…that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet …William Shakespeare
There are thousands of rose varieties and hundreds of different species and it takes about 10 years to research, develop, and introduce a new rose. In the trial fields there are tens of thousands of rose bushes growing and labeled with numbers or codes before a rose can be marketed. The roses then go through an extensive selection process based on attributes including uniqueness, color and fragrance, and when all is said and done, the rose is named. According to the rules set out by the registration committee of the American Rose Society, the breeder of a rose gets to name it. I have always been fascinated about how the rose names are selected by the people who hybridize them, and where those ideas may have come from. It started me thinking about the roses in my own garden. As of this blog, I now have 76 plants and I am always looking for my next “rose child.” I’m realizing that sometimes the name of the rose actually influences me whether or not to include it in my rose garden family. For instance, a special interest of mine is to collect roses that have celebrity names.
Dolly Parton (see image at top), George Burns, Queen Elizabeth, Paul McCartney, Barbara Bush, and Marilyn Monroe have prominent locations in my backyard. I also have some that are named after people that I do not know but I find interesting none the less. I wonder who their namesakes really are — Sally Holmes, Johnny Becnel, Dr. Troy Garret, Dr. John Dickman, Cardinal de Richelieu, Miss Flippens, Tanya Marie, Baronne de Rothchild, and Yolande d’Aragon.And then, I have some named for a “thing” like Black Magic, Mercury Rising, Caribbean Breeze, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Hot Cocoa.
I have roses named after places — Route 66 and Sedona. And some names even express emotions or feelings – Love, Cherish, Peace, and Over the Moon! Of course I can’t forget those named after colors that I like — Scarlet Knight, Glowing Amber, Peachy White, Midnight Blue, and Brilliant Pink Iceberg. Last but not least I have a rose that many people don’t even think of as a rose, but consider more of a weed. The very simply named Green rose is one of my favorites and holds a special place in my garden!