This year, 2015 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of William Butler Yeats, Ireland’s renowned and beloved poet. To mark the occasion the good folks at The Secret Gardens of Sligo are launching a brand new Irish rose to be named in his honor.
Why Name A Rose For Yeats:
Naming a rose is a very special privilege, one that Yeats truly deserves. A beautiful red rose has been chosen which eloquently reflects Yeats’ lines:
‘Red rose, proud rose…Rose of all my days!’
This is a flower that will be a timeless legacy to Ireland’s most distinguished poet.
“Surely thine hour has come, thy great wind blows,
Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose?”
~ The Secret Rose, by WB Yeats
Yeats referred to roses in many of his works, making it all the more fitting that this rose, named in his honor, be launched in Sligo, Yeats’ ‘Land of Heart’s Desire”.
The Rose As A Symbol Of Ireland:
Roses are often associated with England, not Ireland, but in a previous post I explored this misconception, and hopefully firmly established the rose as a symbol of Ireland.
In centuries past The Black Rose was sometimes used as a code word for Ireland, when English law prohibited direct references to Ireland as a nation.
Even Yeats drew upon the Irish cultural symbolism of roses and rose trees …..
.. ‘But where can we draw water,’
Said Pearse to Connolly,
“When all the wells are parched away?
O plain as plain can be
There’s nothing but our own red blood
Can make a right Rose Tree.’”
~ from ‘The Rose Tree’ by WB Yeats
Creating A New Rose:
I am a rose-lover, but I confess I knew little about how they are bred until I was contacted by the Secret Gardens of Sligo to introduce me to this project. I was surprised to learn it takes eight years to develop a new rose.
Not every attempt is successful, with failure adding to the expense of the process.
WB Yeats Rose:
Yeats’ rose has been bred by Dickson’s Rose Nursery, in Newtownards in Couty Down, and I’m delighted to report it has passed all its initial trials with flying colors.
It has even been awarded a Certificate of Merit by the Hague International Rose Trials, a Trials Ground Certificate by the Royal National Rose Society and, just recently, a Gold Medal by the RNRS.
Kudos to the developers. A prize winning rose is surely what our Nobel prize winning poet deserves.
According to the developers ….
“The rose to be named for WB Yeats is a scarlet floribunda with bright golden stamens. It is disease resistant and will flower all season long. Each individual bloom on its multi-headed stems opens semi-flat to form a spectacular show.”
WB Yeats roses can be ordered in advance, but availability will initially be limited because it is a new variety.
Those ordering roses can expect delivery in autumn 2016. Inquiries can be sent by e-mail sent to:
A Little Help For Yeats’ Rose
This is Yeats Year, and to help launch his rose, donations towards the cost of this brand new, specially bred rose are greatly appreciated. As The Secret Gardens of Sligo say …..
“Every fiver helps!”
You can also help by sharing their Facebook page with your friends!
They also have a Facebook page specifically dedicated to this project called An Irish Rose For Yeats.
Details of how to donate are on their website.
I wish to extend my gratitude to all who have worked on this wonderful project. This beautiful rose is the culmination of years of planning and fund raising, and it’s wonderful to see this magnificent flower blooming in this special year in which we remember Yeats.
Wishing you every success as you complete your dedicated work.