Fascinating facts about roses – Did you know?
The world’s oldest rose is believed to be on the wall of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in Germany and its presence was documented in AD 815. When in 1945 bombers destroyed the cathedral, the rose survived and there is a legend that as long as it flourishes, Hildesheim will not decline.
However, some rose fossils have also been discovered that date back 35 million years and it is thought that the cultivation of roses began in Asia around 5000 years ago. Currently the largest private rose garden in the world is in Cavriglia in Italy and contains more than 7,500 different varieties.
In 2002, a miniature rose was taken into space to help scientists to find out the effects of low gravity on the smell of roses. The space travelling rose variety was named Overnight Scentsation”. According to an article in NASA’s Science News it was cultivated by IFF perfume industry giant International Flavours & Fragrances) researcher Dr. Braja Mookherjee for experiments in space.
The Guinness Book of Records for 2017 records that the tallest recorded rose bush is 5.689 m (18 ft 8 in) and was achieved by Christopher Rose (USA) in La Puente, California on 8 November 2017. Christopher’s record-breaking rose bush is of the variety “Bewitched”.
England has its own “rose” story in The Wars of the Roses, when two factions went to war over control of the country. Each had a rose emblem, the white rose represented York, and the red rose symbolised Lancaster.
There is no such thing as a black or blue rose. Even those that look black to the naked eye are not, such as the Black Rose of Turkey, which is actually has a dark reddish-crimson colour.
Finally, the rose is one of only three flowers mentioned in the Bible.
Cultivation tips for September
Deadhead where necessary and keep up your spraying programme.
If you are planning to plant new bare root roses from November onwards then now is the time to decide what you would like and place an order.
You can also start preparing your ground by digging the soil over and incorporating decomposed material such as well-rotted manure, garden compost or a good quality soil improver/conditioner.
New Roses in Old Rose Beds
Sometimes disappointing results can be caused by the planting new rose trees into an old rose bed as they never appear to thrive that well. Whilst the old soil sustains the existing roses, (which have extensive root systems to seek nourishment) new plants need to have fresh or revitalised soil in which to start life.
September is a good month to start work on any bed you wish to replant with fresh roses. We recommend that for any bed which is over 6 years old by changing the soil to a depth of around 37cm (15”) replace this soil with “fresh” soil.
To achieve this, you can swap soil from another part of the garden which hasn’t in recent years grown roses. The “old” soil you take from the bed is fine to cultivate other plants. If swapping soil is not an option then you may need to purchase fresh soil. With the odd plant going into an existing bed also replace the soil. The remaining preparation would be as normal.