These roses go beyond love.

Many of us equate roses with romance, but freelance photographer Jocelen Janon is more interested in their discovery and their history.
That's why his was the first name mentioned when Auckland War Memorial Museum was planning its exhibition, Wonderland: The Magic of the Rose.

"He's been a great source and sounding board, especially because of his immense knowledge of the European heritage," says the exhibition's developer Rachel Davies. 

The Magic of the Rose is the second chapter of a two-part exhibition that explores the world's most popular flowers. The first chapter, Wonderland: The Mystery of the Orchid, opened in July and was viewed by more than 20,000 people.
Originally from France, Frenchman Janon, who now lives in Mt Eden, got interested in roses when he lived in Paris where he could not have a garden. His research into, and photography of, the flower took him all over his home country, the US and now, New Zealand.

Besides being a font of knowledge of the bloom, Janon has a number of photos in the show. Having photographed almost 7000 different roses over 10 years meant he had plenty to choose from. But it's also meant making the final cut was a mission.
The museum's curator of botany, Ewen Cameron, says Janon's perspective has been a wonderful resource to draw upon.

"It was really nice working with him, especially since we have totally different expertise. He even managed to talk me into liking roses. Rose gardens have bored me in the past, but working with Jocelen has given me a newfound interest," he says.
"I particularly appreciate the way he manages to tell the complicated historical story of roses so well and with such clarity." 

Wonderland: The Magic of the Rose, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland Domain, Parnell, until April 18. Contact: ph 309 0443

 By Sharu Delilkan.