Here’s an amazing fact. According to the fossil record, roses were blooming on earth 35 million years ago. Our primate ancestors appeared some 29 million years later, and the first anatomically modern humans began roaming the earth around 130,000 years ago.
Words leave no fossil record, and scientists don’t know exactly when Homo sapiens began to speak. It could be imagined that when that happened, his/her first sight of a rose in bloom elicited an expression of delight.
Appreciation of the rose has persisted throughout history. Symbols of love, beauty, war and politics, roses are valued for their form, perfume, essential oil and their fruits. Around 300 species and 30,000 cultivars exist worldwide.
More than 700 varieties of these well-loved blooms are laid out over two acres, at David Austin Rose Gardens in Albrighton, Shropshire. This beautiful site, widely regarded as the best rose gardens in the world, is divided into smaller plots, each with its own unique design. On 19th July, the U3A Gardening group will be expressing their own, modern words of delight on this, their final garden visit before their summer break.
It’s been an eventful and satisfying year for Rotherham U3A. Two new groups established, successful art exhibitions held, a Christmas party enjoyed, a member of the Creative Writing group became a published poet, all groups flourished, membership numbers grew and, to crown the year in August the organisation reach their 25th anniversary, followed by a celebration in October.
You could say that for them, everything really is “Coming Up Roses”. Visit their website anytime at www.u3asites.org.uk/rotherham or contact Sylvia Duncan on 01709 374841 for a brochure.