Roses, Roses, Roses Everywhere!
Roses are at their peak bloom in May in the Lowcountry and the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society is celebrating May as their Rose Month. In the South and on the West Coast, the Rose reigns supreme in the garden in May, but from Mid-Atlantic regions and all the way up to Maine, it is in June.
The Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society will have a display of roses and rose items for the whole month of May at two libraries, one on either side of Charleston across the two rivers, one at Mt. Pleasant Public Library and another one at Johns Island Public Library. We have our monthly meeting on May 4 at Berkeley Electric Coop Office, 3351 Maybank Highway, Johns Island at 3 PM with a program on how to exhibit your roses. Everyone is welcome to attend and the admission is free. Our Annual Rose Show is on May 10 at Citadel Mall and open to the public. Everyone can enter their roses to exhibit and the show is free. We will have an educational table there where American Rose Society Consulting Rosarians will be doing pro bono service answering various questions on rose culture. Consulting Rosarians are nationally accredited rose authorities. They take classes from the American Rose Society sponsored schools and take continuing education every three years to maintain their status. They offer free advice to the public. We will also have a booth at the Charleston Farmer’s Market on May 17 at Marion Square in downtown Charleston manned by members of the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society. We are closing the event with a picnic and an auction on Saturday, June 1 at a waterfront private garden in Mt. Pleasant open only to CLRS members and their friends, a benefit of CLRS membership. For info on how to join CLRS, visit www.charlestonrose.com. Roses will be in abundance in all these places.
The Rose has been around for millions of years and has grown naturally throughout North America. The petals and rose hips are edible and have been used in medicines since ancient times. The rose has been revered for millions of years as a symbol of love and beauty and has been an inspiration to poets and artists. Rose leaf impressions have been discovered in chalk formed in the Miocence age of 70 million years ago. The first rose illustrations were found in the ruins of the 4000-year-old Minoan capital, Knossos, in Crete. Empress Josephine (1763-1814), wife of Napoleon was so enamored by them, she commissioned Pierre Redoute to paint them from her garden at Malmaison in France and immortalized in his book ‘Les Roses’ (1817-1824).
The poetess Sappho at 650 B.C. declared it the Queen of Flowers in her “Ode to the Rose.”
"Would you appoint some other flower to reign
In matchless beauty on the plain,
The Rose (mankind will all agree)
The Rose the Queen of Flowers should be.”
Some gardeners have the wrong notion that roses are difficult to grow. It is not so. Yes, you can grow beautiful roses. The Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society will teach you how to grow beautiful roses. There are so many roses on the market that growing roses is not that difficult as choosing the varieties to plant. Just like people, roses need the basic things to live: water, food and sunshine. If you supply these basic needs of the rose, you will have no trouble growing them and they will reward you with the most beautiful flower there is. Roses need plenty of sunshine, at least five hours, food and water to live and good drainage. Some roses will grow in dappled shade but roses do not like wet feet. The roots will rot and the rose will eventually die.
The rose was designated the United States National Floral Emblem and several states have it too as their state flower. President Ronald Reagan signed the proclamation declaring The Rose as our National Floral Emblem on November 20, 1986. Charleston is home to the only class of old garden roses, the Noisette Rose, that was bred, evaluated and introduced to the world by the United States.
Let’s celebrate May as the Rose Month in the Lowcountry! We are blessed with this beautiful flower in our midst so let’s all grow roses. The Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society and the American Rose Society join together to teach you how to grow beautiful roses, at least One Rose for Every Home!
For more info on growing roses, visit the following sites: