to encourage more growth for the next year.
Although roses are plagued by some pests these are easy to take care of with sprays, the commonest one is the greenfly and some caterpillars like to have a nibble but again sprays and a careful eye can easily take care of the pests, they are also prone to diseases like black spot which appears on the leaves, there is also powdered mildew and die back which is a fungus but again there are sprays you can buy at the garden centre for all the diseases your plant might pick up.
Even though they do get the occasional hiccup with pests of disease, the rose has to be one of the most popular flowers in the garden and well worth the effort of growing.
Roses, roses all the way
Shrub roses come in a great variety. There are types that grow tall and some that can be used as ground cover. Some are termed as old fashioned having been around for many years, others are known as modern.
Generally speaking, shrub roses need less attention than other types. Although they do need some pruning it is usually only to keep the bush in good shape and condition, cutting away the dead wood etc.
The ground cover variety is relatively new and can be planted to spread across the garden rather than up obvious from the name, of course! They will happily ramble over banks making a mass of fragrant blooms. They tend to have rather small flowers which grow in clusters and this makes a lovely carpet of colour. Some have names such as Flower Carpet and Magic Carpet.
The old fashioned type usually has many petals making them look as though they are double (as compared to the Hybrid Tea roses that are so popular). They look like the roses seen in old paintings and are usually very fragrant. They dont always have a very long flowering season however, tending to flower only at the height of summer.
The more modern shrub roses have a longer period of flowering. They come in a variety of shapes many of them being single roses similar to the wild rose. One favourite is Ballerina which is cluster flowered with single flowers of pale pink and white. This is one of the shorter shrubs growing to about three feet. Another is Golden Wings which is again a single rose in a bright yellow however, this bush can grow to about five feet if allowed to. One of my favourites is Canary Bird which is also yellow and has large single flowers but very small leaves giving the impression of ferns. Again this one can grow very tall if allowed.
One that is quite spectacular is Rosa Rugosa. This is very fragrant, also single flowers in various shades, one of the best known being very bright pink. The only drawback of this particular variety being the exceptionally thorny stems!
Shrub roses should be treated as any other shrub. They can be a feature in the border or they can be trained into a hedge if so desired. They come in all colours and can make a spectacular show in the garden with very little attention.
I hope that this will be of some help in your garden. Thank you for reading.
For Jill ... My favourite thing? Well after much thinking, sleeping on it and thinking some more I 'think' it's got to be love. No, please don't groan, I'm trying to be serious. "Yes, but what has this got to do with roses?", you may ask. Not a lot I suppose, but there isn't anywhere else I can write about love so I'm going to use the rose symbolically, if that's okay. The rose will be my Symbol of Love. I'll make sure that there are free sick bags available at the end of the opinion for those of a less sensitive nature. Have you ever meditated while looking at a rose? "You wot?" I meditate most days after my yoga ... "Oh gawd!" ... and the rose is something very special. It has the essence of love within its petals. I know this'll make me sound real soppy but the last time I meditated with a rose I ended up with tears running down my cheeks. These weren't of sadness but because I saw the love and beauty within the flower - honest! The rose is far superior to us and, for an instant, I imagined that I very nearly glimpsed the meaning of life. The rose has flowered, whereas we are still developing. The thorns are like the experiences we encounter. The trials and tribulations, if you like, that we have to overcome before we can understand the beauty and mystery of our existence. These difficulties, I believe, are all for a purpose. The rose already has the illusive secrets and one day we'll also discover what these are. I reckon a part of this will be learning to love. By this I mean real love. The sort where we give and receive unconditionally. I suppose the purest example would be similar to that of a parent for a child. Where nothing is wanted in exchange for the love given. I know, for example, that no matter what I do, or what I say, or how long I stay away my dad will be there f
or me - regardless, 100% - whenever I need him. It's a lovely feeling and, because of the love and respect I also have for him, I would never take advantage or abuse this love - well, not nowadays I wouldn't. Goodness knows, I've made some mistakes. But I now realise that I've been very fortunate, with the love shown to me by my parents, family, 'bestest' friend - whom I have known since I was nine or ten and my present boyfriend. Maybe one day everyone will be as fortunate. I feel that a lack of love is the major problem in the world today. You know, if everyone joined up to the roses 'Symbol of Love' we would end wars, hunger, poverty, crime and vandalism. How could we hurt, or harm, or see anyone go without, if we loved them? Of course love has to be nurtured, erm, like the rose ... Roses - now they need a decent soil. A rich, leafy loam with a clay sub soil is best I'm told. We need a loving family, regardless of the number, or sex, of our parents. The rose family, Rosaceae, is the largest herbacious species with 3370 different sorts and yet they live in peace! Roses thrive on sunshine, cleanliness, lots of fresh air, mulching and feeding. Feeding with a fertilizer in mid April and then giving a good mulching of organic matter gets them off to a flying start, with maybe another dose of fertiliser in June and one more in July. There are many proprietary brands of fertilisers available, but a homemade one could consist of: two parts superphosphate of lime, one part potash and one part sulphate of ammonia. If you are lucky enough to be able to use farmyard manure for mulching (some people have all the luck), it should only be necessary to give one top dressing of fertiliser in June or early July. So, what do we need? Praise, attention and loads of love. Well I do! It helps me to thrive and I know how much I've changed over the last two or
three years because I've received so much. For once I'm not talking about sex! All I'll say on that subject today is that I now realise that sex, with love, is much superior. It's just so wonderful to be loved. Now life has it's problems, like greenfly (aphis), mildew, black spot, rust and Chafer Beetles - not very pleasant are they? But we can overcome a lot of things with love. There are many sprays and the like on the market that a loving gardener can use to control such pests and diseases. With black spot it seems that it's best to burn any infected leaves and then mulch the plants with grass cuttings or compost prior to spraying - which normally needs to be continued every couple of weeks. When us humans have problems isn't it nice when we have someone offering love and support? I guess it would be better still if we offered love to those we don't know as well - a comforting word or compliment, a little time, even just a smile. I know this is all very Mary Poppins but we could have such a fantastic world if we wanted. I have a wiser than me friend, who says we should always leave a gift with everyone we meet or visit, - even if it is 'only' a loving thought. I'd better say a little more about roses now. Fossils of roses have been found in Europe and America showing that their existence must date back millions of years. They are mentioned in the writings of Theophrastus and Pliny. The name originates from the word 'rhod', meaning red. The island of Rhodes got its name because of the many roses that grew wild on its rocky shores. The Greeks and Romans used great quantities of roses at their feasts and festivals. Nero loved them! Typically, knowing this, the early Christian church leaders disapproved of the flowers and wouldn't let them in their churches because of, what they considered to be, Pagan connections. Most odd! Especially as later r
oses became the emblem of the martyrs and the white rose became representative of the virginity of Mary. Roses have been used symbolically for hundreds of years by all sorts of people. The Rosicrucians, for instance, use the rose on a cross. There was the Tudor Rose of Britain created after the Wars of the Roses when: 'Henry VII did the Roses unite, His was the red, and his wife's the white'. I've gone on long enough, but isn't it great to dwell on our favourite things? All together now, "What a wonderful world ..." Thanks for reminding us, Jill. Lots of love to everyone, Kay. "Jill Murphy asked me to write about one of my favourite things to help her celebrate her fourth anniversary of cancer-free living and to remind ourselves of all the nice things in the world. It takes more muscles to make a frown than a smile you know. If you'd like to join in, whether you've only just joined dooyoo, or you've been here ages, you're more than welcome. Just write about one of YOUR favourite things, make your title "A Favourite Thing: [your choice]" and include this paragraph at the foot of your opinion. And post before Friday, 9th August."
"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens" When I read Jill's message that song popped into my head and refused to go away until I wrote about one of my favourite things. There was no category for rainbows or butterflies so I have chosen roses. Roses have a depth of beauty beyond mere vision. Beautiful, scented and delicate they also have thorns. The rose is a mysterious metaphor for all aspects of life and love reflecting both joy and sorrow, bitter and sweet within the same oneness. There are too many myths, legends and stories about the rose to even think of capturing its essence in this opinion but can you imagine poetry existing without roses. From Burn's famous 'luves like a red, red rose' through Herrick who told a maiden to gather 'rosebuds' before she got too old. Blake was sorry for the sick rose and T. S Elliot concluded that all shall be well when the fire and the rose are one. Mystical poets use the rose as a metaphor for union with god and similar esoteric thoughts. Often a love poem is actually a deeply spiritual poem and the idea of rose bowers as romantic places derived from secret gardens where the 'rose' was venerated as a symbol of the divine feminine and hence the 'rosary' traditionally made from rosehips or rosewood. Far more than just another flower I simply couldn't live without roses. I have many roses in my garden most of them were chosen for their scent but some have a place for other reasons too. Being a bit of a romantic I tend to go in for pastel and pink roses more than any other colour and grow them tangled up with blue and purple clematis or here there and everywhere in the borders. Here I will list some of my favourites. SPECIES ROSES Species roses are wild roses or their near relatives. These roses only have one flush of flowers and many of the flowers have the simple five petals as the hedgerow dog rose. They come true fr
om seed. Rosa glauca *** for the lovely foliage This is a species rose, sometimes called rosa rubrifolia, is actually grown for its foliage more than its flowers, and this indeed was what attracted me to it. The long arching branches are relatively thornless and carry leaves of a delicate soft blue greyish colour and the shrub has hints of purple from the stalks. It has a sort of glow to it which is very attractive. The flowers are tiny delicate and a lovely pink and it also has beautiful dark red purplish hips which are very attractive. It grows to about 6 ft if you allow it and does not suffer from any of the normal rose problems. I often find baby self seeded rosa glaucas growing near so it is very easy to propagate. Rosa moyesii geranium *** for the stunning rose hips This is another species rose but I have this one as a standard rose. It has one flush of bright scarlet single flowers. The main attraction of this plant is not the flowers or foliage which are quite ordinary but its wonderful hips. In autumn and winter the hips are magnificent, they have a very large flagon shape with a rich deep orange-red colour. These make attractive additions to winter flower arrangements and the birds also rather like them. Madame Isaac Perreire *** for its scent Bourbon rose This rose has abundant deep pink flowers with a superb fragrance but it is a bit difficult. It tends to flop all over the place because of the heavy double flowers so it needs support of some kind. It is susceptible to rose problems. Ballerina *** because it flowers all summer and dances so beautifully over lavender Ballerina is a hybrid musk shrub rose and and I have it as a standard. This one doesn?t have any scent but it does have a profusion of flowers throughout the summer. The graceful arching habit of hybrid musks lends itself well to growing as a standard. The long trailing blossom covered stems trail softly and are actually
reminiscent of a ballerina's skirt dancing in the summer breezes. In my herb garden I have ballerina standard roses underplanted with dwarf lavenders and it is really beautiful. The lavender supplies the scent these roses lack and the pinks, purples and greys complement each other. Cardinal de Richelieu *** because its purple and scented This is another double floppy one with rich velvety purple blooms and a beautiful scent. This one is a Gallica rose derived from the original Apothecary's rose. Blue Peter *** because it is small beautiful and blue Blue Peter is a miniature or patio rose and I just couldn't resist it because it has a very unusual colour for a rose. It is almost blue. In the garden it forms a lovely compact little bush. CLIMBING ROSES I have only got five climbing roses at the moment. I have two old favourites Albertine and Compassion both pastels and scented and another which I don't know the name of. I chose this unknown rose for a quirky corner of weird contrasts. It is a climbing miniature rose with bright orange flowers and it grows with a huge purple flowered clematis giving quite a strange effect. Handel *** for its stunning beauty Handel is one of the most spectacular roses I have ever seen it is so gorgeous that it doesn't look real. When it is in full bloom it is white but the wavy edges of the petals are painted a rosy pink. On the way to flowering there are hints of other colours too yellow and orange. Handel is a climbing floribunda rose. Floribundas are 'many-flowered' roses which have clusters of small to medium blossoms throughout the season.. Zéphirine Drouhin Zéphirine Drouhin is a climbing bourbon rose. Bourbon roses are a cross between damask and China rose and are large flowered and fragrant. This is my favourite rose and it must be one of the most special roses in the world. It is a lovel
y vibrant pink and it smells absolutely delicious, reminding me of the taste of Turkish delight. Actually the scent conjures up thoughts of eastern delights of all kinds, of the perfumed garden variety. This rose flowers profusely, in bursts, throughout the season. It is usually the first and last rose to bloom in the garden. Zéphirine Drouhin, is famous for being the thornless rose so is an excellent choice if you have young children or for trailing over arches where people might otherwise be scratched by thorns. Vigorous but not uncontrollable, I have had mine for about 15 years. At first it was growing round the window of my study in a shady corner but now it graces the trellis and arch. It occasionally suffers from black spot but always seems to recover. If you only have room for one rose you won?t be disappointed if you choose this one. EATING ROSES Rose hips Rose hips contain more vitimin C than any other common fruit or veg, much more in fact than even oranges. Rose hip syrup is made from the hips of wild roses and it is the only commercial product which is made from hedgerow produce. In addition to making rosehip syrup which can be used to flavour puddings, yoghurt etc, hips can also be used to make hedgerow jelly along with hawthorn berries, and crab apples etc. Also in sauces and wine. There are plenty of recipes on the internet. Rose petals Rose petals, along with many other flowers, are edible. Simply remove the white bit ,the heel, which is bitter and use the petals in salads, to decorate drinks. They can also be candied, crystallised for decorating cakes and sweets or used to make jam or flower vinegar. "Jill Murphy asked me to write about one of my favourite things to help her celebrate her fourth anniversary of cancer-free living and to remind ourselves of all the nice things in the world. It takes more muscles to make a frown than a smile you know. If you'd like to
join in, whether you've only just joined dooyoo, or you've been here ages, you're more than welcome. Just write about one of YOUR favourite things, make your title "A Favourite Thing: [your choice]" and include this paragraph at the foot of your opinion. And post before Friday, 9th August."
I have a confession to make. I tend to go off the beaten track a little. Occasionally. Oh, you know that already? Well, it will come as no great surprise to discover that this is not about the large flowered Hybrid Teas, which are all most folks think of when they think of roses. No. I reckon they are so well known, they can speak for themselves. I’m going to speak up for the lesser known ones; those members of the rose family lurking quietly in the background, patiently waiting for their moment of glory. Let me introduce a few. ROSA RUGOSA Sometimes known as the Ramanas Rose, Rosa rugosa is widely planted as hedging. It can grow up to 1.5 or 2m high, and produces masses of prickly stems. It suckers freely, and so in a fairly short time, produces a spikey thicket which will deter the most persistent intruder, drunk, or wandering doggy. It is therefore a good choice for boundaries. However, it cannot be clipped successfully in to a formal hedge shape, and is probably more suitable in rural areas, or as a back garden hedge. Rugosa is as tough as old boots. It is a favourite hedging plant in the wilds of Caithness, where it grows and thrives in an environment where anything standing still is rapidly caked in salt from the sea-spray. Or would be, if the wind let up long enough to allow anything to stand still. Despite originating in S E Asia, Rosa rugosa will absorb anything our climate can throw at it, wherever in this island you may live. Rugosa itself has pink flowers; Rugosa alba has white flowers; and Rugosa rubra has red flowers. All have a long flowering season, and the flowers are followed by the biggest rosehips of all the family. These hips are quite unusual, being round and flattish, rather than cylindrical like most of the relatives. It is deciduous, of course, and so nothing special to look at in winter, after the birds have had the hips. But it remains a functional
hedge, all the same. It is parent to many hybrids, and cultivated shrub roses in particular, like Roseraie de l’Hay and Frau Dagmar Hastrop. It is also used as a rootstock by nurserymen, for grafting less vigorous varieties. ROSA PIMPINELLIFOLIA Also known botanically as Rosa spinosissima, and commonly as the Scotch or Burnet Rose, this has to be the prickliest of a pretty prickly family! It only grows up to about a metre, and does not sucker as profusely as rugosa, but it too will make a good informal hedge. The stems grow erect, and the leaves are a very dark green. The flowers, which appear in profusion in may and June, are usually white, but can sometimes be pale pink. The hips are quite small, but are unusual in being a very dark maroon, and indeed often black. Pimpinellifolia is also the parent of many hybrids, one of the better known being Rosa pimpinellifolia Lutea, which has a lovely single yellow flower. ROSA RUBRIFOLIA Or Rosa glauca, but sadly without a common name to my knowledge. But it definitely ranks highly among my favourites. Roses are grown, of course, for their flowers. Rarely are they considered as foliage plants. Well, consider this! Rubrifolia has reddish-violet stems, which are almost thornless. These stems carry a remarkable foliage, which is glaucous-purple in full sun, and greyish with a mauve tinge in shade. I wish I could describe these colours so that you can visualise them! The bright pink flowers are a bonus, and this is a wonderful foil plant for the back of a border. ROSA WICHURAIANA This one is sometimes known as the Memorial Rose, and is a little bit different. It is low-growing, and semi-evergreen. Its trailing stems can grow up to 6m long. It is excellent ground cover, as the stems will root at intervals as they spread. Use it to cover a scruffy bank, or try growing beside an old tree stump, which it will clothe in no time at
all. It produces clusters of white flowers in late summer, and they are highly fragrant. Wichuraiana is the parent of that very well known rambling rose, Albertine, which holds an RHS Garden Merit Award. And talking of ramblers, I’d better not ramble too much longer. I guess only die-hard gardeners will have persevered this far, and I don’t want to be responsible for anyone dozing off. So I’ll just give a brief mention to a couple more, which are worthy of note. ROSA VIRGINIANA This one justifies its inclusion here for its autumn colour. The leaves turn first to purple, then to orange, crimson and yellow, though not necessarily in that order! ROSA RUBIGINOSA This is Eglantine or Sweet Briar. Do not overlook it just because it’s a native. Both flowers and foliage are wonderfully aromatic, and if you have room, it makes a fragrant but impenetrable hedge. So when you think of roses, don’t just think of Hybrid Teas, or Floribundas, or even Cadburys. Open your mind to a whole new rose experience! And the inevitable alcoholic footnote. Yes you can. Not only from the hips, but from the petals, too. In fact rose petal wine is one of the best I’ve ever made. Scented petals are best, and produce a bouquet . . (waxes lyrically off the bottom of the page . . .)