John Speller's Web Pages Behold the Rose of Sharon here

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I remember once visiting the former bishop's palace garden in Old Sarum and seeing wild roses growing there. Were these the descendants of the plants that the bishops of Salisbury were nurturing a thousand years ago?

The imagery of the hymn, of course, references the Song of Songs 2:1, "I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys." In Watts's hymn the text is referred to the mysical wedding of Christ to his Bride, the Church.
Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld (1794-1872), "The Rose of Sharon," woodcut
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