- Linda von Kelsch
If you are asked to visualize a flower in your mind, chances are, you will visualize a rose. You can find roses in a child's drawing, grandmother's wallpaper and the family room’s sofa. Roses have been loved for thousands of years, throughout many civilizations.
They have been found in Egyptian tombs and drawn on Sumerian tablets. In Homer's Iliad, Achilles' shield is decorated with roses in honor of his victories.
Roses were used in religious ceremonies during the Middle Ages and propagated for medicinal purposes. Today, we use rosehips as a form of vitamin C, drink tea made from roses, and massage rose-scented perfumes and lotions into our skin.
Mention “rose cultivation” and many people think of a tool shed full of gardening equipment, and an arsenal of poisons and potions to enhance the rose garden. However, you can deal with pests and diseases the natural way, using tried and true home remedies. Did you know that buttermilk spray banishes some common pests? You may discover that growing roses is easier than you think.
Don't forget the camera!
While the time for planting roses is earlier, June is National Rose Month because it’s the optimum time to enjoy roses’ enchanting bloom. If you're looking for local or vacation gardens, try www.helpmefind.com and click on the desired region. Some notable local garden spots featuring roses in the first couple of weeks of June are:
Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD. Caretakers report the gardens have been deer-free for the second year and so the blooms are glorious! Brookside is at 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, Maryland, (301) 949-8230, www.brooksidegardens.org.
Bon Air Memorial Rose Garden, Wilson Blvd. and North Lexington Street, Arlington. Free and open daily during daylight.
Franciscan Monastery Garden, 1400 Quincy Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. Open 9-5 and free. (202) 526-6800, www.fmgg.org.
Bishops Garden at Washington National Cathedral, Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues, N.W. Free and open daily during daylight. For guided tour information, call (202) 537-6200 or www.cathedral.org.
For more about rose history, cultivation, and appreciation, check out our rose webliography:
You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.
In the Library
Place a hold on any of these titles through the online library catalog!
David Austin's English Roses by David Austin.
The best of the best new roses.
The Encyclopedia of Roses: An Organic Guide to Growing and Enjoying America's Favorite Flower by Judith C. McKeon.
Expert advice on how to select plants, choose a site and plant roses the right way.
Landscaping with Antique Roses by Liz Druitt.
Helps you to choose varieties appropriate for your growing area.
The Natural Rose Gardener by Lance Walheim.
A complete guide to selecting and growing more than 300 varieties of roses.
The Organic Rose Garden by Liz Druitt.
Comprehensive information for growing roses simply and safely, the organic way.
The Quest for the Rose by Roger Phillips.
Tracing the origins of the rose, the author visits China to search for the progenitors of today's modern plants. Gardens from all over the world are showcased in beautiful photographs.
Reliable Roses by Christine Utterback.
"The New York Botanical Garden has been a leader in botanical research for more than a century. Beautifully designed and illustrated, the first two books in a continuing series undertaken in conjunction with this world-renowned institution will appeal to serious gardeners of every level of experience. Reliable Roses teaches the history of the rose, how to match roses to specific local conditions, the fine points of pruning, and much more."
Roses: A Romantic History with a Guide to Cultivation by Janet Browne.
This book explores how the different types of roses were developed and how they are classified today.
Shrub Roses and Climbing Roses: With Hybrid Tea and Floribunda Roses by David Austin.
Describes over 560 roses in detail, including cultivation and pruning advice for each main group of roses.
Successful Rose Gardening by Better Homes and Gardens.
A wealth of practical information on rose gardening - everything from planning the garden to choosing the right roses for your yard.
The Ultimate Rose Book: 1,500 Roses: Antique, Modern (Including Miniature), and Wild, All Shown in Color and Selected For Their Beauty, Fragrance, and Enduring Popularity by Stirling Macoboy.
"This beautiful book features more than 1,500 roses of all types from all over the world. History and how-to text accompany more than 1,650 full-color photographs--the result of years of research and travel ..." In the reference collection of the Headquarters library.
A Year in the Life of a Rose: A Guide to Growing Roses From Coast to Coast by Rayford Clayton Reddell.
By learning rose culture, a year round schedule of rose care can be developed for each geographic area
Roses on the Web
How to Cultivate Roses
This includes shopping tips and garden design.
The Richmond Rose Society
This Web site contains those roses found by the members of the Richmond Rose Society to grow best in Richmond Virginia and vicinity. It includes fertilizing and disease prevention tips.
Roses at Botanical.com
This includes a history of the rose, and some medicinal uses of the plant
Quotes about roses.
Forums and Lists
If it's about roses, it's on this Web site! It also includes links to forums and a newsletter.
A forum for the discussion of roses; how to select them, care for them, and where to buy plants.
An on-line magazine , featuring FAQ's and photographs