Tag Archives: Rose Cultivation

It’s Another Good Year For The Roses!

Grandmother Emily's Tea Set, Rocking Dog

Grandmother Emily’s Tea Set

With a mixture of delicious sunshine and refreshing rain it’s another good year for the roses. A few years ago I was given a little bit of money, I spent it taking out some life sapping and towering conifers which came with the house. How I hated them. In due course the mammoth culling process was completed, and the trees were replaced with rustic posts and wires in preparation for roses. Days were spent deliberating just which roses to choose and finally the order was made. December came, and with it a box of David Austin bare root rambling roses. Certainly they were unimpressive, little more than twigs. With the precious delivery the snow also came. Planting was postponed and the roses assigned to the cold but frost free cellar. Christmas over, and with the snow having melted, the ground remained so frost bitten. The roses could not stay in the cellar indefinitely, so warmly wrapped I headed out to dig seven massive holes! Rooting powder, mushroom compost, roses, together with determination and energy the plants were in! I remember not having high hopes for them. Last year there were beautiful blooms and the beginning of some privacy for the garden. This year the roses are rambling on, and with SO many showy scented blooms. I wish the conifers had gone long ago!

There is fossil evidence that suggests that roses have been around for 35 million years. The production of rosewater, scented oils and perfumes from wild roses can be traced back in Iraq to 2000BC. Meanwhile in Greek Mythology legend has it that Aphrodite the Goddess of Love created the rose from her tears and the blood from her lover Adonis. In Egypt, Cleopatra covered the floors of her palace to the depth of half a metre with fresh rose petals. Meanwhile the sails of her sailing ships were drenched with rosewater. Indeed rosehip wreaths have been discovered in Egyption tombs. In Rome, emperors filled swimming pools and fountains with rosewater. Such was the demand for roses by the wealthy, that Roman peasants were forced to grow roses instead of food. At one lavish feast hosted by Emperor Nero, a guest was smothered to death by rose petals which cascaded down from an open ceiling. Cultivation of roses was well underway by 500BC in China.

I love my Grandmother Emily’s tea service by Spode. It is decorated with pink roses and I loved it as a child, and still do. It tends to sit on open shelving in the kitchen and i’m rather too afraid to use it. I really don’t like tea anyway!

The paper rose was made and given to me by a friend very recently… I feel a bit of Marie coming on!

The Edwardian Rose is attributed to the Edwardian photo album. A “not in my tree” collection. The photo’s show the lives of an upper middle class family at the turn of the 20th century. Many photo’s are of their beautiful house and garden near Tunbridge Wells. There are photo’s of the gardener, very elderly distinguished lady, a wedding, interiors and with the onset of WW1, members of the family in uniform and a munitions unit. Fascinating.

Other rosy “bits” collected from around the kennel include a vintage fabric bucket bag made by The Dog, and cushions bought, not made by me. The tiara is one bought for the youngest and includes pink paper roses and pearls. She wore it for a fairy party which was filmed at the house for a local TV station about 15 years ago. I demonstrated making a cone shaped cake which I covered with homemade baby meringues and sugar frosted rosebuds. Lastly my Meissen “pot”, lots of lovely flowers including roses. and painted insects. It’s suffered during its lifetime but I simply love it.

There’s another rose to be planted, Olivia Rose (thank you Sorrel and Liv’) and thankfully this time no frost to contend with.

Rambling Roses, Rocking Dog

Rambling Roses

Beautiful Bloom, Rocking Dog

Beautiful Bloom

Paper Roses, Rocking Dog

Paper Roses

Rosy Loveliness, Rocking Dog

Rosy Loveliness

Edwardian Rose, Rocking Dog

Edwardian Rose

Roses To Sit On, Rocking Dog

Roses To Sit On

Fairy Rose Tiara, Rocking Dog

Fairy Rose Tiara

Meissen Roses, Rocking Dog

Meissen Roses

Rocking Dog Roses, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Roses