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Understanding The Beauty Of A Rose

Aug 17, 2007
The rose is, by general consent, the queen of flowers. This is acknowledged even by those who specialize in such flowers as dahlias, chrysanthemums, sweet peas, carnations and many others. Why this should be is not easy to explain because, after all, most flowers seen through the eyes of those who grow them have an equal claim to be the most beautiful, and yet who would deny the pre-eminence of the rose?

It can be truthfully said that the rose is the only plant with which a complete garden can be made. One could fill a garden with any other kind of plant and thereby obtain a fine display of blooms, but such a garden would be dull and uninteresting except to the person interested in that particular flower. This would not be the case for a garden of roses.

The rose has not always held this unique place in our esteem, for it is the result of long, patient work by the hybridists who in the last fifty years or so have given us such diverse types, and have lengthened the period of flowering to an extent exceeded by no other flower.

The uses of the rose
The uses to which our modern roses can be put are many. There are the Ramblers of the Dorothy Perkins type, with their long pliable growth which can be trained to almost any position. When budded on to a tall stem to form a weeping standard they do not object to having their growth suspended upside down.

The Hybrid Teas are, of course, by far the largest class and still remain the most popular, and rightly so, for it is from these that the finest blooms are obtained. One can have these as dwarf plants for planting in beds or borders, or as standards, which are very useful for breaking up the levels, or as specimen plants.

In the last few years the Floribunda roses have forged ahead in popularity, which is very understandable considering the ease with which they are grown, their hardiness and very free-blooming qualities. This class is destined to become much larger in the next few years, and even now there are some new varieties embracing colours never yet seen before in the rose.

For the shrub border and wild garden there are the rose species, giving a glorious show of bloom in the early summer, to be followed in the autumn by a brilliant display of hops.

The rose is one of the few flowers that is beautiful in all its stages of development. Most other flowers are seen at their best only in their fully developed state. The rose, however, is beautiful from the time the sepals divide until the petals fall, each stage different and each charming.

In the range of color, the rose can more than hold its own, embracing as it does almost every shade except blue. Even that need not be excepted if one's imagination can stretch so far as to describe Veilchenblau, the so-called Blue Rose, as blue.

Scent in modern roses

Nor is the rose lacking in perfume, in spite of the number of uninformed persons who write to the press deploring its absence. Although it is true that many modern roses are almost scentless, it is by no means a condition peculiar to the present time, for some of the most popular roses of the last century were entirely without scent.

Little appears to be known why scent should come and go in successive generations of seedlings, but I am confident that in time, scent will be present in increasing quantities. However, we are not so badly off in this respect, and it is possible to have a fully representative collection of modern roses, comprising every known type, without having a single scentless rose, although in doing so one would miss many varieties which provide masses of glorious colour.

More could be said about the wonderful world of roses, but all should agree that it deserves its title as "queen of flowers."
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