Monday, September 13, 2010

Last rose of summer?

There is something wonderful about a Peace rose - its delicate colouring, its rounded petals, its haunting fragrance - that makes me smile.

It also makes me think of my father who loved these roses above all others and who taught me to love gardens and gardening.

One of my sons and his partner gave me two Peace rose bushes a year ago and I planted them - where else? - but next to the pond. Eventually they will be joined by other roses that are currently pining away in beds surrounded  in most part by grasses this year I'm ashamed to say. Gardening has not been high on my to do list.

This rose however, reminded me how much I enjoy their beauty, in fact how much I enjoy the beauty of all nature, not just in my gardens, but in the countryside around that I'm privileged to live in with its big sky, rolling hills, near by rivers streams and of course Georgian Bay. In fact everywhere I travel I find beauty. I am so lucky to be living here, without the worry of forest fires, floods, mud slides, earthquakes - well no - we actually experienced an earthquake this summer and a tornado or two in the past couple of years, so the weather and the world are changing.

My great hope is that the species called human will learn from the terrible mistakes we've made and try harder to turn things around, to demand accountability and effort from each one of us - in all things positive.

From Wikipedia: The Peace rose is the most famous and successful garden rose of all time. Over one hundred million plants had been sold, as of 1992. It is a Hybrid Tea rose with large flowers and a light yellow to cream color. It is hardy and resistant to disease making it popular in gardens as well as in the floral trade (Beales).
It was developed by French horticulturist Francis Meilland in the years 1935 to 1939. When Meilland foresaw the German invasion of France he sent cuttings to friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany, and the United States to protect the new rose. The rose became known as 'Peace' in the following way. Early 1945 Meilland wrote to Field Marshal Alan Brooke (later Viscount Alanbrooke), the principal author of the master strategy that won the Second World War, to thank him for his key part in the liberation of France and to ask if Brooke would give his name to the rose. Brooke declined saying that, though he was honored to be asked, his name would soon be forgotten and a much better and more enduring name would be "Peace".
The name "Peace" is a trade name; its formal cultivar name is Rosa 'Madame A. Meilland'. The adoption of the trade name "Peace" was publicly announced in theUnited States on 29 April 1945 by the introducers, Messrs Conard Pyle Co.. This was the very day that Berlin fell, officially considered the end of the Second World War in Europe. Later that year Peace roses were given to each of the delegations at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations inSan Francisco, each with a note which read:
"We hope the 'Peace' rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace".

Those words are probably more important today than ever - following the anniversary of 9/11 and the many tragedies that have happened since. Perhaps people world-wide should grow Peace roses in our gardens and our hearts?

1 comment:

  1. As always your sensitivity to life and all that is has to offer is demonstrated by your amazing blog entry about the "last rose of summer" the Peace rose.
    You are eloquent and an inspiration.
    Thanks for starting my week off in a wonderful way.