The first roses traveled from the Middle East at the dawn of civilization, through Greece and Rome to the rest of Europe. Over the following centuries, gardeners refined nature's creation, cross-breeding different types of roses to produce new forms. Such a rich history has given the rose a family tree as complex as that of any royal dynasty. But when the modern roses - the Hybrid Teas and Floribundas - were developed in the 20th century, their popularity temporarily eclipsed that of the older varieties of roses and some of these were lost forever. For enthusiasts, however, the older varieties would never be matched for many reasons. Whilst the beauty of the modern rose is very often to be found only in that brief stage as the bud unfurls, the petal structures of the older varieties mean that their beauty increases as the flower opens, and is retained even when the flower is fully blown. This illustrated visual guide to old roses provides a practical sourcebook for the gardener, offering tips on cultivation and planting as well as a guide to identification, but it can be used on other levels as a reference book for the designer or painter, or simply enjoyed for the beauty of the images alone.