A Year in the Secret Garden

Secret Garden Wednesday: Rosapalooza

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This week on Secret Garden Wednesday, we’re celebrating everything roses. When I think of the Secret Garden I think of roses and their wonderful beauty. Inside the Secret Garden there are roses growing everywhere and are happily attended to by Mary, Collin, and Dickon.

I grew up in Portland, Oregon and every year to this day in the merry month of June we have the Portland Rose Festival. It’s a solid two weeks of rose related fun and activities including a huge parade.


Rose Facts:

  • There are over 100 species of the rose.
  • We usually call the sharp spikes on the stem of a rose-bush “thorns”. But these are in fact technically prickles.
  • The flowers of most species of rose have five petals except for the species ‘Rosa sericea’ which has only four.
  • The name “Rose” is often used as a girl’s name in English-speaking countries.
  • For hundreds of years the rose has been widely recognized as a symbol of love, sympathy or sorrow.
  • The rose is most commonly used as an ornamental plant grown in the garden for its beautiful flowers.
  • The rose can be used in perfumes. The nice scent of the rose comes from microscopic perfume glands on the petals. Sometimes rose petals are also dried and packed for commercial use as decoration or for scent.
  • Because they’re low-maintenance and nice to look at, rose shrubs (classified as a shrub even though some don’t look like shrubs for example the climbing rose) are used as landscape plants for hedging (the thorns can discourage intruders) or planted on hillsides as a slope stabilizing method to stop soil erosion.
  • The fruit of a rose is called a rose hip. The berry-like hip are usually red in color but some can be dark purple or black.
  • Rose hips of some species are extremely rich in vitamin C, because of this the hip is sometimes made into jam, jelly, or brewed for tea. The hip also has minor medicinal uses, used in food supplements and can be pressed or filtered to make rose hip syrup. Hip seed oil is also used in skin products and makeup products.
  • Historically the rose was of great importance to the Romans and Egyptians. Romans would use them as room decorations, or wear them on string around their neck and anything which was said “under the rose” was deemed to be a secret. The famous Cleopatra of Egypt was believed to have covered the floor of her palace room with roses before Mark Antony visited her.
  • The rose can come in all colors although a “black rose” is not actually black it is usually a dark red. Each color has a different meaning or symbolizes something different for example red means love, orange – desire, yellow – joy etc.
  • Traditionally England is signified by the rose, it is the country’s national flower. The rose came to prominence there during the ‘Wars of the Roses’, 1455 to 1485 when the house of Lancaster was represented by the red rose and fought against the house of York which was represented by the white rose.
  • In 1986 the rose also became the floral emblem of the United States. It is the official flower of four states including the state of New York, Iowa, North Dakota and Georgia.

What other rose fun can we get into?

Rosapalooza Activities

Crepe paper Roses . This is one of illustrator and Friend Marilyn Scott-Waters favorite things to do is to make crepe paper roses. If you make some, be sure and post your photos on the Jump into a Book Facebook page.

Crepe Paper Rose craft

Jeweled Rose Crystals

This is such a fun and fascinating craft and incredibly fun science project.


 Rainbow Rose This is an incredible experiment to do whereby you can create a rainbow-colored rose. No genetic engineering involved only some food coloring and a little ingenuity. Super fun !!!

Beautiful Rainbow Roses

Have you missed the last few Secret Garden Wednesdays? These are too much fun not to read!

Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together.


Whimsical author/illustrator Marilyn Scott-Waters and I created this book to not only encourage families to read and participate in some “unplugged” activities, but to also delve into the beauty and the wonder of this classic children’s tale. Get the full scoop on this vibrant book HERE and “meet me in the garden!”