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#BotanistLens: Apothecary garden filled with Gallicas, Damasks, Tea roses and even Knock outs!

Gardens are healing, for the mind, body, and the soul. Aroma, taste or none of it at all, and a rose is still a rose! Even one single rose can add charm to a garden and a healing note in one's heart.

In a true Apothecary's garden (a physics garden), one can find a variety of aroma in roses, lavender, chamomile, sage, echinacea, spearmint, etc. But what if there was a plant that by itself had the healing properties and aroma so intense, that by itself is called 'an Apothecary Rose'! If you haven't ever smelled a Rosa gallica 'Apothecary Rose' bloom, then you haven't been in a garden.

Rosa gallica 'Apothecary Rose'
Rosa gallica 'Apothecary Rose'

Aromatic essential oils of certain plants have medicinal properties and have been used for centuries to cure various illnesses. The 'Apothecary rose', the Rosa gallica has been used for its medicinal properties since the medieval times. "It was described by the Ancient Greek poet Sappho as “the queen of flowers.” It became the professional symbol of the pharmaceutical profession much as the balanced scales became the professional symbol of the legal profession."

But fragrance or not, a Gallica is truly healing for all five senses. A single layer of petals, deep rose pink color almost similar to a knock rose in appearance. But what a world of a difference, one is an antique treasure of most fragrant flowers and one is a modern hybrid marvel. 'Knock Out' roses are best known for their disease resistance, drought tolerance and for blooming in as little as 4 hours of direct sunlight! Now that sounds like a best seller for all retailer nurseries! A product of 'Carefree beauty' and 'Razzle dazzle', Knock Out rose is one that blooms continuously.

Peachy Rose 'Knock out'- this was a treausre to find, its a 'Knock Out' with a faint sweet aroma. Buds start of coral pink, flowers go from shades of pink-white.
Peachy Rose 'Knock out'- this was a treasure to find, its a 'Knock Out' with a faint sweet aroma. Buds start of coral pink, flowers go from shades of pink-white.

Another heirloom rose that can be found at London Town is the 'Damask' rose. Damask is a cross between 'Gallica' and a 'Musk Rose'. Nowadays most nurseries sell varieties of knock outs. But a rose isn't a true rose without its aroma. Heirloom roses aren't actually too hard to find.

Damask bud

One of the easiest way to add aroma to your garden is adding a David Austin rose. "The category of English Roses was created David Austin by breeding old roses with modern roses. Flowers are large, stuffed with petals and dripping with fragrance like antique roses, and have the modern virtues of smaller sized bushes, repeat bloom and a broad range of colors."

London Town gardens are currently no less than an apothecary's garden, with lavender, peonies and roses in full bloom. If you want to try growing a rose in your garden or a container, try a tea rose, a gallica or a damask and mix them with spearmint and Lavender. It doesn't take much to design you own apothecary garden!

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