According to fossil evidence, roses date back some 35 million years. There are over 30,000 species of roses in the moderns world, with 150 native species in North America alone, stretching all the way north from Alaska and south to Mexico. The first roses were first cultivated in China about 3,000 years ago. Around 2,o0o B.C., roses were used in Mesopotamia, not for their flowers to display, but to make rose water and fragrance.

Today, roses are often categorized as old roses or modern roses. The distinction is that old roses were cultivated before 1867 and those that came after are modern. Thus, David Austen roses are modern roses. The rose is the National Flower of England. In ancient times, the rose was associated with Aphrodite.

But it has been the poets and writers that seem to have immortalized this enchanting flower, associating it with love for all of time. This started in ancient Greece where the flower was associated with Aphrodite. In the Middle Ages, a poem about love was called “The Romance of the Rose.” William Blake

wrote of The Sick Rose” where it stood for love. But it may be Robert Burns who is best know for his poem about the rose:

O my Luve is like a red, red rose   
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody   
That’s sweetly played in tune.

So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,   
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,  
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,   
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,   
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!   
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,   
Though it were ten thousand mile.