Everyone who loves roses has a favorite color or variety. Those who favor love and romance will want to celebrate June 12 as National Red Rose Day.
Significance of the Holiday
There appears to be no record of the creator or the origin of National Red Rose Day. However, the National Day Calendar suggests the unofficial holiday occurs in June because roses are blooming across the country by the middle part of that month. As a matter of fact, the rose is the birth flower for June.
Rose fans have a chance to celebrate the holiday by planting a bush, gifting a special person with a bloom or even a plant, hanging red rose art, or using that special box of stationery bearing photos of these gorgeous flowers.
History of Roses
Throughout history, roses have been symbols of many things, the University of Illinois Extension reports. In addition to love, romance, and beauty, they’ve served as symbols of war and politics.
Anthropological evidence shows that roses existed 35 million years ago. The genus Rosa contains around 150 species that grow from Alaska to Mexico and in northern Africa.
Growing roses in gardens probably started in China about 5,000 years ago. Rose lovers used the plant as confetti at celebrations, medicine, and a source of fragrance in the Roman Empire. As a matter of fact, Rome had extensive public rose gardens in the southern portion of the city.
In the 15th century, the rose was a symbol during England’s War of the Roses. The red rose signified Lancaster, while the white rose was associated with York.
Rare and highly prized, roses and rose water became legal tender during the 17th century in Europe. Josephine, wife of the French emperor Napoleon, had a huge collection at her chateau west of Paris in the 1800s. However, it wasn’t until the latter part of that century that cultivated roses made a significant appearance in Europe. Most of today’s roses trace their ancestry to the introduction of these plants from China.
Lovers of red roses enjoy them in many forms. In addition to popular tea roses, many U.S. gardens have beautiful old garden roses and shrubs. These varieties have evolved to the point that they take less time than ever to maintain as far as disease control. They winter well and are fairly easy to grow even in Midwestern climates by a novice rose lover.
My love of red roses started during childhood. Outside the tiny back porch of our Ohio home, my mother planted a red rose bush the summer after I started kindergarten in the 1950s. Since this was decades before automatic dishwashers were common in residences, every night except in winter, after she finished doing the dishes, she poured the remainder of the sudsy water onto the bush. She insisted that it killed aphids.
Every year, my father trimmed the bush. As far as I can recollect, it never got the benefit of any fertilizers from the lawn and garden store.
My parents have been gone many years. About 15 years ago, I stopped by the house where I grew up. Since nobody answered my knock, I wandered around the property. Much to my surprise, a red rose bush bloomed in the spot I remembered. Was it the same one? I’ll never know. My personal favorite is Mr. Lincoln, which I’ve grown in four states.