A favourite amongst flowers, roses have been loved through the ages. Whole books have been dedicated to the rose and it’s uses in food, drink, perfume, medicine, design and of course gardens. In this blog I’ve picked out some interesting snippets from the history of this beautiful garden plant.
– Rose plant fossils found in the USA confirm that roses existed 35 million years ago.
– Legend tells us that the original rose had no thorns. In fact, Adam and Eve are supposedly responsible for the first thorns and these have increased alongside man’s wickedness.
– The philosopher Confucius (551-479B.C.) recorded that the Chinese Emperor’s library held 600 books about roses.
– The Romans adored the rose. They scattered roses on floors and furniture, being used for perfume and being eaten in jellies, wine and puddings. Guests were welcomed by being given rose garlands to wear.
– Nero once spent the equivalent of £4,500 on roses for just one single banquet.
– The Crusaders introduced the rose to England and created the first rose-windows in churches.
The heraldic Tudor Rose was created by combining the rose emblems of Lancaster and York at the end of the War of the Roses.
– When Saladin conquered Jerusalem 1187, his men used rose water to wash and purify the Mosque of Omar.
– Marie Antoinette spent the night before her wedding sleeping on a bed of rose petals.
– In 1812 the output from the French rose perfume industry was worth over 12 million francs.
– In the language of flowers, the rose and its different colours speaks volumes.
– More than 80% of land in Zambia is used for producing roses
And finally, the world’s oldest living rose is recorded as being1,000 years old and grows on the walls of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in Germany.