Alluring roses from Africa

"I have never seen more beautiful flowers."
"It's the perfect gift for a dear friend."
"They are a way of saying, 'There is someone who thinks about you'."
Seductive roses from Africa
It is very likely that you share the sentiments of the residents of Nairobi (Kenya) expressed in these words. Of all the flowers in the world, whether wild or cultivated, perhaps none has received more international acclaim than the rose. This flower has inspired man for centuries.Poets include it in his verses, the painters, in his canvases. Shakespeare's praises in his famous Romeo and Juliet: "What's in a name? What we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet. " With roses friendships forged and consolidated, have been repaired with roses and roses battered relations have been lifted spirits quite a few patients.
But these flowers have also a high commercial value.Their exploitation is an important source of foreign exchange for many countries with the right weather conditions. To cite an example, 70% of the millions of flowers that Kenya exported in a recent year were roses, and thus placed among the top producers of roses in the world.

Years ago, all species of roses that had -more thanone hundred- were wild. But that was before they discovered its attractions, because today there are thousands of varieties of some of these species through careful crossing methods. As a result, the roses are known worldwide, and virtually no nation where they can not get. Incidentally, the most popular variety is the most cultivated and the hybrid tea rose.

A bouquet of roses for you

For the most part, people buy roses from a florist or a supermarket. These flowers come from large commercial nursery who grow and require more attention than the garden variety. By visiting one of these nurseries, located near Nairobi, discovered the large amount of work involved to meet them when they are ready for release.
Seductive roses from Africa
Polyethylene Greenhouse

Here as elsewhere in Kenya, elaborate polyethylene greenhouses immediately reveal the existence of a rose nursery. The greenhouse serves several purposes. One is to protect the new grafts, which are sensitive to the harsh climate, as a heavy rain, wind and direct exposure to sunlight.Another is to maintain a constant temperature, for which it must easily between the fresh air and the hot air exit.
Inside the greenhouse find several rows of seedlings in different stages of development. This nursery grown different types of roses, including popular hybrid tea rose, which is cut to about 70 centimeters (27 inches), and a special variety of it, the rose sweetheart , that is cut to 35 centimeters (14 inches) . The property covers one hectare (2.5 acres) and can accommodate up to 70,000 plants.
How do plants get the necessary nutrients in the greenhouse? For cultivation common ground is not used, but a layer of pumice (volcanic rock) on polyethylene. This method is a preferred because the stone is clean of many diseases carrying earth. The drip irrigation is done with a series of tubes such that discharge directly into the water layer and other nutrients in well-controlled amounts. And as the volcanic rock is porous, allowing water to drain to the bottom plastic where it meets and reused.
However, even the best care can always prevent the roses from being attacked by various diseases. Among the main causes of the diseases are fungi, such as gray mold and mildew, which attack the leaves and stems. If you do not fight, hurt the quality of the flower. In such cases, fungicides happen
to be good allies.
Seductive roses from Africa
Cutting Lists

The plant continues to grow, and eventually begin to show some bright colors, this is a clear sign that it is time cutting. Carefully cut roses in bud. Since no open yet, cut flowers last longer and is better able to retain the color. Of course, when the court may differ slightly between varieties. Another important detail is that the flowers should be cut in the morning or at dusk, when the humidity is higher, so they do not wilt soon. Then take the first cooling chamber, which allows them to retain its freshness longer.
The flowers are then passed to the classification stage by color and size, are packaged according to customer specifications and are now ready for shipment. From here they are transported to the main airport in Nairobi, from where travel to Europe, thousands of miles away. Now, given that fresh flowers do not last for long, can not take more than twenty-four hours to reach their destination, whether national or international.
So, the next time you have in your hands a bouquet of roses, either because it flattered or because you bought at a florist or supermarket, take a moment and think of the long road traveled to get to you, you can might come from Africa. This, surely, will increase its gratitude to the Maker of all things, Lord God ( Psalm 115:15 ).

In search of the blue rose

The cultivation of roses has come a long way, and it seems that is going to stop for now. Is a field which are incorporating a multitude of new techniques and crosses culture. And is that few flowers have the potential to produce as many colors as roses. What color do you like more? White?, Yellow, pink, maroon or crimson? Most are the result of different methods of crossbreeding.
For example, people often talk of roses "red", but did you know that the real red roses were not originally? So, roses lack a gene that produces the red pigment. However, around 1930, a genetic mutation produced the vivid red hues that look today. But there was still one color: blue. The gene for the blue -the delphinidin-does not appear naturally in the rose family. Now, in 2004 was created by genetic engineering a rose "blue", the result of years of research and cooperation between an Australian and a Japanese. However, there is still getting a more intense hue.

Appeared in Awake! October 2007

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