Cemetery Roses

images-2As many of you know I have loved roses since I was a teenager but I didn’t start my dive into old and historical roses until the 80s when I read the journal of a young woman who left the comfort of her home to join her husband in a journey west. One of the experiences she described was painstakingly taking cuttings of the roses and plants she just couldn’t live without. As I read her story, I felt as though I was going on the journey with her. Roses were not just for beauty to the women of this era. They were also a source of flavoring and vitamin C (from their hips). Even the most thorny roses were of value as they were used as living fences to protect vegetable gardens and such.

Harison's Yellow
Harison’s Yellow in my garden…

Also during this time we were given Harison’s Yellow (Hybrid Foetida) rose from a friend in Tennessee who had received it from a family member in Ohio. We learned that this rose had been passed through their family for some time. I started doing some investigation and found out just where the rose originated. You can read the history of Harison’s Yellow here.

I continue to love old garden and historical roses and have several in my garden. What a joy it is to visit gardens that have these lovely old beauties. One such garden is definitely on my garden bucket list … The award-winning Sacramento City Cemetery Rose Garden. This garden is home to old or antique roses collected from cemeteries, old home sites and along roadsides in northern California. The establishment of the garden was done by Fred Boutin, an internationally recognized rosarian and authority on “found roses,” and Jean Travis, a member of the Heritage Rose Group. Members of this group work to collect, plant and maintain these roses which were popular from the California Gold Rush era through the Victorian/Edwardian era (1850-1915). The collection now includes more than 400 plants–over 200 varieties.

For those of you who love fragrant roses, these roses are some of the most fragrant roses that exist.

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You can imagine how thrilled I was to have Anita Clevenger, Curator of this garden, with us on Rose Chat. Did you know that cemeteries used to be a place to gather for picnics regularly? Hear about that and more by clicking on the Rose Chat logo below.

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If you live in the the Sacramento area, their annual Open Day in the Garden event is in April. They have many activities planned including the ever popular Rose Sale! Hundreds of roses are available and they always sell out. So, it pays to get there early! 🙂

For the list of other events in the garden this year, read on.

All you need is love…

The Beatles sang, “all you need is love,” but when it comes to Valentine’s Day I would suggest you need just a bit more — flowers and maybe even chocolate. And, on Valentines day … the premier flower to convey the message of love is the rose!

Last year it was estimated that 224 million roses were grown for Valentine’s Day.

A few years ago when I was a florist I can tell you that on Valentine’s Day business was always booming and we did hundreds & hundreds of vases of roses and most of them were red, but we also had customers who were looking for roses other than red to convey a certain meaning as there IS a language of flowers.

The Victorians were serious about their flowers and even developed a very unique “language of flowers” that included herbs, shrubs blossoms and more! Mothers of that era were directed to teach their daughters religion and the art of making a well-made bokay. At least religion was first. But when you see the long list of flowers and what they could mean, it is a little daunting — it was a very good thing that the Victorians were armed with their floral dictionaries to keep things straight. As we learned from Newland and Countess Ellen Olenska in The Age of Innocence … sending an inappropriate message in a bokay of flowers could be social death.

I don’t want there to be any social death when it comes to your sending roses this year and to help you sort out some of their meanings, here are the top colors of roses and what they symbolize.

GrandeAmore copy
Grande Amore HT

Let’s get started with Red — the universal symbol of love and romance.

Of the 220 million roses grown for Valentines Day 51% of them are red.

Red also means beauty, courage and respect as well as you are ready to take the relationship to the next level. Hey, that could be very helpful! 🙂

In a nutshell, the red rose is the most popular way to say “I LOVE YOU!”

Want to grow red roses in your garden, here are some to consider: The Kordes rose Grande Amore is sure beautiful. Others are Oh My, Mr. Lincoln and Veteran’s Honor, Red Drift and Firefighter. Of course before purchasing roses check your growing zone and better yet get recommendations from your local Rose Society or via the American Rose Society online here.

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Beverly HT

PINK ROSES

Pink roses carry with them the meaning of appreciation or “thank you,” grace, perfect happiness and admiration and even “Please Believe Me.”

Pink is also thought to be the gentler side of red and might be a good choice if your relationship is in the strong LIKE stage.

Pink roses to grow in your garden: Beverly Hybrid Tea is a new beautiful, fragrant and extremely hardy pink rose.

Marci Martin talked to us a few weeks ago on Rose Chat about the beautiful pink roses Falling in Love and Climbing Colette. Marci was so convincing that I have ordered Climbing Colette. Hear these recommendations and many more from Marci herself by listening to her very entertaining Rose Chat podcast here.

 

Anna's Promise Grandiflora Hybridizer: Tom Carruth Easy Care Fragrant
Anna’s Promise

ORANGE ROSES

Now to the bright and bold orange roses … they can mean desire, enthusiasm and passion.

Giving a bouquet of orange roses could be a sign of emerging romantic feelings and the desire to move a relationship beyond the stage of friendship.

They can also be an expression of fascination, or a gift to say “I’m proud of you.”

Orange roses to grow in your garden are Artistry, All a Twitter, Tuscan Sun, Easy Does It & Hot Cocoa.

David Austin's Wollerton Old Hall
David Austin’s Wollerton Old Hall

YELLOW ROSES

Yellow roses convey … joy, gladness, friendship, delight and a promise of a new beginning,

Yellow roses can also mean Welcome Back – When we tie a yellow ribbon around the tree — remember that song?

Yellow can also mean … remember me,  jealousy or “I care.”

I love associating yellow roses with with joy and friendship because I always think of yellow roses as brightening someones day. They sure brighten mine!

Some yellow roses to grow in your garden: One of my favorites is Julia Child, others are Graham Thomas and Golden Celebrations— lovely David Austin yellow roses.

Poseidon
Poseidon

LAVENDER ROSES

Lavender roses carry with them the meaning of love at first sight and enchantment.

This is another color that was very popular at the flower shop. Lavender roses were highly sought after because they were so fragrant and you didn’t see them as often, so they could really make an impact as a gift.

Lavender roses to grow in your garden… The only lavender rose I grow at this time is a Kordes rose called Poseidon and it is has very lovely fringed petals.

Other lovely lavender roses would be Barbara Striesand, Neptune and the stunning Love Song!

heart+floral+vintage+Image+GraphicsFairy010bVALENTINE’S DAY

Regardless of the origins of Valentine’s Day, it is today a day to celebrate those in your life that you love. I wish you a life that is overflowing with love and filled with beautiful roses.

Well, and a little chocolate.