While it is dreary and raining in autumn at Melbourne it is mild Spring weather in New York. In the New York Botanical Gardens the first rose recently bloomed. The Rose, delicate and ephemeral, represents the frailty of the body and transitory nature of human life.
In the language of flowers the rose has many characteristics, including simplicity and beauty. According to Peter Kukielski, Curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden they are expecting the roses to peak in early May this year instead of June. Transformed into one of the most disease-resistant rose gardens in the world, Kukielski and his staff have spent the past two years replacing high maintenance roses with varieties chosen for their disease resistance and ease of care. In addition rose garden staff have been conducting an Earth-Kind Roses trial in an effort to pinpoint roses best suited to Northeastern growing conditions.
The first flower of the season was a delightful single ‘wild’ rose – Rosa blanda (Hudson’s Bay Rose, Labrador Rose), Species (1773) - blanda, from Latin blandus that means ‘flattering, caressing, alluring and tempting. It is a North American native, single and fragrant with rose-pink clusters of single blooms.
When you press me to your heart
I’m in a world apart?
A world where roses bloom??
The earliest written record of a rose appears on Sumerian tablets 5000 years ago, and the first recorded painting of a rose on the remains of the walls of the Palace of King Minos at Knossos in Crete. Egyptian Queen Cleopatra was said to have soaked the sails of her ship with rose water so that as she departed from her Roman lover Marc Antony, ‘the very winds were lovesick’.