The Peace Rose #Ukraine #Blog
The Peace rose, formally Rosa 'Madame A. Meilland', is a well-known and successful garden rose. By 1992, over one hundred million plants of this hybrid tea had been sold. The cultivar has large flowers of a light yellow to cream colour, slightly flushed at the petal edges with crimson-pink. It is hardy and vigorous and relatively resistant to disease, making it popular in gardens as well as in the floral trade.
It was developed by French horticulturist Francis Meilland, in the years 1935 to 1939.
When Meilland foresaw the German invasion of France, he sent cuttings to friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany, and the United States to protect the new rose. It is said that it was sent to the US on the last plane available before the German invasion, where it was safely propagated by the Conard Pyle Co. during the war.
Over the next few years Francis launched his new rose in France as ‘Madame Antoine Meilland’. He was unaware that some of the budwood had reached Germany and Italy and the rose was being sold under different names. In Germany is was called ’Gloria Dei’ (Lain for Glory of God). And in Italy is was being sold as ‘Gioia’ (Joy) Francis had not had any word from America and had no idea the fate of his rose over there.
It was not until the liberation of France in 1944 that Francis finally heard from Robert Pyle that the rose had survived the war and was being grown very successfully. In the meantime Francis had decided to change the name of the rose. He wrote to Field Marshal Alan Brooke to thank him for his part in the liberation of France, and to ask him if he would give his name to the rose. The Field Marshal declined stating that a far more fitting name would be ‘PEACE’ The new name ‘PEACE’ was publicly announced in America by Robert Pyle on the 29th April 1945, the very day that Berlin fell and was officially considered the end of the Second World War in Europe.
Towards the end of 1945 ‘Peace’ roses were given to each of the delegations at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco each with a note which read “We hope the ‘Peace’ rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace”. The rose sold in its millions around the world, and the Meilland family were due to make a fortune out of the royalties that ‘Peace’ would generate. As an extra thank you from Robert Pyle, he presented them with a brand new 1946 Chevrolet Sedan.
Francis Meilland died in 1958, but the family continue to breed roses and is still one of the most successful and highly revered rose dynasties in the world today After ‘Peace’ became so well known around the world, Francis wrote in his diary: “How strange to think that all these millions of rose bushes sprang from one tiny seed no bigger than the head of a pin, a seed which we might so easily have overlooked, or neglected in a moment of inattention.”
In order to show solidarity to the people of Ukraine, the Blue Diamond Group of Garden Centres are donating 100% of sale proceeds of the ‘Peace’ rose to the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal The Peace rose was named in 1945 to mark the end of World War II.
At the inaugural meeting of the United Nations, held in San Francisco in late 1945, Peace roses were handed out to each of the delegations with a note that read “We hope the ‘Peace’ rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting World peace”
The ‘Peace’ rose is available in all Blue Diamond Garden Centres and online at www.fryersroses.co.uk
Whilst stocks last.