Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Learning | Roses

The rosebushes in my backyard are exploding with color right now.  I love to look at them through my kitchen window, or my patio door, or from my deck. After I appreciate their beauty, I start thinking about gratitude. 

I'm glad I was raised by a mother who shared her love of roses with her children.  Every house we lived in had to have roses in the garden. She patiently taught me how to carefully trim rosebushes, to encourage more blooms.  She shared the technique of watering a rosebush at the base, to prevent wet leaves from causing the black spot disease (which was very common in Louisiana.) She had a collection of small vases, suitable for displaying single blossoms. I loved replacing the tired-looking blossoms with fresh cuttings. I can remember a few names of the varieties she grew: Peace, President Lincoln, Queen Elizabeth, Chrysler Imperial, American Beauty, and Freedom.
Peace Rose.  From T.Kiya's photostream on
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I also think about how thankful I am that the previous owners of my house chose to plant so many bushes, and selected such a variety of types.  I don't know the names of all of them.  

Rose lovers (and trivia buffs, and other readers of non-fiction) will appreciate Douglas Brenner & Stephen Scanniello's A Rose by Any Name: the Little-Known Lore and Deep-Rooted History of Rose Names.

Did you know more than 15,000 varieties of roses are cultivated around the world? Brenner and Scanniello tell some interesting tales about the naming of some of them--not just the names, but what certain roses represented in times past. Which rose became a symbol for the American temperance movement? Which rose was named after a not-very-diplomatic diplomat? The answers to all of these questions, and many more, are revealed in this book.

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