A Six Part Series 
for Public Television

Series Episodes

Episode 1)  Roses in Antiquity

Welcome to our journey.

  • Roses have the most complicated history of any flowering plant.
  • What draws us to the rose?
  • Roses appeal to people everywhere as symbols of love and beauty.

Early origins and history.

  • Ancient rose fossils from around the world.
  • Roses in antiquity: China, Greece, Rome, Persia.
  • Rebirth in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.



Episode 2)  Modern Roses Emerge

The story of Napolean and Empress Josephine of France.

  • The amazing story of how Josephine became Empress. Josephine creates the first great rose collection at Chateau Malmaison near Paris.
  • Artist Pierre Redoute produces timeless botanical paintings. 

19th Century discoveries.

  • British plant hunters discover 'new' species in China.
  • The creation of the first hybrid tea, ‘La France.’
  • Roses increase in popularity in the 19th Century.

Modern roses emerge.

  • The story of the ‘Peace’ rose.
  • Roses become a global business.



Episode 3) The Rose as Commodity

Roses by design.

  • How a California hybridizer creates and markets a new rose.
  • How scientists are developing genetically modified blue roses.

Roses as commodity.

  • Most cut roses for the floral trade are grown in Central America.
  • A visit to a rose growing farm in Ecuador. 

Roses as cosmetics.

  • A visit to the Rose Valley of Bulgaria, where 70% of the world’s rose oil (attar) is produced.
  • How rose buds are refined for use in cosmetics and food.



Episode 4) The Rose as Cultural Icon 

The iconic rose.

  • How the rose appears as a symbol in many cultures worldwide.
  • The rose in arts and literature.

The Tournament of Roses Parade.

  • Held in Pasadena, CA the parade is viewed by 450 million people annually.
  • How a professional rose designer creates and builds a rose float.

The rose city of Japan.

  • Fukuyama, the ‘Rose City’ of Japan, was totally destroyed in WW II.
  • The city has been rebuilt and beautified by over 400,000 rose bushes.



Episode 5) Rose Collectors and Competitors

The old rose revival.

  • What are ‘old’ roses and why the interest?
  • David Austin reinvents old English roses.
  • How a ‘rose rustler’ searches for ‘lost’ antique roses.

National rose competitions.

  • How an amateur rose exhibitor prepares for a highly competitive national show of cut roses.



Episode 6)  What Makes a Great Rose Garden?

Rose garden tours.

  • A visit to several of the world’s great public rose gardens.
  • A visit to a celebrity’s private rose garden.

How to grow your own roses.

  • Growing great roses at home.
  • Tips from a rose gardening expert.

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