For the die hard romantics, Cameron Highlands is the place to get your sweetheart all the roses you can afford. Definitely cheaper than getting a bouquet of roses in the city, one could get a bundle for a fraction of the cost. However, you may need to snip off the thorns from the stalk yourself! Speaking from experience, it is not an easy task as the thorns are really sharp and can easily prick you and takes awhile to snip off the thorns if you are using a rather blunt pair of plant cutters.
There are two places you can go to see how roses are grown – Rose Center and Rose Valley. The former is located at Kea Farm Brinchang known as the Green Cow area, and the latter is located at Tringkap. Of the two, Rose Center would be considered the biggest rose growing center with over a hundred varieties of roses growing on terraced ground. Not to be outdone, Rose Valley boast 450 varieties of roses including the thornless rose, the black rose, and the green rose, which is said to be the ugliest of the rose family. Both the Rose Center and Rose Valley has put in quite an effort to landscape the center with sculptures, fountains, walkways, and pergolas.
Apart from roses, they also showcase other flowers like Lily, Gerbera, Diamond, Lady Shoe, Honeysuckle, Camellia, Gypsy Flower and many more! The cool climate of Cameron Highlands indeed provides ideal condition to make the plants and flowers bloom. Many a time plants and flowers that were purchased here never quite seem to grow quite as well in the hot humid condition in the lowlands.
At the peak of Rose Center, one can get a panoramic view of the Kea Farm valley with its terraced farms and villages. Not to be outdone, climbing up the Rose Valley too can get a good view of the area, but it is quite a steep climb though and the shortness of breath would not necessary be attributed to the view!
Opens daily from 8am – 6pm.
Entrance fee of RM3 for adults, and RM1.50 for children.
A Few Words About Roses
The first fossil records of the rose date back 35 million years. In 3000 B.C., in what is now Iraq, the Sumerians created the first written record of the rose. Sappho, in her 600 B.C. “Ode to the Rose,” referred to this beauty as the queen of flowers, a reference still popular today.
Jumping ahead to the 16th century, colonists brought the rose to North America, making it the longest cultivated European plant in this country. In 1798, Empress Josephine acquired her palace at Malmaison and created the most remarkable rose garden ever planted. It included every variety known at the time (about 250).
“Modern” rose hybrids date back to 1867, and by 1920 hybrid teas dominated the market. They remain the most popular rose variety today. All-America Rose Selections formed in 1938 to test new rose varieties to determine which, if any, could be recommended to the public. One of the most popular roses of all time, “Peace,” was smuggled to the United States from occupied France in 1945.
Types of Roses
Make any landscape design stand out with the most colorful of rose types. Floribunda roses are bushy shrubs and produce flower clusters of three to 15
One of the most popular rose types, hybrid teas are upright bushes that generally produce one flower per stem. Blooms have a high-center point. Many varieties reveal a beautiful fragrance.
A grandiflora is a cross between a floribunda and a hybrid tea. This rose grows up to six feet tall and produces classic hybrid tea flower clusters.
Shrub & Landscape
Coming in all shapes and sizes, shrub and landscape roses work well in any landscape. Landscape roses grow close to the ground, like ground cover, and have a very spreading habit.
Climbing roses help dress up any garden, usually growing on a trellis or a fence. These roses have long, arching canes with numerous flowers that can cover walls, pillars or any other type of supporting structure.
Miniature roses are the smallest of rose plants, growing anywhere from six inches to two feet tall. This rose type is hardy, flowers continuously and is perfect for container gardening.
Tree roses are made up of a hardy root stock grafted to a long stem that is, in turn, grafted to a rose bush at the top of the stem. The tree rose is a lovely addition to the garden, but extra care is needed to insure its survival over winter.
Rose Colour and its Related Symbolism
Although preference for rose colour is pretty much up to individual taste, and usually we just go for red because it is the common colour chosen. Just for fun though, the list below shows the connection between the colour of rose and its supposedly symbolized meaning. If however your sweetheart gives you the wrong colour, don’t fret though. After all it just a human invention probably passed on over as tradition through the ages, so try not to give this symbolism thing too much thought.
- Red – Love, respect
- Deep Pink – Gratitude, appreciation
- Light Pink – Admiration, sympathy
- White – Reverence, humility
- Yellow – Joy, gladness
- Orange – Enthusiasm, desire
- Red and Yellow – Gaiety, joviality
- Yellow – Sociability, friendship
After you have bought some roses, perhaps you might want to dry the roses and preserve them just for bit longer. There are several methods:
This is the simplest and easiest method to dry the roses.
Cut roses when blooms are buds and in their prime. Gather long-stemmed roses, group harvested roses together in small bunches, wrap a rubber band around the stems and hang upside down in a warm, dry, dark and well-ventilated place for 1 to 2 weeks. However in the high humidity of Malaysia it might take a while to dry out. Do not dry it out in the sun, it will change color. However do expect some changes in colour while drying it out. Do place in well ventilated area as it might smell some.
- Rose colours that dry well and retain bright color:
- Medium Red
- Medium and Dark Yellow
- Medium and Dark Pink
White will dry to dingey gray or brown, mauve varies in success, dark red becomes black, light pink and light yellow become pale dingey brown.
Drying with Desiccants/Silica Gel:
This may not be so easily available in Malaysia or Singapore, but you could try it if you can get your hands on it.
The silica gel is not toxic. But do avoid inhaling it because it can irritate your sinuses. Colors that come out close to the original when dried in silica are white, light pink, yellow, lavender, and blue (non-roses). Darker colors, such as red, deep pink, and orange, tend to turn out even darker. Choose a container that is at least 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the roses or other flowers you are drying. Start by pouring a 1 inch layer of silica on the bottom of the container. Place your blooms face up on this bed, filling the container, starting with the spaces between the blooms. Do not pour silica directly on the blooms. As you fill the spaces, the silica will hold and support the shape of the blooms. As you fill the spaces, the silica will eventually spill into the spaces between the petals. Cover the final layer of blooms with 1-2 inches of silica gel. The rose stems should be about 1 inch long. Roses dry in 7-10 days.
Drying With Microwave Oven
Arrange thin blossoms loosely between paper towels. Dry for a minute or two; then cool. Dry only a few flowers at a time. Roses may lose too much color and become too brittle and hard to handle. Always put a little cup of water in the microwave when drying roses.
Cleaning the microwave: On your highest setting, bring a cup of water with a dash of lemon juice to a boil. Change the temperature setting to “low” and boil for 3 minutes. Thoroughly dry the inside of the microwave and its door. Your oven will be shining clean and the kitchen will smell fresh!