Hello and welcome to Horticulturalists Club; I’m Percine Chucker.
I’ve had a couple of letters asking questions about the rose; here they are.
Letter 1. This is from Sam in Leicester.
How did the rose get its name?
Well Sam, it’s rather simple really, they were grown in rows and, hence they were called rows, or rowses if there were a lot of them. One day at the first ever rows growing garden, a young horticultural student on work experience who couldn’t spell for toffee was making a sign for Valentines Day. He wrote ‘buy your loved one a red rows for Valentines Day’. Rowses therefore became the world’s most romantic flower.
One day, the same student was in the shed having a little fun with his ‘secret’ plants. It hit him that if he had the W removed and be left with ‘rose’, an anagram was eros. That is how the world’s most romantic flower got its name.
There are many different roses now because one can be grafted onto another; which says a lot for sexy sap.
Bridget Branch was the first woman to do this. She would graft a part of one plant into the correct part of another and a new rose would be born.
Like the Master’s Degree student, Bridget liked some weed in her potting/grafting
Her grafting work was soon well known and people who knew her called her High Bridget. This caught on and the technique was named in her honour i.e. hybridget. That didn’t sound right so it was shortened to hybrid.
This letter is from Gertrude in Blackpool
What’s this war of the roses about? Is it a Plantaganet fight for the English throne?
Even before it was associated with love officially by our student, it was associated with hate too i.e. the Wars of the Roses … Plantagenet Richard of York and all that jazz.
History says it was indeed a battle for the throne of England; well History would claim that wouldn’t they. It was actually love and jealousy that led to the battles. What happened is something that has always happened. At the weekends, York horticulturalists would go to Lancaster armed with buckets of white roses. The Lancaster women who were bored with lusty Lancastrians with red roses (Zzzzz) were refreshed by the handsome Yorkies with the beautiful white ones. This miffed the Lancaster horticulturalists who did the same trick on the Yorkies. The Lancastrians got sick of the Yorkies dating their girlfriends and wives, and vice versa. This led to the fisticuffs. The battle of Bosworth Field was in fact two lots of horticulturalists. It was associated with the battle for the throne because the Kings turned up to watch because it was good fun and they had no TV; just like the Royals these days turn up to sporting events. Richard of York was killed because he secretly dressed up as a York horticulturalist and joined the battle. One of the Lancastrians mistook him for a Yorkie who had been secretly wooing his wife with white roses and so he gave Richard a good slapping. It isn’t mentioned in the creative history texts that the battle trashed a lot of allotments which were on the perimeter of the field, and afterwards the Kings refused to pay compensation.
Richard also had a famous blood disease (discovered by French haematologist and micro biologist Louis Chemia) which is why it’s said that Richard of York Gave Battle in Vein, a saying which represents the colours of the rainbow i.e. red orange yellow green blue indigo and violet and is also used in electronics.
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