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Garden Tales: Roses

Updated on May 1, 2009


the rose

That which we call a rose; By any other name would smell as sweet.

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 scene 2

The rose may possibly be the oldest plant still growing with a history that according to fossil evidence dates back some 35 million years.

The rose’s family tree is highly complicate as we shall see and we now have some 30,000 varieties.

It is most likely that roses were first cultivated approximately 5,000 years ago in Asia and since then the rose has been intertwined with humanity and many of our great tales.

In the language of flowers the red rose says I love you.

Aphrodite, according to Greek mythology named the rose but it was up to Chloris, the Goddess of Flowers to bring the rose into being. As the story goes, one day while Chloris was cleaning in the forest she found the lifeless body of a beautiful nymph. Chloris seeking to bring the nymph back to life sought the assistance of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who gave her beauty. Chloris then visited Dionysus, the god of wine, who added nectar which lent her a sweet scent.

The Three Graces, in their turn provided charm, brightness and joy. The West Wind, Zephyr, blew the clouds away so that Apollo, the sun god, could shine and make the flower bloom. Thus, Rose was born.

Among the magical properties of rose are: the rose is in love and harmony spells; roses planted in your garden will attract fairies; rose petals sprinkled around the house will calm stress and reduce household upheavals.

The rose hip, the part that remains after the petals fall off has been used for nutrition and health for centuries. Rose hips are a well known source of vitamin C and contain vitamins E and K, and the B vitamins riboflavin and folate.

I am always surprised that so few people seem to know the value of the rose hip and when I see bushes upon bushed of rose plants with the hips just waiting to be picked I am reminded of how much we still need to learn.

I have on several occasions made arrangements with people to pick a few of their rose hips and have often targeted select bushes for an urban foraging adventure.

The rose family is comprised of somewhere between 3 and 4 thousand members. Apples, almonds and strawberries are among the relatives.

Roses- is there anything more beautiful than a rose in bloom, I mean in the plant world, of course. The first step to caring for your roses is to know which rose you have.


Roses are quick to establish themselves and will be better able to resist diseases and pests if they are planted in the right place. The rose will require six hours of sunlight per day if you want to flourish and flower.

An ideal spot for roses is an eastern exposure that receives the morning sun; avoid plating your roses where there are obstructions that create shade.

Do you have a rose tale?


planting bare root roses


Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Rose growing roses, sometimes life just fits. Thanks for the visit.

  • Dottie1 profile image

    Dottie1 9 years ago from MA, USA

    I did not know about the rose hip and how it has been used for nutrition and health for centuries. I love to learn something new every day. I also checked out your delicious rose hip recipees hub.

    My mother-in-law's name is Rose and she is as sweet as a rose. She loves and grows all kinds of roses. Her rose garden is beautiful and she loves her name Rose.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

    You never know what a rose may do, thanks for visiting.

  • tamaiah profile image

    tamaiah 9 years ago

    wow, we have many roses in our garden, i planted most of them, so now i know its use aside from cutting it and putting it in our altar...maybe it may cure us too, hehehe, thanx...tamaiah

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks Brian, glad you stopped by.

  • Brian Kopp profile image

    Brian Kopp 9 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

    I love your hub beautiful picture of the rose.