Culture and cultivation: how rose shows changed the shape of rose history
In this wide-ranging talk, Martin Stott will share stories of the rose’s development in Europe – from the simple species roses to the modern varieties so popular today. The rose as a symbol has carried deep cultural and political significance for centuries, but purposeful rose breeding and popular cultivation is much more recent.
Martin will explore key events that helped in making the rose such a central part of most gardens, focusing in particular on the rise of the Royal National Rose Society in the UK and similar organisations internationally. At one point the RNRS had over 100,000 members – more than the RHS. He will examine the culture of competitive rose showing – a hobby that crossed the class divide and quite literally shaped the roses we grew. And he will explore how the obsession with hybrid teas for the competition bench had a major influence on suburban garden design through much of the 20th century.
Former BBC radio journalist Martin Stott made programmes for Radio 4 and the World Service from 21 countries. He is co-editor of By Any Other Name, the historic rose journal of the World Federation of Rose Societies. He also writes a gardening history blog – storytellergarden.co.uk.