Red Rose At Nixon Library


This month when we celebrate Valentine’s Day, it is interesting to note that the rose is not only a symbol of love but a symbol of discretion. Legend has it that Cupid gave a red rose to Harpocrates, the god of silence, to bribe him to secrecy over the dalliance of Venus and so the red rose become the symbol of discretion, love, passion and romance. Roses were henceforth painted on the ceilings of banquet halls to remind all gathered there that whatever was said there, should not be repeated which became the expression sub rosa (under the rose). Another legend says that while Aphrodite was running to the dying Adonis, she was scratched by a rose bush and her blood falling on the roses turn it red. Other account says that Adonis turned his blood into red roses.

Whatever legend strikes your fancy, there is nothing in our garden at this time of the year but the florist and even the supermarket stores are selling roses grown in South America so there is no excuse not to give red roses for Valentine’s Day. And how did Valentine’s Day get started? A certain Bishop Valentine started it to replace the Roman festival of Lupercalia. There were several Bishop Valentines but nobody is really certain as to who is the real Bishop Valentine. But whoever he is, the tradition continues and we celebrate this day exchanging gifts and greetings between our loved ones, friends, family but mostly lovers.

During the Victorian era, valentine cards were mostly decorated with old-fashioned roses. Even today, valentines are still associated with roses. For Valentine’s Day, red roses are arbitrarily the most popular flower.

There are several red roses in the market nowadays but I can recommend some tried and true varieties that grow very well in the garden. Plant some of them and give your Valentine red roses again in June.


Carolina Pride – medium red rose

Firefighter – dark red rose

Ingrid Bergman – dark red rose

Lasting Love – dark red rose

Liebeszauber – dark red rose

Let Freedom Ring – medium red rose

Legends – medium red rose

Marilyn Wellan – medium red rose

Mister Lincoln – dark red rose

Mr. Caleb – medium red rose

Olympiad – medium red rose

Veteran’s Honor – dark red rose


Drop Dead Red – dark red rose

Europeana – dark red rose

Lavaglut – dark red rose

Showbiz – medium red rose

Stadt den Helder – medium red rose

Super Hero – medium red rose


Black Jade – dark red rose

Memphis King – dark red rose

Old Glory – medium red rose

Power Point – medium red rose

Ralph Moore – medium red rose

Ruby Ruby – medium red rose


Falstaff – dark red rose

Heathcliff – dark red rose

L. D. Braithwaite – dark red rose

Othello – medium red rose

Tess of the d’Urbervilles – dark red rose

The Prince – dark red rose



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