June is National Rose Month. Roses have a long and colorful history. They have been symbols of love, beauty, war and politics.
Did you know that the rose was almost overshadowed by the marigold? On January 12, 1959, the president of the W. Atlee Burpee Co., David Burpee, wrote newly-elected Senate Minority Leader Everett M. Dirksen, proclaiming the virtues of the marigold and calling it “the flower of the people.” David Burpee was vigilant in the fight. He was known for using PT Barnum’s model for promotion and advertising — just like his dad! For nearly 10 years Burpee and Dirksen campaigned for the marigold.
Many other flowers were considered too … there were even those who strongly suggested the corn tassel be our national flower. What?
A ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE
But, we know the end of the story… In 1986 President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution making the rose the national floral emblem at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden…
“Americans have always loved the flowers with which God decorates our land. More often than any other flower, we hold the rose dear as the symbol of life and love and devotion, of beauty and eternity. For the love of man and woman, for the love of mankind and God, for the love of country, Americans who would speak the language of the heart do so with a rose.
We see proof of this everywhere. The study of fossils reveals that the rose has existed in America for age upon age. We have always cultivated roses in our gardens. Our first President, George Washington, bred roses, and a variety he named after his mother is still grown today. The White House itself boasts a beautiful Rose Garden. We grow roses in all our fifty States. We find roses throughout our art, music, and literature. We decorate our celebrations and parades with roses. Most of all, we present roses to those we love, and we lavish them on our altars, our civil shrines, and the final resting places of our honored dead.
The American people have long held a special place in their hearts for roses. Let us continue to cherish them, to honor the love and devotion they represent, and to bestow them on all we love just as God has bestowed them on us.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 159 has designated the rose as the National Floral Emblem of the United States and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation declaring this fact.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the rose as the National Floral emblem of the United States of America.”
A ROSE A DAY
I have loved roses ever since I received my first bokay, which makes sharing my roses with others very important to me whether in a vase, a story or a picture. If you were here I would be sure you had a vase of flowers before you left, but for now … I’ll share pictures of some of the roses blooming in my garden this year.
Every day for the 30 days in June, I plan to share a rose that I have the privilege of growing in my garden. I hope you’ll come along for my rose celebration.
And the first one is …. The Queen of Bourbons… (Read about her here.)
THE AMERICAN ROSE SOCIETY
Founded in 1892,the American Rose Society is the oldest single plant horticultural society in America. The ARS is an educational, nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to the cultivation and enjoyment of roses. ARS supports its members by providing educational programs, resourceful publications,and continuing research. We have more than 300 affiliated rose societies in our national network.
I am a proud member of the ARS and draw routinely from their wealth of information. For membership information, click here.
EVERYONE HAS A FAVORITE
If I were voting … of course the rose would be my pick as National Flower. What would your pick be?
And, if like me you would choose the rose, what is your favorite rose—-so far this year?