"In the heart of every woman
is the memory of a Rose."
Roses have been the symbol of love throughout the ages but it was the Victorians who began to write about roses in their poetry and prose extolling their virtue and innocence.
And as Liz Klose and Laura Peters recount in their book 'Roses for Ontario', "A Greek legend attributes the creation of the rose to Flora, the goddess of spring and flowers. She found the lifeless body of one of her beautiful nymphs in the forest and asked the gods to give the creature new life by transforming her into a flower, one that surpasses all others in beauty. The request was granted and the new flower was named Rose, Queen of Flowers."
Roses have been the symbol of love in my relationship with my husband and he often gives me roses for special occasions, and sometimes for no occasion at all. We have a few roses growing in our gardens, new varieties that come out on a regular basis that seem like they might like to survive in our colder winter climate. We love the ones that smell like roses should smell, that wonderful sweet intoxicating fragrance. My husband especially loves the mauve variety (name unknown) that really exudes with rosy aroma. After all, what good is a rose if it doesn't smell like a rose! In ancient times in Persia it was found that oil could be distilled from rose petals and that once bottled rose oil could last almost indefinitely. This was a real blessing as it was much easier to open a bottle of attar of roses, as the essential oil was known, than to be surrounded by bushels of roses, to enjoy rose fragrance. From this discovery, the scent of roses became a staple of cosmetics, aromotherapy and perfumes.
This Valentine's Day show your loved one you really love them with a gift of roses. And remember that the Rose is the goddess of Spring which I hope is just around the corner (and on this very snowy day we could use a few warm thoughts about spring!).
Did you know that Kenya is one of the major rose growing countries in the world that services much of Europe?