Lo, a rose here growing

This will be my last post about my sentimental possessions I promise – for a little while at least! But I have also recently acquired what you see below. They might not look like much at present, but they are called St Saviour’s Rose, a rose bred specifically for the 150th birthday of the Anglican Diocese here. I have been slowly gathering a few pot plants for my courtyard, and I thought these might be a rather special addition.

If you have read here for some time, you will remember some significance in roses (mainly from this post last December). And the name St Saviour’s Rose seems particularly apt (though I don’t know the why of the “St”). These are a few bible verses that tie the ideas together.

The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them;
and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. 

Isaiah 35:1

And this is the verse on which the 15th century hymn, Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming (lyrics below) is based.

There shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest shall be glorious. 

Isaiah 11:10

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright, she bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him,
As angel heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
And to the endless day!

The roses begin life as Bishop’s purple or amethyst colour, which is a fine colour for roses, if a questionable choice for men’s shirts, and fade out to a softer purply-pink, so I am told. And they have a saturated scent and camellia-like form (technical details for any gardeners out there). I followed the instructions very carefully in potting them, as apparently these things need to be done just so, and from here on I need to “drown them” in water to get them going (and I have left them in under the roof out of the descending frost in the photos above, because it’s been like -7 and -6 degrees each morning this week). So, I shall see how my first rose-growing experience goes.

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