Summer Garden Flowers
Issue Date: April 28, 1994
City: Cincinnati, OH
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
Perforations: 11.9 vertically
With its delicate blossoms and sweet fragrance, the rose is often thought of as a flower that requires a great deal of attention. But like all garden flowers, at one time it was found growing wild. Originating in central Asia, the rose spread to the Northern Hemisphere and could be found growing from the arctic cold of Alaska and Siberia to the desert heat of India and South America. Fossil roses, found in Colorado and Oregon, date as far back as 40 million years. Today roses continue to grow wild in all fifty states.
The Chinese were the first to cultivate wild roses. By the time of the Han Dynasty (202 B.C. - A.D. 220), rose gardens had become so popular that huge parks were devoted to these beautiful flowers. When land needed for agriculture was set aside to grow roses, food production became threatened, forcing the Emperor to destroy many of the elaborate parks.
The Egyptians did a thriving business growing roses for the Romans. So enamored with roses were the Romans, that they would often spend thousands of dollars on roses for one feast. In fact one order from Emperor Nero ran up a bill totaling almost $100,000! Even today the rose is still the world’s best known and most popular flower.