Rather than as a place for contemplation or inspiration or as a place to represent or control nature, the purpose of a Roman garden was to please the senses. By Miriam’s time, gardens had become more formal with the addition of furniture and statuary, pools and fountains, walls and fences. But the rose was the constant garden staple, its cultivation having begun about 5000 years ago, probably in China. Alexander the Great himself grew roses and may have been responsible for the spread of their cultivation in Egypt.
Even in THE DEADLIEST LIE, when Miriam rushes in terror through Noah’s house, she is aware of the rich color and scent coming from the rose garden:
I cut around the atrium’s pool and statues, charging through its cloud of aromatic oils, its onyx tiles cool against the raw soles of my feet. Which way to go? I rushed past a bank of tall, arched, unglazed windows, their shutters open to a thick grove of roses, their blossoms fusing into a single red blanket while the breeze buffeted the slippery drapes and fanned the rich floral scent.
Come smell the roses in THE DEADLIEST LIE. Aside from the thick grove of roses surrounding Noah’s house, enjoy the bouquets of freshly-cut roses pluming over the free-standing urns in his atrium, and the scent of roses sweeping in from Isaac’s courtyard.