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I like so many things about the month of June. One of those things is its official flower, the rose. Roses are a familiar sight at many weddings and celebrations, but I’ve found they are especially popular with June brides. Roses are available in so many different colors that brides have no problem finding exactly what they want. My blog this week is a celebration of the flower favored by many famous writers including William Shakespeare. ‘…That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet…‘ – Juliet of Romeo and Juliet.
A Little History about the Rose
Fossil discoveries have shown us that roses date back about 35 million years. Five thousand years ago, roses started showing up in many gardens in China. Romans established public rose gardens for everyone to enjoy. Along with beautifying the atmosphere roses have been used to make medicines, food, drinks and perfume.
Colors of Roses
Hybrid rose experimentation has led to a growing number of colors. There are red, peach, orange, salmon, yellow, white, cream, purple, dark pink and burgundy roses to name a few. Some scientists are even trying to create blue roses. My personal favorite is the light pink rose. I helped create a wedding bouquet of white roses with a few light pink ones mixed in. I thought the bouquet made the bride look even more ethereal as she swept down the aisle on her big day.
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Where Roses Grow
Today, there at least 150 species of roses growing in the northern hemisphere. Many roses are native to Asia while some are from Europe. A map of growing zones can help you figure out whether roses will flourish if planted in your area of the country.
Caring for Roses
Plant your roses in a place where they’ll get six to eight hours of sunlight each day. They should have 18 inches of space to grow and fare best in well-draining, moist soil. These blooms require a regular amount of water. Many rose growers use drip irrigation to ensure their flowers receive a consistent amount of water. Pruning your roses boosts air circulation and brings on new growth. It can also prevent powdery mildew and other diseases common to roses.
- Georgia, New York, Iowa and North Dakota all claim the rose as their state flower.
- A rose’s fruit also known as rose hips, have a high level of vitamin C. These are used to make jellies, syrup and tea.
- Roses have five petals with the exception of one variety; the rosa sericea has four.
- Roses can symbolize love or sorrow depending on the occasion.
- The tallest rose bush measures in at 23 feet!
- In 2002, a rose was flown into space for an experiment dealing with the effect of low gravity on the scent of a rose.
For some extra fun at your next party, try making some rose petal ice cubes to add to your guests’ glasses or the punch bowl. Enjoy all the wonderful things June has to offer! – Ava