The Rose. From the history of culture
The first documented historical evidence of rose culture dates back to Turkey. About five thousand years ago, the Sumerian king Saragon I, returning from a military campaign, brought a bush of roses to the city of Ura. Written information about this was found during excavations of the royal tombs of Chaldea in Uru. It is believed that later, from Uru, the rose was taken to Crete and Greece, and from there along rivers and caravans along trade routes to Syria, Egypt, and Transcaucasia.
Little evidence has been preserved on the species, varieties of roses and how to grow them in antiquity in the countries of the Middle East. The earliest of them date back to Ancient Greece, where the rose culture reached a high level. The ancient Greeks dedicated this flower to the god of love - Eros and the goddess of love and beauty - Aphrodite. During the time of Alexander the Great, the Greek writer Theophrastus, who lived in the 3rd century BC, described the rose and its care in such a detail in the book "Natural History" that the later naturalists could add little to his work.
The ancient Romans adopted the culture of roses from the ancient Greeks, lifting it to an even greater height. The Romans were well aware of rose cultivation by sowing seeds, grafting, grafting. There is information that noble Romans, not wanting to abandon their favorite flowers during the winter months, wrote them out with whole ships from Egypt. Later in Rome, in the cold season, they learned to grow rose plants in greenhouses by distillation. So, the poet Martial (about 40 - about 104 years), speaking of racing roses, noted that the Tiber is not inferior to the Nile in the abundance of these flowers, although nature produces them, and here it is art. The rose in its elegies, odes and epigrams was glorified by other poets of antiquity - Anacreont, Horace, Pliny the Elder.
© Corrêa Carvalho
Roses in those days were a necessary decoration of all celebrations. Not a single joyful or sad event, not a single political procession or religious festival was complete without them. They decorated the bowls with roses, showered the tables and the floor in the refectory halls, decorated the columns and walls of the festive hall, filled the fountains with rose water and, finally, reclined on the "bed of roses", that is, on pillows filled with rose petals. According to ancient historians, the emperor Nero (im. 54–68) once paid a barrel of gold for the roses he wrote in winter from Alexandria, and the emperor Helio-gabal (im. 218–222), who was known for his extravagance, ordered during the feast there was such rain from the flowers from the ceiling of the hall, where the feasts gathered, that many guests suffocated in them.
The Romans dedicated the rose to the deities of love, grace and fun. A wreath of roses with myrtle decorated the newlywed when she entered her husband's house hung with pink garlands. It is known that the Romans widely used rose petals for cosmetic purposes. For example, to preserve youth and beauty, women took baths with rose water, and in order to get rid of wrinkles, they applied rose petals to their faces at night. When the commander, after victory in battle, triumphantly entered Rome, he was covered with roses. The helmets and shields of the victorious warriors were also decorated with these flowers.
Of the objects of art of the ancient world that have come down to us, a rose is found in mosaics and banknotes. Very often, her image was decorated with medals, orders, seals, coats of arms. In the Middle Ages, a white rose was considered a symbol of silence. If there was a white rose on the table in the banquet hall, then everyone understood that the speeches made here would not be publicized. After the fall of Rome, the rose culture fell into decay.
Crusades restored ties between the countries of the East and West. Roses reappeared in Europe. So, Thibault VI, Count of Champagne (XIII century), returning from the Crusade, brought to his castle a Provencal rose. Roses later became popular in Spain. The gardens of Valencia, Cordoba and Grenada during the reign of the Moors were a solid stall of roses. The most widespread and perfect rose culture has reached in France. Until the 16th century there were special officials in this country whose duties included decorating government offices with roses.
A lot of fairy tales and legends are composed of a beautiful flower. With the cult of the goddess Venus (Greek Aphrodite), the ancient Romans associated white roses. It was believed that when the goddess came out of the sea to the shore, where the sea foam fell from her body, white roses grew. The ancient Greeks considered the creator of roses the goddess Flora. Moreover, the myth says that the rose remained white and non-aromatic until the goddess stepped on her foot and pricked on the thorns. From this, a few drops of the goddess's blood fell on the flower, since then it has acquired a red color.
An interesting Muslim legend about the yellow rose, which tells us that Mohammed, leaving for the war, took the oath of allegiance from his wife Aisha. However, in his absence, Aisha became interested in a young Persian. Mohammed, returning from a military campaign, ordered his wife to lower the red rose into the palace spring: if she does not change color, the wife is innocent. Aisha obeyed, but what was her horror when the rose taken from the source turned yellow. Since then, the yellow rose is considered a symbol of falsehood, treason.
In the XVII — XVIII centuries. rose culture has spread all over the world. In Europe, France became its center. Large collections were created here, consisting of varieties of various groups: centipholic, damask, French. The rose collection from Dessin's gardeners in Saint-Denis totaled 300 varieties. In France, a whole galaxy of breeders and amateur rose growers arose.
Late 18th - early 19th centuries - the most fruitful period in the creation of roses of new groups, which served as the basis for the modern assortment. Repairing, tea-hybrid, Pernetian, polyanthus and other groups appeared. Roses are widely distributed in Germany, England, Holland, Bulgaria and other countries. They began to get involved in Russia, Italy, Spain, Switzerland. However, in no country in the world rose growing was not developed as in France.
Now in this country the best decorative and oilseeds are grown, on the basis of which magnificent perfumes, ointments, and wines are prepared. A significant part of the country's agricultural land is occupied by flower crops. The annual production of rose bushes is about 20 million. Cut roses are grown mainly in unpaved greenhouses, so cut flowers are sold in France at any time of the year. The national pride of the country is the world-famous rose garden located in Bagatelle park (24.5 hectares) in Paris. It hosts international rose contests.
The Netherlands holds the first place in the world in the export of flowers, including roses. The flower industry here has gained such a scale that there is not in any other country. The Dutch, who reclaimed land from the sea, do not spare thousands of hectares of flowers. About 90% of all floriculture products they export to many countries around the world, including ours.
Much attention is paid to breeding roses in Bulgaria. Over five hundred thousand bushes this country exports to dozens of European countries. In addition, Bulgaria is famous worldwide for the production of rose oil. Large plantations are reserved for growing oil roses. Interestingly, to obtain 1 kg of oil, 500 kg of rose petals, or about three million flowers, are required.
The first information about the rose culture in Russia dates back to the reign of the Moscow Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich (c. 1613-1645). Terry roses were grown in Moscow at that time. However, the widespread distribution of roses in Russia is observed only from the beginning of the XIX century. They gained special popularity among flower growers at the end of the century thanks to the works of I.V. Michurin, N.I. Kichunov, N.D. Kostetsky. At this time, the rose began to be used for landscaping cities - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Odessa.
In the XX century. The development of rose growing was promoted by specialists of the Main Botanical Garden of the USSR Academy of Sciences, who did a lot to distribute domestic and foreign rose varieties. They keep in touch with other botanical gardens, as well as floriculture farms, nurseries, amateur gardeners. Despite the frosty snowy winters, the cool, sometimes arid spring and the lingering rainy autumn, the country's largest collection of 2,500 rose varieties has been maintained and continuously replenished on podzolic heavy soils for over forty years.
Florists in the Main Botanical Garden of the USSR Academy of Sciences not only carry out systematic introduction work, methodically evaluate and select the best modern foreign and domestic varieties, but also develop and master the cultivation technology for specific climatic conditions. Widely promoting the best varieties recommended for mass propagation in certain climatic zones, rose growers demonstrate techniques and methods for using roses in garden and park construction and for decorating individual plots.
© Ryan Somma
There are large collections of roses not only in the southern regions favorable for culture - Crimea (Nikitsky Garden - 1600 varieties), in the Caucasus (Nalchik - 900 varieties), Transcaucasia (Tbilisi - 600 varieties), but also in rather severe conditions of Latvia (Salaspils - 750 varieties), Belarus (Minsk - 650 varieties), as well as in Leningrad (400 varieties) and even Siberia (Novosibirsk - 400 varieties).
Many of our flower growers are engaged in the distribution of domestic and foreign rose varieties, the generalization of experience in their cultivation abroad: V. N. Bylov, N. L. Mikhailov, I. Shtanko, N. P. Nikolaenko, K. Sushkova and many others. A particularly significant contribution to the development of decorative gardening in our country was made by Ivan Porfirievich Kovtunenko from Nalchik. With his participation, the first landscaping, mainly with roses, of the Agricultural Exhibition in Moscow (now the All-Russian Exhibition Center) was carried out.
© Ryan Somma
- Sokolov N. - Roses. - M .: Agropromizdat, 1991