Ever since Sappho planted roses at the shrine of Aphrodite, no other flower has even come close to capturing the Western imagination in the same way . Wherever it has grown, human beings have projected onto it their dreams and aspirations. Celebrated as a sacred symbol, a token of womanhood, the profane, chastity and lust, the rose links the Virgin Mary with Venus and represents the blood of Christ and the sweat of Muhammad.
Jennifer Potter, acclaimed horticultural historian, gave herself the arduous task of penning the evolution of roses from the Greek and Roman empires to its height of cultivated perfection found in today’s gardens. Her prose brings to life the journey this flower has undergone and the world map depicting the flower’s travels is well worth a look.