Our long history with roses: cultivate the blooms in our lives

Our long history with roses: cultivate the blooms in our lives



Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” While many enjoy roses in landscaping or gifts at holidays or special occasions, they have a number of other uses. There are rose perfumes while rose water is used for cooking, cosmetics, medicine, and religious practices. Rose hips have vitamin C and are found in jelly, jam, soup, and tea. Beautiful flowers share a beguiling fragrance with passersby.

While February is too early in the year for local blossoms, it is the month with the largest sale of roses in the year. Those roses are shipped from South America, are purchased overwhelmingly by men, and the favorite color is red.

Nearby Portland is also known as the “City of Roses” due to the International Rose Garden in Washington Park. It began when local rose growers provided a safe haven for European hybrid roses during WWI. Today it boasts over 10,000 rose bushes with over 650 varieties. New rose varieties from across the globe are sent to be assessed for two years on disease resistance, bloom formation, color, and fragrance. Those that pass the test will then find their way to market.

In Victorian times, floral arrangements communicated messages to their recipients, known as floriography. The choice of flower, color, and pairing with another shared one’s intentions with others. Even today red roses on Valentine’s Day speak of passionate love. White roses signify purity, yellow roses friendship, and pink roses gratitude. Orange roses show joy, ivory roses thoughtfulness, and peach roses simplicity.

  • As we consider the year ahead, which flowery characteristics will we nurture?
  • What fragrant messages will we communicate to others in our community?
  • What beautiful intentions will we share?

As the growing season approaches let us cultivate a fragrant and beautiful bouquet of multicolored blooms!


Rev Sybrant has a Masters in Divinity, Social Work, and a Doctor of Ministry. For more information, visit us at 15050 SW Weir Road, www.murrayhills.org | 503-524-5230