Roses and Their Cultivation
The rose seems to have been a cherished ﬂower from time immemorial. In Holy Writ the prophet Isaiah says: The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose, but it is doubtful if the rose he mentions is the true one. However, the rose has long ﬂourished in the Holy Land and the East generally, and so it is more than probable that the rose of Holy Writ may be the true one. Anyway, the ancients were well acquainted with its beauties and subtle charms, since Herodotus, Aris totle, Theophrastus, Virgil, and Pliny of old refer to it. The latter, indeed, says that the warriors of his time crowned themselves with garlands of roses during their feasts, and also covered their food with the petals or sprinkled it with the fragrant oil thereof. In more modern times the rose has also been held in high esteem as an emblem of joy and sadness. Thus young folks used to decorate themselves with garlands of roses, strew roses on the ground before the happy bridal pair; and, ao cording to Camden, a writer in the fifteenth century, there was in his day a classical custom observed, time out of mind, at Oakley, in Surrey, of planting a rose tree on the graves, especially of the young men and maidens who have just lost their lovers, so that this churchyard is full of them. Then, it has long been a custom in this country to use rose water to wash the hands and refresh the face after a banquet.
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