The stories behind the naming of roses is a blog unto itself, thank goodness there is an excellent book about this very topic by Stephen Scanniello and Douglas Brenner named "A Rose by Any Name."
The authors do a great job tackling the "thorny task" of writing about the provenance and names of several roses - old and new, many surrounded by scandal, romance and lore you'd never think to make up. My focus is the naming of the ever popular hybrid tea 'Peace' rose - a favorite of so many gardeners, the number as high or higher than one hundred million around the world.
'Peace' rose is a newly minted forever stamp - honored in April by the United States Postal Service and the American Rose Society as one of the most popular roses of all time. One other piece of trivia - the rose is the official nation flower of America, designated as such in 1986 by Congress. I've read where it beat out the marigold and lilac - go roses!
Bet you have one in your garden, maybe it's time to plant a 'Peace' rose and add to your collection.
The 'Peace' rose story...
It was a dark and stormy night, no, that's not the beginning, but maybe. In 1935 while the Germans were planning and soon carrying out the occupation of Europe, rose seedling number 3-35-40 was growing in a trial rose garden by Francis Meilland. Francis was the son of Antoine Meilland who in 1850 founded Meilland International SA, a family owned rose growing business in south eastern France.
Francis was expert in rose breeding and bringing them to market through distributors all over the world, including America. In 1939 Francis invited some of his international growers to view No. 3-35-40 - a very large, full petaled canary yellow, pink edged fragrant, beautiful rose. They liked what they saw so orders were placed by his customers in Germany, Italy and the United States. The two former countries received their rose orders, but not his American distributor in Pennsylvania. Something got in the way of the shipment, a little period in world history called the Nazi occupation.
In 1940 important diplomats were getting out of dodge (France) quickly. This included the American consul in Lyon who was asked by Francis Meilland to smuggle a packet of 3-35-40 bud eyes out of the country and through his dispatch hand deliver them to Robert Pyle of the Conard-Pyle Company in West Grove, PA. Yes, it was literally the last plane out of France. No doubt Ingrid and Bogie comes to mind.
|'Peace' Rose from Edmund's Roses|
The letter from Robert Pyle read "my eyes are fixed in fascinated admiration on a glorious rose, its pale gold, cream and ivory petals blending to a lightly ruffled edge of delicate carmine. I am convinced it will be the rose of the century."
On the same day Berlin fell to the Allies - April 29, 1945, rose No. 3-35-40 was officially named 'Peace' at the Pacific Rose Society exhibition. According to Stephen Scanniello and Douglas Brenner from their book, Robert Pyle paid a higher royalty fee (33%) for 'Peace' instead of the customary 15%, but asked for exclusive rights to market the rose. No matter the loss of sole proprietorship, the Meilland family was happy and making huge profits in royalties. Robert Pyle was rewarded with considerable profits as well, he sent Francis and his family a grand thank you gift - a new model 1946 Chevrolet sedan!
|'Peace' Forever Stamp - April 2018|
There's no charge to enter the rose show, you just need to grow the roses yourself, the exception is the photography entries. The theme this year is "Around the World in 80 Roses," which means several of the categories to enter follow this fun theme. Read the entire rose show schedule at this LINK. Click on 2018 Rose Show Schedule. If you have specific questions about exhibiting please contact the Denver Rose Society HERE. A volunteer will be on hand to assist first time exhibitors.
If you wish to just check out the exhibited roses and winners, please stop by Mitchell Hall at 1:00 pm on June 30. No charge to sniff and view the roses, just pay entrance to DBG if you're not a member of the Denver Rose Society or Denver Botanic Gardens.