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October 1, 2010 06:48 - October Highland Games & Events

October is upon us, autumn colors can be seen, and it’s an opportunity to spend a day at a Highland event with the weather neither too hot nor too cold.

For one more opportunity to see the wonderfully colored kilts, pig out on Scottish goodies, and hear those pipes a-calling, get you to a games!

  • September 25 to October 3, Kilkenny, Ireland ~ Kilkenny Celtic Festival
  • September 30 to October 3, Oulu, Finland ~ Irish Festival of Oulu
  • October 1 to 2, Hartwell, Georgia ~ Loch Hartwell Highland Games and Scottish Festival
  • October 1 to 2, Lanexa, Virginia ~ Williamsburg Scottish Festival
  • October 2, Baldwin, Maryland ~ McCullough Scottish Games
  • October 2, Goshen, Connecticut ~ Scottish Festival
  • October 2, Radford, Virginia ~ Radford Highlanders Festival

    Featured during the festival is the story of Mary Draper Ingles, a local woman who, after capture by Shawnee Indians in 1755, was forced to travel 800 miles through treacherous terrain in uncharted territory until she escaped and was returned home.

    Though her maiden name isn’t Scottish, her husband apparently was. The Inglis, or Ingles, family tartan is a variation of the MacIntyre tartan, though the name Ingles is a sept of the Douglas Clan.

    Inglis Family Tartan WR1798

  • October 2, Santa Cruz, California ~ Santa Cruz Scottish Games and Celtic Festival
  • October 2 to 3, Annapolis, Maryland ~ Maryland Renaissance Festival - Celtic Music Weekend
  • October 2 to 3, Cincinnati, Ohio ~ The Cincinnati Celtic Festival
  • October 2 to 3, Furnace Town, Snowhill, Maryland ~ Chesapeake Celtic Festival

    The festival website links to a booklet, The Celtic Wedding Ceremony, which breaks the wedding ceremony into a structured 9-parts. This can be ordered as an e-document or hard copy. I’ve no idea if her viewpoint is Wiccan or not.

    Some interesting aspects of their festival

    • During the daily opening ceremony the names of departed loved ones are read as Amazing Grace is piped
    • An informal Ceilidh jam session
    • Several historic Scottish and Irish beers and ales are available at The Tempting Tap, including Heather Ale

    Seeing my first Scottish ancestors that came to the Americas settled in Snow Mound, this event holds a special interest for me.

  • October 2 to 3, Fort Worth, Texas ~ Cowtown Celtic Festival

    We Texans have our own way of doing many things, including what is probably the first Celtic knot longhorn steer head - we must display longhorn steer heads everywhere imaginable. But this one is a magnificent combination of Celtic art and the many Scottish cattlemen of Texas.

    Cowtown Celtic Longhorn logo courtesy
    Fort Worth Cowtown Celtic Festival

    I also found this quite comical. This the event’s first year and it’s being held at the Will Rogers complex, who don’t seem to allow dogs. For the Scots an exception has been made. Ethnic dogs and rescue dogs, both of which are quite popular in parades, sheep herding competitions, and rescue organization tents, are to be admitted on leashes. Here's the Festival's definitive statement

    No 200 pound Wolfhounds wandering
    around getting their own beer and Irish Stew!
    Parents, please keep your fury friends on a leash
    or we will have to charge them double for a Guinness.

  • October 2 to 3, Grass Valley, California ~ Nevada County Celtic Festival & Marketplace
  • October 2 to 3, Reno, Nevada ~ Reno Celtic Celebration
  • October 3, Boorowa, New South Wales, Australia ~ Boorowa Irish Woolfest

    Located in a fine wool region, this is a fun yet serious celebration centered on sheep, wool, and sheepdogs. The Running of the Sheep is controlled by four kelpie sheepdogs. A sheep is shorn in the sheering shack next to the stage. On stage the fleece is blessed by ministers of the three local faiths ~ Catholic, Anglican, and Uniting ~ followed by a short service celebrating the fine wool of the region.

    Running of the Sheep courtesy
    Boorowa Irish Woolfest

    World’s Longest Bike courtesy
    Boorowa Irish Woolfest

  • October 4, Ben Lomond, California ~ Loch Lomond Highland Games
  • October 3, Makuhari, Tokyo, Japan ~ Japan Scottish Highland Games
  • October 8 to 10, Strokestown, County Roscommon, Ireland ~ Féile Frank McGann - Traditional Music Festival
  • October 8 to 10, Ventura, California ~ The Seaside Highland Games
  • October 8 to 10, Weston, Missouri ~ Weston Irish Festival
  • October 8 to 16, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ Celtic Colours International Festival
  • October 9, Ocala, Florida ~ Ocala Scottish Highland Games and Celtic Festival
  • October 9, Smithville, New Jersey ~ Smithville Irish Festival
  • October 10, Scotland, Connecticut ~ Scotlands Highland Festival
  • October 10 to 12, Lake Charles, Louisiana ~ Celtic Nations Heritage Festival of Louisiana
  • October 11 to 24, Newcastle Upon Tyne, England ~ Tyneside Irish Festival
  • October 13 to 17, Perranporth, Cornwall, England ~ Lowender Peran - Cornwall’s Celtic Festival
  • October 15 to 17, Kapunda, South Australia, Australia ~ Kapunda Celtic Festival
  • October 15 to 17, New Brunswick, New Jersey ~ Harpers’ Escape Weekend
  • October 15 to 17, Stone Mountain Park, Georgia ~ Stone Mountain Highland Games and Scottish Festival
  • October 15 to 31, Liverpool, England ~ Liverpool Irish Festival
  • October 16, Monroe, Louisiana ~ Northeast Louisiana Celtic Festival
  • October 16, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia ~Illawarra Scottish Fair
  • October 16 to 17, Saint-Ghislain, Belgium ~ Rencontres Interceltiques de Saint Ghislain
  • October 17, Kansai, Japan ~ Kansai Highland Games

    Though not as common today, some young men still compete in Highland Dancing as the Regimentals did years ago.

    Courtesy Kansai Highland Games

    Regimental Competition courtesy Clip Art

    Isn’t it intriguing that a Japanese Highland Games has their own tartan?

    Kensai Highland Games Tartan 2708

  • October 22, Strathalbyn, South Australia, Australia ~ Glenbarr Highland Gathering
  • October 23 to 24, Doswell, Virginia ~ Meadow Highland Games and Celtic Festival
  • October 29 to 31, Midlothian, Texas ~ O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreat
  • October 29 to 31, Milan, Italy ~ Capodanno Celtico
  • October 30 to 31, Blair Atholl, Scotland ~ Glenfiddich Piping and Fiddling Championships

For more detailed information about the listed events, go to

Coming Monday, Medieval Rose Poles…

October 4, 2010 06:50 - Rose Maypoles

While watching Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing for probably the ga-zillioneth time, I proved the theory that each time you see a good movie you see something you’d missed before.

This time it was in the wedding scene at the end with which the movie closes. The wedding took place on a paved patio or walkway. Benches were set up like pews on each side and as our equivalent of pew bows, poles with rose balls, or topiaries if you prefer, were attached to each bench.

The poles were about 4 or 5 feet long and I’m guessing stuck into longer poles so that while they marked the seating, the tops were above everyone’s heads. At the top of each one was a ball of white roses and three or four ribbon streamers which hung down about 3 feet.

When the dancing started, maidens picked up the poles with the flowers. As they danced along, they moved the poles up and down over their heads, causing the ribbons to flutter.

Poles like these could line the pews on every fifth row. Then when it comes time for the Grand March , blogged March 15 & 16, 2008, there would probably be enough poles for all the bridesmaids, the Grand Marshals, and anyone else who would like to carry one.

What a fun, Medieval addition to your wedding celebration. The poles could also be wrapped with ribbon to make them more decorative. Wrapped not only in a single color, but with two of your wedding colors, wrapped in a chevron pattern, similar to these poles in Penhurst Gardens.

Penhurst Garden courtesy Garden Travel Sketchbook

The roses could be fresh or artificial. The flowers could be any of your choosing, not just roses.

Remember each type of flower, and their colors, have specific meanings, which can enhance your wedding. Just be sure to let the guest know what the flowers mean ~ that adds to everyone‘s enjoyment.

In March, 2009, the meanings of flowers were posted on the 3rd through the 6th.

In the movie they also dropped copious amounts of confetti, another Italian innovation, as blogged March 21, 2008.

Tomorrow, The Monarch of the Glen…

October 5, 2010 09:32 - Monarch of the Glen ~ Part I

Many fans of the series, Monarch of the Glen, assume the title belongs to the Laird at Glenbogle House. The only Monarch of the Glen is this magnificent stag painted in 1851 by Edwin Landseer, to be displayed in the Royal Palace of Westminster.

Monarch of the Glen 1851 by Edwin Landseer courtesy Wikipedia

Once painted the House of Commons refused to pay for the artwork. Sold at auction, the painting was eventually purchased by the Pear's soap company.

Over the years the painting has been featured in advertising for Pear’s Soap, John Dewar and Sons Distillery, Glenfiddich Distillery, Exmoor Ales, and The Hartford Insurance Company. Currently the painting is owned by Diageo, a liquor conglomerate.

It has been exhibited in the National Galleries of Scotland. Many steel engravings of the painting were also made and became quite popular.

Two tartans are associated with the painting, Monarch of the Glen and Lochcarron’s emblem tartan, Stag.

Monarch of the Glen tartan 2754

Stag Emblem Tartan courtesy Lochcarron of Scotland

Tomorrow, more about the series…

October 6, 2010 06:56 - Monarch of the Glen ~ Part II

To thousands of viewers in over 100 countries, including the USA, Australia, Canada, Norway, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Dubai, The Monarch of the Glen is a wonderful BBC television series that ran from 2000 to 2005. In the opening program of the series, a magnificent stag, called Big Eric, is shown and there are occasional references to him in the script.

Filming took place at several locations in the Bafdenoch and Strathspey area of the Highlands. A mixture of comedy and drama, it tells the story of trying to keep a failing Highland estate intact.

Glenbogle House in the show is actually Ardveriki Castle.

Ardveriki Castle courtesy Wikipedia

Several other buildings on the Ardveriki estate were used in the series, including the ghillie’s croft, the estate entrance and bridge, and Loch Laggan.

The village of Laggan, including the school, Katrina Finlay‘s croft, and village stores are also part of the series. The post office, funeral parlor, town hall, and railroad station are in other nearby villages.

Lord Kilwillie's castle is actually Balavil House near Kingussie.

Tomorrow, more about the cast…

October 7, 2010 07:44 - Monarch of the Glen ~ Part III

Monarch of the Glen cast courtesy Wikipedia

Throughout the series actors came and left, but the real star of the program was the scenery in the Highlands.

The young laird is portrayed by Alastair MacKenzie, a native of Scotland.

Though as the Laird he doesn’t appear in a kilt as often as his father, Alastair has said, ""I love wearing a kilt. There's a chemical reaction between the tartan and the skin that makes you feel like a warrior!"

Alastair MacKenzie courtesy Rotten Tomatoes

Since starring in Monarch of the Glen, Alastair and his brother, David Mackenzie have formed a production company, Sigma Films. David has directed many films, including The Last Great Wilderness which Alastair wrote and starred in.

David MacKenzie courtesy Tribute

The entire series is available on Netflix, Watch It Now, where you enjoy the humor and pathos of saving the estate, while saturating yourself in the scenery of the Highlands.

Coming tomorrow, deer stalking in the Scottish Highlands…

October 8, 2010 08:57 - Deer Stalking ~ Part I History of Deer Hunting

While watching the Monarch of the Glen series, deer stalking was a major part of their every day life, in that it was a means of meat and income for the estate.

Different styles of hunting deer have evolved over the years. In the 15th century, deer were hunted from horseback with hounds scenting or sighting the deer. Two artists’ portrayals of deer hunting show the basic practice.

Sight hounds in the Night Hunt,
1470, Paolo Uccello courtesy Wikipedia

Hart Hunting from The Hunting Book of Gaston Phebus,
15th century courtesy Wikipedia

Deer were also coursed, where the deer were caught by speed and sight, using sight hounds, such as the Scottish Deerhound.

Scottish Deerhound Image courtesy Wikipedia

In the 1800’s, as large estates were being broken up, stalking replaced coursing for hunting deer. Stalking is not the same as hunting. Hunting is the British Isles is to pursue deer with scent hounds and unarmed hunters following on horseback.

More about stalking will follow on Monday…

October 11, 2010 08:42 - Deer Stalking ~ Part II Artwork

In the Middle Ages, the 5th to 15th centuries, deer were hunted for sport by all classes. Beginning in the 11th century, hunting was transformed into a stylized pastime of the aristocracy.

The Hilton of Cadboll Stone, found in Easter Ross, has been dated from the Pict Era of the 6th to 9th century. The hunting scene includes two antecedents of the Deerhound that are chasing down a deer.

Hilton of Cadboll Stone Image courtesy Wikipedia

Hilton of Cadboll Stone Image with Deerhound courtesy Wikipedia

Adapted from historic sources, here are some modern interpretations of Celtic knot work ~

Celtic knot deer

Celtic knot work deer courtesy Dover Publications

Celtic knot harts

Celtic Harts courtesy Aon Celtic

Celtic knot hound

Celtic Hound on Jasper courtesy Aon Celtic

Coming tomorrow, examples of deer in Medieval heraldry…

October 12, 2010 08:06 - Deer Stalking ~ Part III Heraldry

Though in Medieval heraldry they are never called deer, but stag, hart, buck, roe, roebuck, doe, fawn, or hind, the deer is portrayed in many attitudes.

  • Attired ~ antlered

    Reindeer courtesy James Parker

    Reindeer are differentiated by one antler pointing down.

  • Caboshed ~ a head without the neck
  • Courant ~ in full course, as if passing at full speed

    Courant courtesy Wikipedia

  • Couchant ~ lodged, lying down with head upright

    Buck Lodged courtesy James Parker

  • Counter Couchant ~ borne couchant with heads in opposite directions
  • Counter Courant ~ two borne courant with heads in opposite directions
  • Counter Passant ~ two beasts walking in opposite directions, with heads straight ahead

    Hinds Counter Passant courtesy James Parker

  • Counter Salient ~ two stags borne salient in opposite directions
  • Counter Trippant ~ stages borne trippant in opposite directions
  • Grazing - browsing with head touching the ground, in the act of feeding or at bay with the head downwards
  • Guardant - term used primarily of beasts of prey, with head turned towards the spectator

    Passant Gardant courtesy Wikipedia

  • Passant ~ beast walking past with head straight ahead
  • Regardant ~ with face looking back, often with the beast portrayed as walking past

    Passant Regardant courtesy Wikipedia

  • Salient ~ springing, called rampant with beasts of prey

    Deer Salient courtesy James Parker

  • Sejant ~ sitting posture

    Sejant courtesy Wikipedia

  • Sejant affronte ~ sitting in full aspect, looking straight at the spectator

    Sejant Affronte courtesy Azure Dragon

  • Statant - standing still, with all feet touching the ground, also called statant at gaze

    Statant courtesy Wikipedia

  • Trippant - tripping, walking in a leisurely manner

    Buck Trippant courtesy James Parker

  • Counter trippant - two stags trippant

Regarding color or tincture

  • Unglued ~ when hoofs are of a different tincture
  • Langued ~ tongue of a different tincture
  • Rame, ramure ~ stag horns of a different tincture

Stag’s horns also have specific terms

  • Attires or tires ~ portrayed with the scalp, with the main stem called the beam

    Attires courtesy James Parker

  • Counter attired ~ double horns borne in opposite directions
  • Chenille ~ five or more branches of horn.

The heraldic deer is symbolic of peace and harmony, while the antlers signify strength and fortitude.

Tomorrow, read about modern deer stalking…

October 13, 2010 07:38 - Deer Stalking ~ Part IV, Modern Stalking

The open seasons for deer stalking in Scotland are

  • Red Deer stags, July 1st to October 20th
  • Red Deer hinds, October 21st to February 15th
  • Roe bucks, April 1st to October 20th
  • Fallow bucks, August 1st to April 30th

Fence month in the British Isles dates back to the Medieval ages. This is a closed season from June 9 to July 9, when the does are fawning.

July and August stalking tends to be warmer and drier. September and October stalking is cooler, with fewer midges and flies and the haunting sound of stags in rut echoing through the woodlands and hills.

Deer stalking usually takes place in the first and last two hours of daylight.

The male is called a stag or hart. The female is called a hind.

After the rut, females graze in herds of 50. When predators approach, the largest and strongest hinds will make a stand, using their front legs to kick at the attackers. Grunting and posturing usually discourages most predators. Dogs and wolves are the most common predators.

Tomorrow, more about who gets stalked…

October 14, 2010 09:50 - Deer Stalking ~ Part V, Who Gets Stalked

Most estates today use deer stalking as a means to cull older and weaker animals to maintain a stable and healthy deer population. About 30% are culled each year.

The ghillie is responsible for herd maintenance, including a population/age census of the animals to be culled. The term ghillie originated in the late 16th century and comes from the Scottish Gaelic word gille, meaning lad or servant.

Deer injured by dog attacks, being caught in fences, and car collisions and sick animals are given top priority. Next are barren or very old deer, with the select trophy stags, which attract wealthy sportsmen, as a third category.

If population reduction is needed, more does are culled. If population increase is needed, only injured or sick does are culled.

To insure a more successful hunt, the ghillie also tracks where and when these animals range and browse.

The stag to be stalked is separated from the herd, then pursued until he’s exhausted, then shot at fairly close range.

After a successful kill, the stag is hauled out by a pony trained for this job. The ponies can access places in the Highlands that vehicles can’t even approach.

Tomorrow, read about the economics and demographics of deer stalking…

October 15, 2010 07:17 - Deer Stalking ~ Part VI, Economics and Demographics

Stalking still plays an important part in rural life in Scotland for deer population control and economic benefits to isolated communities. Deer stalking in Scotland adds over £100 million to the Scottish economy every year.

Red deer are the most prevalent, with Roe deer and Fallow deer also native.

Red Deer Stag courtesy Wikipedia

Roe Deer courtesy Wikipedia

Fallow Buck courtesy Wikipedia

The red deer population in Scotland is between 500,000 and 750,000. Though once found mostly in forests, they’re now mostly in the glens and the mountains.

Scotland encompasses 30,414 square miles. In comparison, Texas has the largest white tail population in the U.S., with most in the Hill Country which covers 10,000 square miles and has 3 to 4 million white tails.

This last winter, with heavy ice and snow, was devastating on the Scottish deer population, with much starvation and death. I suspect the deer population figures don’t reflect this tragedy.

Monday, read a few miscellaneous points about deer stalking, then on to other topics…

October 18, 2010 08:32 - Deer Stalking ~ Part VII, Miscellany

An old term for stag’s horns is perches. Leaving shed antlers in place is encouraged, as the red deer chew them as a source of phosphorous and calcium.

One current anomaly is a white stag caught on film with a herd of red deer in the Highlands. A similar white stag recently seen in England was killed by poachers, so specifics about the Highland white stag are being kept vague.

David Bartle photo of White Stag courtesy Stalking Scotland

The Celts have treated the white stag as a mythical creature, believed to appear as a messenger from the underworld, warning a person who was transgressing a taboo.

In rural areas, the deer stalker hat, as favored by Hector MacDonald in the Monarch of the Glen series, is often worn for hunting, as the name implies. The dual brims, fore and aft provide sun protection for the face and neck. The flexible side slaps can be worn down to protection from the cold and wind. The checkered twill pattern serves as a camouflage.

Deer Stalker hat courtesy Wikipedia

Sherlock Holmes characters have popularized the hat, though Mr. Holmes would never have worn the hat while in town. He would only have worn it out in the countryside.

Tomorrow, ode to the glorious rose…

October 19, 2010 07:24 - Roses ~ Part I

As a young woman, I thought roses, lavender, and sin-sins were for old ladies, like my great aunt who was childless, austere, smelled of sin-sin, and felt stiff from her corset when I was forced to give her a hug.

Sen-sen was a candied breath perfume. In my estimation it stank. But I also find most perfumes offensive. And the thought of eating a Sen-Sen still causes me to shudder.

Sen-Sen courtesy Old Time Candy

Though somehow I’ve come to love roses and lavender. And then I realize, I’m one of those old ladies, only I don’t wear a corset. And I probably smell of something I eat or wear…and I don’t let relatives force their children to give me a hug. I only want ones that are sincere.

But roses, ohhhhh. I must confess, as a child, I did have one favorite rose bush. It was "The Fairy Rose" ~ small, dainty, and the prettiest pale pink.

The Fairy Rose courtesy Rose Gardening Made Easy

From interest and no one else caring to do the job, by default I became the family gardener. In my ignorance, I often mutilated that rose bush. But it always came back and bloomed again, perhaps thriving on my abuse.

Introduced in Britain in 1932, I’ve no idea how it made it into our garden in Michigan by the late 1940’s. But it was there and acted as my guinea-pig for years. I’ve since learned 'The Fairy' is one of the most popular Polyantha roses around the world.

Though I grew up and moved away, that little rose was always in my mind’s eye whenever anyone talked of roses. To me the florist red roses were big, clumsy, and ugly compared to my little Fairy Rose.

My folks moved to a different home and I never saw a Fairy Rose again, until years later when I married and moved to central Texas. Much to my delight, a Fairy Rose bush grew along the back fence of our new home. All summer I would occasionally collect a few cuttings for my kitchen window and once again enjoy my favorite rose.

Some day I will run across one for sale, or find someone who will give me a cutting. Then once again, I shall have my Fairy Rose to enjoy…as a little old lady with her roses.

Tomorrow, more about roses in unexpected places…

October 20, 2010 07:30 - Roses ~ Part II, America’s Rose Capital

People are surprised to find that most of the rose bushes sold in the U.S. begin their life in the rose capital of the U.S., Tyler, Texas.

The sandy soil, year round rainfall, and moderate climate create an ideal rose growing area. To visit Tyler and view the rose gardens is a joy of color and fragrance. This last weekend was the annual Rose Festival.

There’s even a Rose Museum which features the Rose Queen gowns from over the years. The gowns have been hand sewn, dating back to 1935, and are displayed with their jeweled crowns and scepters.

Tyler Rose Festival Queen courtesy Texas Rose Festival Museum

Museum Gift Shop offers a variety of rose related items, perhaps magnets, candles, or postcards as wedding favors. Or rose cards as wedding invitations, to the main day or any of the various other parties.

Tomorrow, roses in Scotland…

October 21, 2010 08:03 - Roses ~ Part III, Scotland’s Wild Roses

Scotland has many roses ~ heraldic, the wild Scots rose, Clan Rose, it’s famous rose gardens, and other rose gardens not so famous.

Roses with Tartan courtesy Clipart

This traditional heraldic rose, used throughout Europe, is based on the Dog Rose [see below].

Heraldic Rose courtesy James Parker

Scotland also has it’s favorite wild rose, named Rosa pimpinellifolia and also called the Burnet and the Scots Rose.

Scots Rose courtesy Wikipedia

The Scots rose is also found on contemporary jewelry, such as this ring.

Roses in May Ring courtesy Sapphire Lane

There are also other wild roses, antecedents to our modern, domestic roses. Among those found in Scotland are the

Dog Rose, Rose canina, found in the lower Highlands, found in a stylized form in the heraldic rose

Dog Rose, Rosa canina courtesy Wikipedia

The Glaucos Rose, Rosa glauca, a more northerly rose

Glaucos Rose, Rosa glauca courtesy Wikipedia

The Soft Leaved Rose Rosa villosa, at rather high elevations

Soft Leaved Rose, Rosa villosa courtesy Wikipedia

The Sweet Briar, Rosa Eglanteria, in the Eastern Highlands, Skye and Ross

Sweet Briar, Rosa eglanteria courtesy Wikipedia

Scots Rose, Rosa spinosissima, usually found in sandy places near the sea

Scots Rose, Rosa spinosissima courtesy Wikipedia

Tomorrow, the domestic roses of Scotland…

October 22, 2010 06:56 - Roses ~ Part IV, Scotland’s Domestic Roses

Lest you think only wild roses grow in Scotland, here’s a bevy of 24 beautiful domestic roses, photographed in Scotland, as published on Rampant Scotland.

Just as surprising as Texas being the rose capital of the US are the rose gardens in western Scotland. Though Glasgow lies on the same latitude as Moscow, the climate is much milder, owing to the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean, which has a warming influence.

Tollcross Park in Glasgow is a rose lover’s haven. Beginning in 1986, new rose varieties have been planted. The garden now has over 240 varieties of rose, with over 4100 bushes.

Each year new varieties are submitted by rose breeders around the world. Over a two year period, the roses are assessed for beauty, health, abundance of blooms, and their general effect.

In August an international panel of judges conduct the annual Rose Trials. Five different awards are made, including the top three selections, fragrance, best established, and the peoples choice.

The winners from 2006 to 2009 can be viewed at International Rose Trials.

Coming Monday, Clan Rose of Scotland…

October 25, 2010 09:09 - Clan Rose

Though it seems romantic, Clan Rose was not named after the flower. A Norman family named de Ros settled in Scotland around 1250. They settled on the Moray Firth and became Clan Rose.

Today the clan has 3 tartans

Rose Clan Tartan WR845

Rose Clan Hunting Tartan WR1226

Rose Clan Dress Tartan WR1227

The clan plant is Wild Rosemary, Andromeda media, also known as bog rosemary. Occurring on lowland raised bogs, this heath produces small pale pink flowers in May and June.

Wild Rosemary, Rose Clan Plant

The clan badge, with the clan motto, "Constant and True".

Rose Clan Badge courtesy Wikipedia

The clan seat is at Kilravock Castle, which has been occupied by a Rose since it was built in 1460.

Kilravock Castle courtesy Wikipedia

Tomorrow, roses ~ their colors and meanings…

October 26, 2010 09:47 - Roses ~ Part IV, Red, Red Roses

The word rose derives from Latin rosa which means red. It has been a symbol of love since ancient times.

Poems and songs abound about roses, particularly red roses. One of the best known is by Scotland’s beloved Robert Burns. Written originally, in 1794, as a song, it’s often published as a poem.

O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That’s sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve
And fare thee weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

Eddi Reader, a singer who grew up in Glasgow, showcased the works of Robert Burns, including My Luve is Like a Red, Red Rose, in 2003. Hear her rendition on You Tube.

Tomorrow, rose colors and their meanings…

October 27, 2010 07:35 - Roses ~ Part VI Colors and Meanings

Just for the pure fun of it, and to possibly help direct you toward a wedding color theme, here’s some meanings in the language of flowers and photos of a few roses.

  • Reds & Pinks

    Red ~ the color of love and passion, true love, desire, courage, and strength

    Red Rose courtesy Morgue File

    Hot pink ~ gratitude

    Hot Pink Roses courtesy Stock Exchange

    Pale pink ~ desire, passion, joy of life, youth, energy, happiness

    Pink Roses courtesy
    Geek Philosopher

  • Orange ~ desire, passion, confidence, warmth, enthusiasm for life

    Oranges N Lemons

    Oranges N Lemons Rose
    courtesy Weeks Roses

    Oranges and lemons rose, with a wonderful fragrance, harkens back to the September 14 to 19 blogs about the rhyme Oranges N Lemons.

    Golden yellow orange

    Orange Roses courtesy Morgue File

    Strike it rich

    Strike It Rich Rose courtesy Wikipedia

    Peach and pink

    Peach and Pink Roses courtesy Clipart

  • Yellow ~ friendship, joy, happiness, broken heart, intense emotion, dying love, jealousy, infidelity, extreme betrayal

    Pink tipped pale yellow

    Pink Tipped Yellow Roses
    courtesy Geek Philosopher

    Orange tipped yellow

    Orange Tipped Yellow Roses
    courtesy Stock Exchange


    Bronze Roses courtesy Stock Exchange

  • Blue ~ mystery, subject of thought and speculation, the unobtainable, impossible, a complex personality, immortality, love at first sight, calmness, serenity.

    Blue Rose 678166 courtesy Clip Art

    In a version of Beauty and the Beast, when the beast changes back to human form, he gives Belle a blue rose.

    The 1940 movie, The Thief of Baghdad, features the "Blue Rose of Forgetfulness".

    Rudyard Kipling, whose mother was one of the beautiful MacDonald sisters, featured January 21 to 25, 2008, wrote a poem about the blue rose signifying the unobtainable.

    Roses red and roses white
    Plucked I for my love’s delight.
    She would none of all my posies—
    Bade me gather her blue roses.

    Half the world I wandered through,
    Seeking where such flowers grew
    Half the world unto my quest
    Answered me with laugh and jest.

    Home I came at wintertide,
    But my silly love had died
    Seeking with her latest breath
    Roses from the arms of Death.

    It may be beyond the grave
    She shall find what she would have.
    Mine was but an idle quest—
    Roses white and red are best!

  • Purple ~ royalty, dignity, pride, admiration, achievement

    Wild blue yonder

    Wild Blue Yonder Roses courtesy
    All American Rose Selections

    Midnight blue

    Midnight Blue Rose, source unknown

  • White ~ purity, modesty, virtue, humility; respect, reverence; eternal love, wistfulness, sophistication; silence

    White Roses courtesy Morgue File

  • Others


    Kaleidoscope Roses, source unknown


    Mixed Roses courtesy Morgue File

Birthdays and anniversaries have also had flowers and meanings attached to these important days. For the birth month of June, the rose is recognized flower, symbolizing happiness, friendship, love, strength, and beauty. Traditionally, the 15th wedding anniversary is celebrated with roses.

States have also declared roses as their state flower

  • Georgia ~ Cherokee Rose

    Cherokee Rose Georgia State Flower courtesy Wikipedia

  • Iowa and North Dakota ~ Wild Prairie Rose

    Wild Prairie Rose Iowa and North Dakota State Flower
    courtesy Wikipedia

  • New York ~ Rose

    Rose State Flower of New York courtesy Wikipedia

Coming tomorrow, roses in your hair…

October 28, 2010 08:15 - Roses ~ Part V, Roses in Your Hair

Going back to Tyler’s annual Rose Queen and the queen‘s crowns, I have to wonder if they have ever seen rose tiaras, such as in the portrait of Queen Victoria painted in 1845, featured in the August 24, 2007 blog. It’s a lovely hair adornment of white roses in a circlet.

Queen Victoria 1865 Portrait courtesy Wikipedia

Roses have entered into poetry and music, from Shakespeare’s a rose by any other name… to the tango which describes the rose that celebrates our love.

At the other end of the spectrum, going from the beautiful to the silly, you can find the Rose Hat, November 26, 2007, as featured in Godey’s ladies magazine.

Godey‘s Rose Hat courtesy Godey‘s Ladies Magazine

In the right setting, on the right person, this could be a lovely headdress for a wedding…or part of a fairy costume, as could Queen Victoria‘s rose circlet...or an individual rose on a barrette or a decorative headband.

Well, one day I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across directions for big felted roses…as a hat. There’s instructions for flat roses on a hat. And there’s instructions for one big rose as a hat ~ all made of craft felt.

Flat Roses for a Hat
courtesy Costume Manifesto

Large Rose Hat
courtesy Costume Manifesto

The full instructions are found at Costume Manifesto, in their sculpted felt crafts. I plan to make one for my little grand-daughter, to see how they look and just for the fun of it.

Tomorrow, what to do with a one big rose hat…

October 29, 2010 07:50 - Roses ~ Part VI, Accessorizing With Your Big Rose Hat

If you were to make a big rose hat, how could you wear it and with what?

First, you’d have to have a personality, wedding, hair style, and dress that could stand up to such a flash of fashion.

To expand on this statement, I’m going to introduce some new Scots and Gaelic words…

For you to successfully wear such a hat, you’d have to be a bit of a social butterfly, or in other words a Cleg Gleg, most commonly described as a gadfly, or gad-about. A shy person, or one inclined to crine, or shrink back, would be lost under such a hat.

To keep such a large hat on your kin, or head, longer hair, possibly gathered cockernonny, or in a knot, at the cuff o’ the neck, meaning the nape, would help hold the hat in place.

This beguiling knot, found at Hair Boutique, would sit nicely beneath the rose hat and help hold it in place, while looking elegant and sophisticated.

Chignon Knot courtesy Hair Boutique Patrick Cameron

A second chignon with a slightly different twist

Chignon Knot courtesy MSN Jamal Hammadi

If your hair is short, you could consider upsweeping your hair around the edge of the hat, forming a frame not only for your face but for the hat as well.

Medium length bobbed hair lying flat against the head would also be a nice frame to display the hat.

A short veil that barely covers the chin would also add a dressy, distinctive touch to the hat. And, determined by the color of the hat and the veil, jewels or sequins of the same color, emulating Merry Dancers, or the Aurora Borealis, could be sparingly applied to the veil.

Lastly, when it’s time to kanoodle, kiss and or snuggle, with the groom, you might find the hat top heavy or cumbersome, partially depending on the rake or angle you wear it.

When I get one made for my granddaughter, I’ll let you know how well it sit’s the head and what precautions, if any, need be taken. Can you imagine what fun your daughters would have, when they’re old enough to play dress-up, wearing Mommy’s wedding rose hat? Or how about a daintier one for your flower girl?

Coming next Monday, November Highland Games and Festivals…

September 2010 « 


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