Monday, June 22, 2009

A rose is a rose...

June's flower is the Rose. I couldn't have asked for an easier way to begin this series of posts. Roses are everywhere. Outdoors, indoors, in gardens, on fabric, in art. The yellow rose you see here grew in my own garden. I believe it's called St. Patrick. I received this rosebush several years ago as a Mother's Day gift. Or was it my birthday? They're usually so close together, I get mixed up. This photo is the same one I cropped and overexposed and used as the first banner for my blog. So this particular rose means a lot to me.

Roses mean a lot to almost everyone it would seem. We send bouquets of them to celebrate, congratulate and commemorate births, deaths, anniversaries, even a fantastic first date. They decorate cakes, are carried by brides and adorn our bodies from birth to old age. In Victorian times, flowers were ascribed very specific meanings and used as symbolic gestures in order to communicate without words. (Oh, those wacky, uptight Victorians!) Roses, in all their great variety, maintain those same meanings today. We all know that red roses symbolize passionate love and romance and that yellow roses connote warmth and friendship. White roses are traditional for wedding bouquets because of their association with innocence and purity. Did you know though that lavender roses mean "love at first sight"? And if you received such a rose from a new admirer, would you respond with a pale peach rose for "modesty" or the deep coral rose of "desire"? I suppose it would depend on who signed the card attached to that lavender rose.

As I will do with each successive "Flower of the Month" post, I present for you here images of this month's flower used in art, decor, fashion, architecture... wherever I happen to find them. And remember when I said this post couldn't be easier? Well, that's not exactly true. Because rose motifs really are everywhere. On every conceivable surface and material, composed using every imaginable medium. But we only have so much time and there isn't nearly enough space in this one place to show you all that I found, much less all that there are. So here is my very modest (can I get a peach rose, please?), brutally edited offering:

Found a few weeks ago at my favorite used book store in Ventura Beach; 168 Redoute' colorplates, suitable for framing

Art Deco-inspired wild roses in ceramic from earthsong tiles

William Morris Rose Trellis wallpaper circa 1862

West rose window of the Washington National Cathedral, dedicated in 1976

Waverly's classic Vintage Rose fabric has been everywhere on everything

A modern "vintage" print on a tote by Cath Kidston

Contemporary, stylized roses on upholstery fabric from Calico Corners

A pretty, ultra-feminine dress from Kate Spade's Spring collection

Could anyone even begin to count the roses that appear each year at the Kentucky Derby?

We've all seen this singular rose, behind the parade, each New Year's Day: the Tournament of Roses logo on the wall of the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California

The ubiquitous Old Country Roses by Royal Albert

A beautiful union of traditional and modern in a bridal bouquet

Rosey toes for your baby

And, finally, something special just for mom

Next month: Larkspur. Hmm. Do you think anyone's ever tattooed themselves with larkspur? I'll take a look around...


Content in a Cottage said...

Tracy...Your new blog is fabulous. I love everything about it. I added you to my blogroll and look forward to reading all about what inspires you. ♥Rosemary

Tracy Pardue Watier said...

Thanks Rosemary! The feelings are completely mutual!