This past Saturday (March 3), I drove to Spotsylvania VA to attend the Atlantian Kingdom Arts & Sciences Festival. My primary reason for going was to present a display about period roses. I did a similar display back in 2014 and I improved on the display. In addition to the color poster of period roses that I had back in 2014, which I also use in my class about period roses, I now have five pressed rose specimens presented as herbarium specimens, which I have in picture frames to better protect them. When doing research for my talk at the Heritage Rose Foundation conference in May 2017, I found a reference to an herbarium specimen of a rose plant from 1576 to 1600, making pressed flowers a period technique. Here is a list of the roses I have herbarium-style specimens of:
- Rosa rubiginosa
- Rosa alba semiplena
- Double Musk Rose (R. moschata plena)
- Single Musk Rose (R. moschata)
- Apothecary Rose (R. gallica officinalis)
The last four are specimens I pressed from bushes in my garden. The first one, Rosa rubiginosa, is a variety I do not yet grow and I purchase the already mounted specimen from Ecobota on Etsy.com.
In addition to the pressed flowers, I also brought four small rose bushes in pots of varieties grown in period:
- Great Maiden’s Blush (R. alba incarnata)
- Single Musk rose (R. moschata)
- Kazanlik (Rosa X damascena ‘Trigintipetala’)
- Gros Choux d’Hollande (Great Cabbage of Holland) – a centifolia rose
Actually the last one (Gros Choux d’Hollende) consisted of three plants in band pots that were taped together. I had recently purchase the three plants from Rogue Valley Roses and they had arrived 20 days before but I had not had time to transplant them into bigger pots. The weather for most of the month of February was quite warm so the plants were already starting to leaf out and the Gros Choux d’Hollande even has a couple of flower buds starting to develop.
I had a number of people stop by and talk to me about the roses and it was a lot of fun. Now I just need to spend some time in the garden and with the rest of the roses so I will have more roses to press and put into my display. However, that is a story for another time.