We all know the line by Shakespeare, ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ which may be true but, as far as rose growers are concerned, the right name can mean commercial success, and the wrong one, obscurity.
repeat flowering; hold their colour and form whatever the weather; glossy rich green foliage and a lovely perfume – what more could you possibly want in a rose? Well, the answer is a good name and this one got the right name at the right time – Peace. Named to commemorate the end of World War II, these roses were given to each of the delegations at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco, each with a note which read, “We hope the ‘Peace’ rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace”.
Breeders rate seedlings as they grow, removing ones that show weakness or disease susceptibility. Promising seedlings are grafted onto rootstocks in a nursery field, where they grow for several years. Roughly one in 100,000 rose crosses actually results in a marketable rose. What happens to all the roses which are lovely but just don’t make the cut? Some clever breeders are offering them with a unique selling point – you get to name your very own rose.
Country Garden Roses are one company which offers this service and I think this would make a lovely gift, maybe even a Valentine’s Day present! https://www.countrygardenroses.co.uk/shop/31-Name-Your-Own-Rose They say,
‘Naming a new rose is often a very expensive procedure and well out of the price range of most people. However you can now name a single rose bush for a loved one at a reasonable price and give them a once in a lifetime gift. We have Several unnamed roses in stock (some of these colours sell out towards the end of Summer, with more stock arriving in the Autumn) for which you can now choose any name you wish providing it is not already a rose name in use.’
Next time you choose a rose – ask yourself if you’ve been influenced by its name and, indeed, would a rose by any other name smell so sweet.