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?


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.”




The Rose is the National Floral Emblem and there are so many ways to enjoy roses:

1. Plant a rose bush! Need help? Go to to learn more.
2. Take roses to nursing homes, hospitals, banks and your local library. You’ll brighten someone’s day! Encourage your local library to have a rose book display.
3. Give roses to show your love or friendship. Roses are a favorite gift to receive.
4. Give a gift of a rosebush for a longer-lasting gift. There are so many different kinds of roses to choose from with an end-less variety of colors, including stripes.
5. Visit a botanical garden or a rose garden. You might find inspiration to start your own rose garden or plant a community garden!
6. Take photos of your roses and share with friends in cards, notes and letters. Share with the ARS on our many social media platforms and be sure to tag us, #roses, #nationalfloralemblem
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The Indianapolis Rose Society is affiliated with the American Rose Society and the Illinois/Indiana District. We are a group of amateur rose growers with varied levels of experience. We have members who are just starting to learn about roses and members who grow from one rose to those who grow 400 roses and are excellent at mentoring. I’m on the board and can tell you first hand it is a lovely group! We’d love to have you join us! For more information read on here.


Fireworks and Fragrance 2023 has begun. The ramblers and old garden roses are going strong. The more modern roses are beginning to come to life – some running a bit late due to the severe trim I had to give them.

The herb garden entrance is flanked buy so much beauty this week! Petite Pink roses, Celsiana and Moje Hammarberg in background, Sweet William in bloom too!

Believe it or not

I have had 3 very unusual things to happen in my Zone 5b garden…

  1. 2 Dahlias that I did not dig up last year are growing – strong! WHAT??
  2. Zinnias self seeded. NO WAY! WAY!
  3. A 7″ lizard crossed in front of me on my way to the potting shed. YIKES!

To my knowledge none of those things have happened before. Mr. G says that our son used to catch little lizards in the garden from time to time, but I guess that somehow alluded me. 😳


For the month of June there are so many great rose chats you won’t want to miss!

Last week’s Rose Chat Was so fun…

Matt Douglas from High Country Roses talked all about Hybrid Musk roses and some new roses he thinks are extra special. LISTEN HERE…


This is the time of year when gardening is SO MUCH FUN. Well, if you discount the fact that every day this week has hovered near 90!! Watching the blooms unfold is like Christmas every day!

Friends stay cool and enjoy your time in the garden and celebrate our national floral emblem!