Arbor Gate's Picks
of the Month


December 8, 2016 Back to Picks >

(Rosaceae var.)

Each month during 2016, my Herb Picks will be accompanied by a myth or other tale that has come down to us through the centuries, as well as some useful growing information. These are herbs that can be grown in our area, and are found in the Arbor Gate Herb House throughout the year. Needless to say, not all herbs are available during every season, so keep a list handy of those you want to add to your herb collection.

The word rose comes from the Greek word rodon (red) and the rose of the Ancients was a deep crimson and supposedly sprung from the blood of Adonis.

According to Greek legend, Adonis was a beautiful young man that Venus fell in love with. One day, the bold goddess decided to go hunting with him. She cautioned him all the while to be careful of large prey. One day she left him in her chariot drawn by swans and started for Mt. Olympus, but on the way she heard Adonis moaning. Upon returning to the chariot, she found him dying as a result of being gored by a wild boar. She was grief-stricken, and as he lay dying she said, “My Adonis, my grief shall endure, but your blood shall be changed into a beautiful flower.” Thus, the blossom, which we know as the rose, became the flower of love. The gods Cupid and Bacchus are also associated with the rose–the sign of pleasure and companion of mirth and wine. Roses were spread on the floors at great celebrations and were scattered at the feet of Flora, goddess of flowers.