Talking Flowers // July
IN BLOOM: THE ROSE
A flower linked to our most passionate moments, the Rose is a symbol of love, beauty, war and England!
Few flowers are special enough to be used in our Solitaire range, but the Rose is one of them (pictured in our Baroque Rose card). Read on to find out why the Rose is special enough to be sent all on its own!
According to fossil evidence, the Rose is 35 million years old. Today there are over 30,000 varieties of Rose and it has the most complicated family tree among flower species. When Shakespeare's Juliet asked, "That which we call a Rose; by any other name would smell as sweet", little did she know the hundreds of names Roses have now been given.
A Worldwide Phenomenon
Although seen as a symbol of England, garden cultivation of Roses began about 5,000 years ago in Asia and this flower has been woven into legend across the world.
A wreath in the Egyptian tomb of Hawara (dated about AD 170) gives us the oldest preserved record of a Rose species still living, whilst frescoes in Crete, dating from 1700 BC, include illustrations of roses with five petals in pink.
In Greek mythology it is Aphrodite that gave the Rose its name whilst the goddess of flowers Chloris created it.
In 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. The Rose won the argument, and that victory saw Brahma creating a bride for Vishnu from Rose petals, who became the goddess Lakshmi.
Persian legend tells of the first red Roses being created from a white Rose being embraced by a nightingale - the nightingale's heart was pierced and his blood stained the white Rose red.
The Roman Empire took Roses to their heart, taking them from the Middle East and using them as confetti, in medicine and for their perfume. Peasants were instructed to grow Roses, not food, to fill Roman baths with Rosewater and have petals cascading on guests during feasts.
The English Rose
The War of the Roses, in the 15th century, pitted the white Rose of York against the red Rose of Lancaster. When both houses united in the marriage of Henry Tudor to Elizabeth of York, the Tudor Rose was created, combining red and white. The Round Table at Winchester Castle can still be seen with the Tudor Rose in the centre, put there by Henry Tudor at the start of a golden era.
In the 17th century Roses and Rosewater were so desired that they became legal tender, used for barter in the markets and as payments made from commoners to royalty.
Cultivated Roses were introduced to Europe from China in the late 18th century, and most modern Roses can be traced back to this date.
Until the beginning of the 19th century, all Roses in Europe were shades of pink or white. The traditional red Rose, as seen on our Paintbox card, first came from China around 1800.
Bright yellow Roses were discovered by accident by Frenchman Joseph Permet-Ducher in around 1900. After more than 20 years of breeding Roses to create a hardy yellow variety, he simply stumbled across a mutant yellow Rose in a field! All yellow and orange roses we enjoy now can be traced back to that happy accident.
Let's Pick some Roses
Here at Talking Flowers, we've picked our favourites among the hundreds of Rose varieties available. Do you have some of these in your borders?
The Apothecary's Rose: the original red Rose of Lancaster, this gallica Rose is highly scented with a rich, clear colour.
Chandos Beauty: a new variety of hybrid teas, this is a pretty shell pink with a fabulous fragrance.
Madame Hardy: a wonderful damask Rose that's a perfect white with a delicious lemon scent.
Gertrude Jekyll: recently voted Britian's favourite rose, this variety was created in the 1940s as one of David Austin's "English Roses" breeds. A lush pink flower with a wonderful spicy fragrance.
Following the launch of our ongoing Flowercard People competition last month, we received so many inspiring stories of folk you think deserve a surprise Flowercard. Picking a winner was pretty much impossible, but we're delighted to announce that Tricia Cannon's story of her daughter Victoria is the one that claims the prize!
Here's what Tricia said about Victoria (we hope you'll agree she's a really deserving winner!):
"I would like to nominate my daughter Victoria Cannon. Following treatment for Leukemia some eleven years ago Victoria has had to battle against various complications not least of which the collapse of her lungs. She is currently awaiting a lung transplant. Victoria has a really wicked sense of humour and always has a smile for everyone she meets. She is also the most caring, kindest, sensitive person I know always the first to send the appropriate card, make the caring gesture and lay hands on any item of shopping required through the internet. And she loves your cards. Thank you." TRICIA CANNON
If you know someone like Victoria who deserves a Flowercard, why not nominate them for Flowercard People? Every month we'll select a winner to receive your choice of Flowercard, with your personal message on the front, for FREE. Even if they don't win this month, they'll still go back into the draw, to be considered again and again.
So what are the qualities we'll be looking for in our Flowercard People Award?
Well, that's up to you! Maybe people who always think of others, individuals who've stayed strong through difficult times, friends who've shown courage, kindness, selflessness and determination. You tell us by nominating them.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR FREE FLOWERCARD NOMINATION
- Please describe why your nominee deserves a FREE Flowercard in no more than 100 words in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Be sure to include a daytime phone number for us to contact you, should your nomination win.
- To help us identify your email, please type "Flowercard Award Nomination" in the subject line.
- Please read the Flowercard Award Terms and Conditions
NEW SUMMER GARDEN COMPETITION!
As we head into the heights of summer we want to see photographs of YOUR garden in full bloom, with the chance of winning up the 3 FREE Flowercards to send to your family and friends if your garden really impresses our judges!
How to Enter: Take a photograph of your garden on a digital camera. Try to get the best angle so we can see as much of the garden as possible. Attach it to an email to email@example.com along with your name, address and daytime telephone number. Please put "Summer Garden Competition" in the subject line of your email.
Closing date July 25th. First prize: 2 Free Premium Flowercard - that's your choice of Flowercard in our luxury Armoire Gift Box for a friend and one for yourself. Winning Flowercard can be sent at any time from August 2010 to August 2011, to arrive on as special dates. Winners will be announced in our August Flowercard Issue, where their photograph and name will be published. Please click this link for the full Terms and Conditions of our Summer Garden Competition.
Made with Love
So pretty, so useful and so easy to make! Craft blogger Beccy Ridsdel has kindly let us feature her wonderful doorstop craft tutorial in Talking Flowers.
And the real beauty here is you can pick your fabric to match your décor.
Filled with play sand, it's heavy enough to prop open a door and let the summer breeze in, or stop one opening too far and banging!
To find out just how to make this doorstop, read the full tutorial at Beccy's Wipster blog here http://wipster.blogspot.com/2009/06/doorstop-tutorial.html Do let us know how you get on, we'd love to see any photographs too!
In the next issue of Talking Flower’s we’ll take a look at that late summer bloom the Lily, and reveal the winner of our Summer Garden competition and our next Flowercard People winner!
If you enjoyed this edition of Talking Flowers, please tell your friends about us, we’d love more readers.