According to Taylor’s Pocket Guide to Old-Fashioned Roses, these posies have a long history going back at least to the ancient Greeks. Indeed, Sappho referred to them as the “queen of flowers.”
I thought I didn’t like roses, that is until I realized that the ones I’d always known were hybridized to be huge, abundant, pest-resistant, and long-lasting. Along the way, these roses had lost their fragrance so I never found much to recommend them.
While becoming a docent at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, I became aware of the Cranford Rose Garden’s collection of old and climber roses. June is “rose month” at the Garden, and there is indeed a riot of roses in bloom. Yesterday I took my camera around the border beds where the older varieties are planted, many of them delicate flowers with a circular pattern of unfurled single petals.
I still feel heady from their lovely fragrance. Wish there were some way I could send it along with these photos.