In the religion and mythology of almost every ancient country n the world, a garden is portrayed as the place of divine habitation. In the classical mythologies, such a heavenly abode exited atop the mount Olympus, unreachable by the fruny mortal. Again, in the Biblical version of the formation of this world, the first parents of mankind resided in the Garden of Eden.
In Indian literature, the gods resided in the Garden of Indra, among fruits and flowers that rendered immortality to those who received it.
The sacred meanings given to the plants that first grow in these marvellous gardens and have since been dedicated or symbolic to the gods and prominent figures of the world’s religious, have been handed down through generations. And among he flowers associated with the Christian religious beliefs is the Resurrection flower.
If grows in the sandy deserts of Egypt, Arabia and Syria. When the flowers and the leaves of this plant have withered and fallen to the ground, the dying branches start curling inwards forming a round ball. After the roots die, the plant is blown around by the winds before lodging in a damp spot. The ball then expands again, and deposits its seed, which germinate. Once this plant is watered, the dried-up withered young plant fill with a revitalizing life and soon begin to bud again. The plant was thought to be a favourite to nativity, and was also called the Rose of the Madonna.
It was believed to have bloomed first at Christ’s birth in the manager, and then died and closed at Christ’s cruxification, before blooming once again at Easter time, this justifying its title of ‘Resurrection flower’ Another popular name attached to this flower is the Rose of Jericho.
The botanical name of the rose is rosa and has long been the symbol for love and passion. Roses originate from China and are now cultivate from America to Africa and from Eastern Europe to the Far East. Today, there are over 30,000 varieties of roses and have the most complicated family tree of any known flower species. Roses were extensively grown in the Middle East during the Roman period, where they were used in food, as confetti at celebrations, for medicinal purposes, and as a source of perfume.
In the 19 th century, old scented roses were used to make jelly. The red rose is the symbol of England and is worn on St George’s Day. It is also the symbol of love and is hugely popular on St Valentine’s Day.
Roses come in all sizes and there are different varieties for different locations. Roses have amazing scents, astonishing beauty and some varieties have vigorous growth that will sprint up a tree, using it as a frame.
In Greek mythology, it is said that it was Aphrodite, the goddess of love who gave the rose its name. The rose was created by Chloris the goddess of flowers with the help of Aphrodite who gave her beauty and Dionysus, the god of wine, who added nectar to give her a sweet scent.
Myth also has it that Venus’ son Cupid accidentally shot arrows into the rose garden when a bee stung him, and it was the “sting” of the arrows that caused the roses to grow thorns. And, when Venus walked through the garden and pricked her foot on a thorn, it was the droplets of her blood which turned the roses red.
Through the ages, roses have been used to express feelings, sentiments and emotions that may have been hard to express any other way. Roses are treasured for their beauty, mystery, and fragrance throughout the world and as such, have been the focus of many poems and comments.
“It was roses, roses all the way.”
– Robert Browning
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose; By any other name would smell as sweet.”
– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet , Act 2 scene 2