roses

Fragrant Flowers

Fragrant Flowers

A lot of money is spent in this country to reproduce fragrances for perfumes and air fresheners. The majority of these manufactured fragrances have alcohol and other additives that can actually irritate the membranes in your nose. Nature has done it the best and these are some of the most heavenly fragrances you’ll ever smell.

1) Hyacinth

This highly fragrant flower is actually a member of the lily family. Lily’s tend to grow much larger than the hyacinth but if you look closely at this flower you will see that the clusters of these blooms are tubular in shape just like the lily. Hyacinths have been a popular garden flower since the 17 hundreds because of the brilliance of there color (of every shade) and because of the incredible fragrance they have. Whether you have them planted out doors or in a pot in your home, this beautiful flower will brighten up any space and give off a constant heavenly fragrance, but, it is not overpowering. I just can’t imagine a perfume that smells any better than this. And men, instead of giving her some fresh cut flowers, try giving her a hyacinth plant. It will last longer and she can replant it again next year if she wants to put it in a garden.

Blue Hyacinth.  I just love the vibrant blue and the smell! Image courtesy of digidreamgrafix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Blue Hyacinth. I just love the vibrant blue and the smell! Image courtesy of digidreamgrafix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2) Casa Blanca and the dark pink Stargazer lily

The most fragrant flowers are the pure white Casa Blanca and the dark pink Stargazer lily. They are absolutely beautiful, but beware; the fragrance they give off is so strong, that, one bouquet of lilies can fill up an entire room. Don’t place them where you are going to sit for any length of time unless, that is what you want. They don’t do well in direct sunlight or drafts so place them in a more diffused lit area. If you replace the water every couple of days and add flower food plus a new snip of the ends, you’ll have a long lasting, beautiful fragrant arrangement.

3) Tuber roses

Tuber rose are not actually roses. Like the hyacinth, a tuber rose has a stem with clusters of flowers that are all white. Once again, the smell is fantastic. I once picked off one little petal from the cluster and put it in my car. A few hours later I return to my vehicle and was pleasantly surprised at how wonderful it smelled. My children noticed it as well. It was the perfect natural air freshener.

4) Gardenias

These flowers that bloom on trees have a very short life after they are cut, but for the little time you have them in your home is worth it. Generally gardenias are made into a corsage for special occasions, but if you don’t want to do that, you can place the flower in a low dish of water and then just leave them alone to do their work.

Gardenia has such a lovely perfume. I love it! Image courtesy of panuruangjan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Gardenia has such a lovely perfume. I love it! Image courtesy of panuruangjan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5) Peach colored Oceana rose or the Sterling Silver rose

There are some roses that have been bred for their fragrance such as the peach colored Oceana rose or the Sterling Silver rose (which is actually purple). Each of these have a light perfume to them. Any of the purple roses have a wonderful smell.

You can order any of these flowers from your local florist. If they don’t have them on hand you can ask them to order some for you. In most cases, if you place an order before noon, you should be able to pick them up later in the afternoon.

Rather than putting chemicals in the air, you may want to get some flowers now and again and enjoy nature’s perfume.

Enjoy!

The Different Roses You Can Grow

The Different Roses You Can Grow

There are actually many kinds of roses, with each one different from the other.  If you are planning to grow your own roses and plant your very own rose garden, what type of rose do you think you should have?

The Floribunda Rose

Gardeners love the floribunda rose simply because it is easy to grow, easy to take care of, and constantly in bloom.  The floribunda rose is the result of crossing the modern hybrid tea rose with the polyantha rose.  Its flowers are medium-sized, rarely larger than three inches across, and it produces clustering flowers on a single stem.  Though the floribunda rose is always in bloom, it is not really known for its perfume.  There are nonetheless some kinds of floribunda roses that are indeed perfumed, though these are not common. Floribunda roses grow best in beds although they can also thrive as edgings. If you do not have a lot of space for planting, you can grow floribunda roses in pots without any problems.

Rosa Friesia. Image by Anna Reg.

Rosa Friesia. Image by Anna Reg.

 

The Grandiflora Rose

As its name suggests, the grandiflora rose is a type of rose that blooms in clusters of big flowers.  It is a tall and sturdy rose, often growing up to five feet in height.  Despite the height, the grandiflora rose does not really require support from a stake; it can support itself.  The grandiflora rose has long stems, which make it excellent as cut flowers for inclusion in bouquets and flower arrangements.  Another characteristic of the grandiflora rose that makes it so attractive to gardeners is that it blooms constantly when it is in season.

 

Queen Elizabeth Rose. Image by Yoko Nekonomania

Queen Elizabeth Rose. Image by Yoko Nekonomania

 

The Hybrid Rose

The hybrid rose is considered to be the most beautiful among roses, and is thought to produce the perfect bloom, blossoming as a double flower with a high cone at its center.  It is also the most popular among roses, and they are the typical rose that florists carry in their shops.  Hybrid roses are large, and they come in a wide range of colors, including purple and blue.  They are also sparse in producing flowers, and each flower grows on a single stem.  Hybrid roses require a lot more care than the other types of roses, and it is always necessary to prune them often.

 

Rosa 'La Reine', Híbridos reflorecientes, sect. Rosa. Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid. Image by A.Barra

Rosa ‘La Reine’, Híbridos reflorecientes, sect. Rosa. Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid. Image by A.Barra

 

The Miniature Rose

Though miniature roses generally grow up to no more than six inches in height, there are some types of roses that grow up to three feet and yet are considered to be miniature roses. Miniature roses come in large varieties, from shrubs to creepers, and from single-stem blooms to clusters.  Some miniature roses are perfumed while some are not.  Most miniature roses bloom continuously whenever they are in season, and many gardeners have come to consider them as the only type of roses that can be grown as house plants.

The Polyantha Rose

Mostly grown for breeding purposes, the polyantha rose is older than most of today’s modern roses.  It is also not as popular.  But for all its low popularity among rose gardeners, the polyantha rose is actually a very hardy flower that is very easy to grow.  It usually outlives its more exotic sisters.  The polyantha rose blooms late in spring, and it appears as clusters of small, very vividly colored flowers with small leaves.  It usually grows up to two feet in height.  The polyantha rose grows as a bush and it is best planted in groups.

 

Polyantha-Rose "The Fairy", fotografiert in Heidelberg (Baden-Württemberg, Deutschland). Image by 4028mdk09

Polyantha-Rose “The Fairy”, fotografiert in Heidelberg (Baden-Württemberg, Deutschland). Image by 4028mdk09

 

Caring for Your Rose Garden

Regardless of what kind of rose that you have got planted in your garden or whether you have different types of roses gracing your flower beds, it is important that you spend ample time and effort in caring for your rose garden.

Roses need a lot of water, and they will not be satisfied with brief watering sessions in the morning.  They need to get their roots truly soaked, and this can only be done by slow watering over a period of hours.  Naturally, you would be too busy to deal with that kind of watering, so it would be a great deal if you install a sort of irrigation system that will help you water your roses whenever you need to.

Constant pruning is another detail that you need to attend to in caring for your rose garden.  Dead canes and unhealthy growths need to be cut as soon as they appear so as not to steal nutrients from the healthier canes.  Dead blooms need to be removed to encourage the roses to produce more flowers.  Regular pruning also airs out the rose plants, letting the air circulate more freely and discourage the growth of disease-causing germs and mold.

Roses also hate the winter season. So that your rose garden would see the coming spring time, they must be protected against the cold of winter.

Caring for your rose garden can be a laborious task, especially if you are growing different kinds of roses.  But the rose rewards any effort put into its upkeep by becoming as beautiful a flower as it can be.  The rose is the queen of flowers, after all.

The Great History Of Roses

The Great History Of Roses

Pink Roses. Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pink Roses. Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“It was roses, roses all the way.”
– Robert Browning

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose; By any other name would smell as sweet.”
– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 scene 2.

Roses have a long and colorful history. According to fossil evidence, the rose is 35 million years old. Today, there are over 30,000 varieties of roses and it has the most complicated family tree of any known flower species. The cultivation of roses most likely began in Asia around 5000 years ago. They have been part of the human experience ever since and mentions of the flower are woven into a great many tales from the ancient world.

And there are so many beautiful stories that include roses through out the ages that we all can recognize. Greek mythology tells us that it was Aphrodite who gave the rose its name, but it was the goddess of flowers, Chloris, who created it.

 

One day while Chloris was cleaning in the forest she found the lifeless body of a beautiful nymph. To right this wrong Chloris enlisted the help of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who gave her beauty; then called upon Dionysus, the god of wine, who added nectar to give her a sweet scent. When it was their turn the three Graces gave Chloris charm, brightness and joy. Then Zephyr, the West Wind, blew away the clouds so that Apollo, the sun god, could shine and make the flower bloom. And so the Rose was…

In another story, an ancient Hindu legend, Brahma (the creator of the world) and Vishnu (the protector of the world) argued over whether the lotus was more beautiful than the rose.

Vishnu backed the rose, while Brahma supported the lotus. But Brahma had never seen a rose before and when he did he immediately recanted. As a reward Brahma created a bride for Vishnu and called her Lakshmi — she was created from 108 large and 1008 small rose petals. Several thousands of years later, on the other side of the world in Crete , there are Frescoes which date to c. 1700BC illustrating a rose with five-pedaled pink blooms.

Discoveries of tombs in Egypt have revealed wreaths made with flowers, with roses among them. The wreath in the tomb of Hawara (discovered by the English archaeologist William Flinders Petrie) dates to about AD 170, and represents the oldest preserved record of a rose species still living.

A rose close up. Image courtesy of antpkr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A rose close up. Image courtesy of antpkr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Roses later became synonymous with the worst excesses of the Roman Empire when the peasants were reduced to growing roses instead of food crops in order to satisfy the demands of their rulers.

The emperors filled their swimming baths and fountains with rose-water and sat on carpets of rose petals for their feasts and orgies. Roses were used as confetti at celebrations, for medicinal purposes, and as a source of perfume. Heliogabalus used to enjoy showering his guests with rose petals which tumbled down from the ceiling during the festivities.

During the fifteenth century, the factions fighting to control England used the rose as a symbol.  The white rose represented York , and the red rose symbolized Lancaster . Not surprisingly, the conflict between these factions became known as the War of the Roses.

In the seventeenth century roses were in such high demand that roses and rose water were considered as legal tender. In this capacity they were used as barter in the markets as well as for any payments the common people had to make to royalty.

Napoleon’s wife Josephine loved roses so much she established an extensive collection at Chateau de Malmaison, an estate seven miles west of Paris . This garden of more than 250 rose varieties became the setting for Pierre Joseph Redoute’s work as a botanical illustrator and it was here Redoute completed his watercolor collection “Les Rose,” which is still considered one of the finest records of botanical illustration.

Cultivated roses weren’t introduced into Europe until the late eighteenth century. These introductions came from China and were repeat bloomers, making them of great interest to hybridizers who no longer had to wait once a year for their roses to bloom.

From this introduction, experts today tend to divide all roses into two groups. There are “old roses” (those cultivated in Europe before 1800) and “modern roses” (those which began to be cultivated in England and France around the turn of the 19th century).

Until the beginning of the 19th century, all roses in Europe were shades of pink or white. Our romantic symbol of the red rose first came from China around 1800. Unusual green roses arrived a few decades later. Bright yellow roses entered the palette around 1900.

Red Rose. Image courtesy of Chaiwat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Red Rose. Image courtesy of Chaiwat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It was the Frenchman Joseph Permet-Ducher who is credited with the discovery. After more than 20 years of breeding roses in a search for a hardy yellow variety, he luck changed when one day he simply stumbled across a mutant yellow flower in a field. We have had yellow and orange roses ever since

The rose is a phenomenal plant and is rightly known as ‘the world’s favorite flower’. No other flower has ever experienced the same popularity that the rose has enjoyed in the last fifth years. In temperate climates, roses are more widely grown than any other ornamental plant, and as cut flowers they are forever in fashion.

It has been estimated that 150 million plants are purchased by gardeners worldwide every year, and sophisticated breeding programs have produced a plant that dominates the world’s cut flower market; the annual crop is calculated in tons. Roses have also made a tremendous contribution to the perfume industry.

Roses boast an ancient lineage, and they are intricately entwined in our history and culture. As a motif, the rose has been and still is depicted in many national emblems. It has been adopted by countless political factions, and even by businesses and several international events.

It is no wonder so many of the beautiful rose varietals are greatly appreciated and cultivated by hobby gardeners around the world.

Are you planting or growing roses? What are your favorites?