Do Roses Have Thorns or Thorns Have Roses?

‘You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses’  Ziggy

I’m sure everyone knows the rose – for its beauty and fragrance and for its representation of love. Throughout the world it is one of the most popular garden plants and often has a whole garden to itself. I personally think the ‘rose garden’ is possibly the worst way to grow roses as the diseases spread easily from one plant to the next.  Far better to grow them mixed with other plants which will benefit them in their health and  fragrance.

Many ancient cultures used roses as medicine.  In fact, the Dog Rose got its name from Pliny who prescribed it to cure the bite of a mad dog.  Other uses have been for coughs, colds and fevers, menstrual disorders, depression, digestive ailments and extensively for treatment of the skin.  Rosehips are extremely high in Vitamin C and should be taken from the Dog Rose.  During World War 2 rose hips were used to prevent scurvy as it was difficult to import citrus fruit.

As a flower of love it also has a long history – even Cleopatra seduced Anthony knee deep in rose petals.

In the language of flowers, where every flower represents a sentiment or expression, the various colours of roses have different meanings.  Here are six of the most common:-

Red rose – true love, passion; Yellow rose – jealousy;   Peach rose – gratitude, appreciation

Pink rose – pure love; White rose – chastity;   Red and white roses together – death

These are some of my favourite rose recipes Rose sorbet, Rose petal vinegar, Rose punch

Rose petals are used extensively in face and body creams and masks, especially for fine and older skins. Rosewater makes a good toner. Use rosewater as an eye compress for tired and strained eyes.

Rose – Rosa species  – There are many species of rose.  The genus for all is Rosa and the species name will change

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