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RHS Chelsea – It’s All Coming Up Roses!

When I think of English gardens, I think of roses.  Of course, I may be unduly influenced by Elton John’s song, Goodbye England’s Rose, which was playing everywhere my first couple of weeks in England in September 1997.  So how best to celebrate the ultimate in English garden shows, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, than a look through that most English of flowers.

I had no idea there were so many different types of roses.  They also have such lovely names.

I love this place setting.  An English tea party with English roses.  So very pretty.

tea and cake

Of course, roses weren’t always the quintessential English flower.  Some interesting facts and legends about the most popular flower in the world:

  • Ornamental roses, have been grown for thousands of years, in Mediterranean countries, the Middle East and Asia.
  • Roses probably were cultivated first in Ancient China about five thousand years ago.
  • In Ancient Greece, the rose was supposed to have been created by Aphrodite, the goddess of love when her tears mixed with the blood of her lover, Adonis.
  • Roses were considered sacred in Ancient Egypt.  Cleopatra had her rooms filled with roses so that when Marc Antony smelled a rose, he would be reminded of her.
  • During the Roman Empire, the Romans established large public rose gardens in the city.  Newlyweds were often crowned with roses.
  • According to Arab legend, all roses started off white until a nightingale fell in love with a rose. He held the rose to himself so intensely, the rose pierced his heart and was coloured by the blood.
  • The rose was a symbol of war and politics during the War of the Roses  in England.  The winner of the war, Henry VII, created the Tudor Rose by cross-breeding other roses.
  • Empress Josephine, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, created a garden at her home in Malmaison where her ambition was to have every variety of rose in the world.

I’ll never think of a rose as boring again!  There’s got to be something special about this flower which has been universally grown for millennia.  What do you think?

12 thoughts on “RHS Chelsea – It’s All Coming Up Roses!

  1. Mira

    Oh, your post is so useful to me! I was trying to identify some rose varieties and didn’t know where to begin! Your photos with captions are just wonderful. But how did you get the captions to display like that, on mouseover?

    1. nylonliving Post author

      If you put the title in the caption section when you click on insert media and get your photo, it shows up as a mouse-over. Glad it was helpful! I couldn’t get over how many varieties there were!

      1. Mira

        Wait, so when I insert new media I have Title, Caption, Alt Text, Description. I have text in all fields but I see no mouseover action in my posts. Are you saying the text in Caption should show on mouseover? Mine shows underneath. Is there something I need to change?
        And yes, believe it or not, I, too, was stunned this year to see a good number of rose varietals. I had seen many in a park (Rose Park) in another city in Romania, but the impact was much bigger this year for some reason, when I discovered a small bed of roses in town with lots and lots of varieties.

      2. nylonliving Post author

        Yes, in the caption slot. Is it the type of photo you have? I’m using square tiles gallery. When I don’t use a gallery, and upload just a single photo with text in the caption slot, it shows up underneath (not a mouseover). Hope that helps! WordPress are really helpful and I send them questions all the time.

  2. Amanda

    I adore roses (my friends always used to know that our house was “the one with the roses and the white wall” at the front whenever they came to visit when I was growing up!) We’re even working on a theme for our bedroom which is a “romantic rose” theme! I’m pretty sure the Arboretum where I grew up also had a rose maze (rather than a maze made by shrubs and bushes). I mean, I love all flowers, but roses are so beautiful 🙂

    1. nylonliving Post author

      interesting how flowers trigger memories right? I completely understand what you mean. My mother loves roses and jasmines and those flowers make me happy. I think I’m passing that onto my kids now. My daughter loves roses too.

  3. Doris

    I love roses and what a clever way to document the names of them. Very clever! You’ll have to remind me to tell you about my fight to purchase some Harkness roses while at the Chelsea Flower Show! xD

    1. nylonliving Post author

      Thanks! I never will remember names otherwise. That happened to me last year. I couldn’t remember which varieties I liked best when I got home to research if they would go into my garden based on sunlight, etc.


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