Sunday, July 17, 2011

Character of Rose

Like most plants, the flowers of a rose plant are sexual beings. The petals surround the sexual parts of the plant, which include both male and female organs. Roses have both male and female parts, all in one lovely flower, making them able to self-pollinate. Maybe the flowers are so pretty that they fall in love with themselves! The stamens, so lovely in many varieties of roses, are the male parts of the rose. The anthers, at the top of the stamens, produce the pollen that fertilizes the ovules, or eggs, located at the bottom of the pistil, the female part of the flower, inside the hip of the flower. Rose flowers can self-pollinate, but the resulting plant is rarely as good as the original.

The sepals are leaf-like structures that cover the rose buds before they open, protecting them. Sepals slowly separate to reveal the color of the developing flower and finally pull away entirely, allowing the petals of the bud to unfurl. The sepals are often a very attractive part of the flower, particularly if their feathery ends extend above the top of the bud. When they drop, allowing the petals to open, they are often a very decorative underpinning to a beautiful flower. You can find much beauty in all the parts of a rose flower, but what most people consider perfection in a rose bloom is the petals; their color, their substance, their arrangement, and their fragrance.

A rose may have no petals at all, like the famous green rose, Rosa chinensis viridiflora. What appear to be the petals of the flower are actually lots of sepals. Many people consider the green rose ugly, but others find a strange beauty in its greenness. The green rose is of the China family of old garden roses and, as with all Chinas, this plant is tender in cold winter climates and must be brought inside during the chilliest months. Unlike most other old garden roses, however, the Chinas, including the green rose, bloom all season long.

A rose can also have so many petals that it will not open in anything but the hottest weather. Sometimes these many-petaled roses are so fabulous that they are worth growing, even if you see only a few blooms a year during a heat wave. The most notorious rose for having so many petals that many of the flowers end up as squishy rotten balls at the top of a strong cane is the hybrid tea 'Uncle Joe'. The plant is a large one, often reaching 6 or 7 feet tall, with wonderful, deep green foliage. In hot weather, when the flowers do open, they are among the most beautiful of the red hybrid teas.

The most common petal formations fall into three categories:

Single: Many beautiful roses have only a single row of petals (usually 5). Like the wonderful 'Dainty Bess', a single hybrid tea with five large, pale pink petals surrounding bright red stamens, single-petaled roses can be very lovely. 'Eyepaint' is another beautiful single rose.

Semi-double: Roses considered semi-double may have only two or three rows of 12 to 16 petals. The pink floribunda 'Simplicity', which Jackson & Perkins sells as a hedge rose, has semi-double flowers.

Double or fully double; These roses have lots of petals. A rose is considered double if it has more than 17 petals. Sometimes roses with 26 to 40 petals are called fully double and those with over 40 petals are called very double. Double roses are generally larger and showier than singles or semi-doubles. The red hybrid tea 'Mister Lincoln' has double flowers.
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History of Rose

To appreciate the significance of roses as garden plants, it helps to know a little of their extensive history. The early Romans were true lovers of roses. They carpeted their floors and showered their guests with rose petals, bathed in rose oils, drank rose wine, decorated warriors with rose garlands and treated their sick with medications made from rose petals and hips. When the supply of roses was not sufficient to meet demands, they built heated greenhouses so they could have flowers 12 months a year.

Evidence of the devotion given to the rose by early Christians is seen in stained glass windows in hundreds of medieval churches throughout the world. This tradition continues in modern churches today. Even the word rosary, a series of prayers reliving the life of Christ, originally meant rose garden. Throughout history, from writings by Confucius several hundred years before the birth of Christ to England's War of the Roses in the 15th century, roses have been a part of world events.

However, the roses that held such fascination long ago did not look much like the modern hybrid teas and grandifloras most of us grow today. The rose garden of Josephine, first wife of Napoleon, at Malmaison, their home in France, is still in existence. This garden contained almost 250 different roses, mostly rose species and natural hybrids. Quite a number of these roses are still in existence today, although they are not widely distributed through commercial outlets.

The large collection of roses gathered by Josephine at Malmaison was an important step in the development of today's modern roses. For the first time, horticulturists could observe in one location the tremendous diversity of the rose family. From the Orient came ever-blooming China roses such as 'Parson's Pink China'. From Reunion, an island country in the Indian Ocean, came the semi- double, pink Bourbon roses, which were also ever-blooming. These were stunning in contrast to Europe's Gallica roses, which, although extremely fragrant, bloomed only in early summer.

Even though rose breeding had been going on for centuries, many of the roses displayed at Malmaison were natural hybrids and species found in nature. Consequently, the true lineage of many roses is uncertain and often confusing. Even still, horticulturists found the possibilities at Malmaison exciting. They began creating their own crosses, changing rose gardening forever. Hybrids between ever-blooming China roses and Rosa moschata led to the Noisette roses. At the same time, the Hybrid Perpetual was developed from mixed parentage. These were crossed with Tea roses from China, resulting in the first hybrid tea rose. Soon, the era of modern roses was in full swing.

In North America, roses were also making an impact. There are about 35 species of roses that are native to the United States. As far back as the early 1600s, American Indians in the Northeast were planting roses to add flower color to their villages. Many native American roses, including Rosa californica, Rosa setigera and Rosa palustris, are rugged plants that are supremely adapted to the climates of their origins. In this current age of conservation when plants are required to thrive and look attractive with a minimum of care, as well as reduced amounts of water and fertilizer, these native American roses are ideal subjects.

In addition to native species, early settlers in North America also introduced many roses originating from other parts of the world. In the late 16th century, William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, brought 18 rose plants from England to the new world. He later wrote a book for pioneers about the value of roses as medicinal plants.

Today, roses are big business. The rose is the world's most popular flower, and the national flower of the United States. Each year commercial rose growers produce millions of plants that are sold throughout the world. To meet the demand for new varieties, rose hybridizing and variety testing continue as important parts of the rose-growing process.
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Soul flower

Be nice to yourself and indulge in one of nature's awesome creations. It's true we don't actually NEED flowers in our daily schedules BUT since when did humans stick to what they needed!

Giving a gift of flowers is always a thoughtful, if not provocative, experience and is a gift that is definitely not about money. A large bouquet from the local florist will no doubt be beautiful and well worth the cash it costs. And equally, the small bouquet of wildflowers lovingly collected by an adored one will bring joy into your life.

Sprays of dried flowers and grasses can make beautiful displays in your home over holiday seasons, or why not everyday?

Flowers are pressed into scrapbooks and journals. They are also pressed for their scent and many perfumes are flower-based. Oils are extracted for natural remedies and cosmetic applications.

Flower preparations can be time-consuming to produce and therefore often expensive to the consumer. The absolute best way round this is to go directly to the source and Grow your own!

It doesn't matter what month it is or what the weather's playing at. You can still plan your flower garden. The choice of flowers, plants and herbs available is so extraordinary, you may as well start planning straight away!

Your flower garden can include all kinds of practical plants as well as looking gorgeous...
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My voice

Your voice is your soul in sound! It is unique to you and your resonance holds the key to developing your confidence, personal power, self esteem, ability to heal and transform your own life and the lives of those you love when you sing or heal!

Since time began sound has been used to heal body, mind & spirit. Our whole universe is made up of sound and light vibration. Every culture in the world uses chants, songs & tones to celebrate life, bring joy, mourn, heal pain, dance and connect with the inner self and God. We can be moved by a beautiful singing voice, have our emotions played with in film music, go into trance through drumming, and heal by receiving a pure vocal tone that affects the physical & emotional body.

Sound is in us and around us! We are one with the vibration of sound in every cell of our body. Listen to nature, hear and feel how it affects your body. The sound of the wind, the ocean, birdsong, & dolphins. When we ‘tune in’ to nature and access our own sounds we raise our awareness and connection with all living things on our planet. Using our voice and music to ‘tune ourselves up’ we can connect with our inner self and have better relationships with the world around us. We are grounded, confident and can live in greater harmony.

Learning to go within with your voice is an amazing experience. It is not until you really get in touch with your own voice that deep healing and powerful transformation can happen. We each resonate at our own frequency and the healing energy of the voice is the most powerful of all sound healing modalities. This is because you are working with the love of the universe and carrying this energy through the resonance of the tone that is used. Science has shown that high frequency sounds charge the cerebral cortex, balancing left and right brain function. Sound can take you into deep states of altered consciousness; it soothes the central nervous system, strengthens the immune system and can ‘re-pattern’ our cellular vibrational frequencies to give us better health.
The voice is the ultimate amazing energy for opening the heart and allowing love to flow more freely. It is not about intellectual involvement with singing technique, it is about feeling, loving and healing……. freeing the soul like nothing else. A person receiving a voice healing may experience a beautiful deep sense of love and peaceful connection, or if transpersonal work is required issues that need to be released may come up. The healer brings through the universal resonance of love in the vocal tones and if the client uses their voice too the healing is greater. Long standing blockages move, deep pain is released, trauma is healed and joy returns to life! Healing takes place for yourself when you use your voice to sing and produce tones. It is a wonderful way to keep yourself in good health!

When singing commercially……this ‘soul voice’ is what many term the ‘unconscious voice’. It is when the mind lets go of how, why and what and lets the voice come through in it’s true state. Technique hones a voice for ‘ways or styles’ of singing. The ‘souls voice’ needs no mind interference, it bypasses the mind and brings through the uniqueness of the individuals voice! Have you noticed this when you ‘get lost’ in a song? This is when your soul takes over! Next time you are singing really notice what happens to you in your songs and where you can recognise your soul’s voice not just the techniques.
Have you wondered why some nights your audience is great and other nights not so good? Have you ever thought that it might be your own problem in that ‘your voice’ was not so good that night? The audience reflects what we give out. They acutely pick up on your performance….if you are singing from ‘you’ or just going through the motions. Why do we say ‘that singer has soul’ and we don’t say it for all singers? All voices have soul if you are singing from your soul….if you are just singing without feeling or heart in your voice then it’s noticed. Your singing reflects you!

Our voice provides the healing energy for these times. We have moved to a higher awareness of sound in the universe. Now is the time to come into harmony with ourselves, those around us and the planet with our voices through our singing! Our voice and songs are natural healers when we sing from our souls…from our hearts! Let your voice flow naturally ……With love
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