Last week I had the pleasure of visiting a private garden on three acres, south…
Recently I received an email from a nursery simply called Cabbage Roses that sells such roses which stand apart from the popular hybrid tea variety.
Since I do not have much sun in my garden, the number of roses I grow is small, but I do love the color and fragrance they can bring to the garden.
Then I remembered that cabbage roses were important in the early Victorian period of flower gardens in England.
Nicolette Scourse writes in her book The Victorians and their Flowers, “In the Romantic era early in the nineteenth century, roses climbed artificial ruins and classical columns, while high Victorian taste preferred strongly scented, full-faced flowers straddling gothic trellises and arbors.”
She even quotes from Rebecca Hey’s book of poems http://americangardening.net/dating-the-h-bomb/, “Gem of the bower, sweet rose! the fairest, brightest of the gay tribes which drink the summer beam.”
Scourse features in her book this image [below] called ‘Group of Roses’ painted by Robert John Thorton (1768 – 1837) . Included in the group of flowers appear three types of Cabbage or Provence Rose: double pink, white and striped. Notice the fullness of the flower thus explaining a bit of the reason for its name ‘cabbage.’
This painting illustrates how important flowers were to Victorian England, and eventually to America.
And among that group of flowers appeared the cabbage rose.
Paintings of flowers like the cabbage rose flourished in Victorian England.