There is no denying that I’m a sucker for gorgeous garden roses, I use them a lot within my designs (as I’m sure you will notice over on our wedding galleries) particularly the scented varieties for the bridal bouquets as I feel it’s lovely to carry something that has a sweet smelling fragrance and thinking of the scent will always evoke such happy memories and transport you back to your special day all over again. I just adore how blousy they are too and some of the British varieties grown by The Real Flower Company available during the summer months certainly give madame peony a run for her money! So today we shall be coveting our pick of favourite garden roses…
David Austin Kiera
Whenever I am designing a blush colour pallet Kiera is my go to rose, I just adore the shade of this garden rose and the subtle difference in colour that each stem has ranging from light blush pink through to a creamy peach shade and the pattern created on the inside of the petals reminds me of raspberry ripple ice cream. Kiera is slightly smaller headed then most of the other David Austin rose varieties but what it lacks in size it certainly makes up for in terms of shape, form and colour! As mentioned already it works beautifully within a blush colour pallet but equally if you wanted to pair it with darker richer shades such as plum and burgundy it also complements those tones beautifully too as it lightens and lifts the colour pallet so its not quite as dark and rich.
One of my all time favourites, I just adore the colour of them and there are very few other flower varieties (if any in fact) that are actually the same colour as the Romantic Antique, they are just such an unusual shade. The British variety varies slightly from the Dutch in that it is a slightly more pink in tone where as the Dutch are more coral. It’s only a subtle difference but might be worth knowing. It also has a great size head too and is a perfect round shape. Colour combination wise personally I think it works really well with more vibrant colour pallets, this year I paired it with hot pinks, blush/nude and caramel/mustard tones and they blended together really beautifully. Equally they also look beautiful when paired with other lighter shades too, as per Lucy’s bridal bouquet pictured below where we mixed the Romantic Antique with lighter shades of blush & light blue paired with pops of wine and burgundy.
The first thing that springs to mind when I think of White O’hara is the scent, it is just heavenly! Although it’s called white it isn’t really white in colour more what you would call an ivory and again as with most flowers being that they are a natural product they can sometimes have more of a blush tinge to them and others more cream, it’s just luck of the drawer as to what us florists get on the day we collect our order. White O’hara also has a great size head and when it fully opens it is just so stunning, it is also available in pink too.
My favourite feature with this rose has to be the colour, which is a dreamy dusky pink/latte shade (hence the name I assume) and again I would say that there are very few if any other flower varieties in the same colour, it’s not really got much of a strong scent to it unfortunately but it can be forgiven as it’s enchanting shade is enough for it to stand out against the other scented varieties. Shape wise, it has a good size head, probably not as big as the likes of Romantic Antique or the Prince Jardinier but it is more then ample. In term’s of it’s shape it isn’t perfectly round which can be nice when pairing it with other rose varieties as it adds interest and contrast to a design. It can take a little longer to open up then the majority of other roses (in my experience) so often I will order this an extra day in advance so it has opened perfectly by the day of the event.
I keep having to stop myself from typing that this is another favourite but it’s just so hard when I adore all of the roses featured in this post! Prince Jardinier is an utterly breathtaking light blush pink coloured rose that has the most stunning scent, probably my favourite scent of all the roses actually (there I said it!) and when fully open is about the size of a saucer, so it’s BIG! Hence why I tend to use it in larger designs such as statement urns or floral garlands/installations.
This rose has such an enchanting colour, that creamy caramel tone that is so versatile to work with as it blends beautifully with lots of different colour pallets from lighter blush and peach shades through to richer autumnal shades and equally works well paired with other vibrant colours such as burnt orange. It has a good size head that is perfect for using in bridal bouquets and centre pieces too. Sadly it isn’t scented but if you’re after a variety that isn’t your average ivory colour, something warmer in tone then Caramel Antique is the rose for you.
My favourite spray rose, although it’s called white it does in fact have a slight blush tone to it which make it even more beautiful in my opinion. Sadly it’snot scented but I love these beauties when they have really blown open and you can start to see the yellow centre just slightly. With multiple stems on one head they can go rather far if your planning on using them for smaller vessels and vases and are a great size for button holes too. White majolica is also available in pink which I tend to use for slightly more vibrant colour pallets but out of the two white has to be my favourite.
Is a fairly new rose variety that isn’t always as easy to source, so when I can get my hands on it I’m very excited. It’s a spray rose but that being said the size of some of the heads do vary in size but the majority are rather big, not far off a regular size rose! It has a heavenly scent and the colour I adore is a blush/peachy shade. Again in my opinion these look their absolute best when they are fully open and you can see the yellow centres like the majolica, design wise I always find it’s nice when the spray roses open at different stages as they tend to look more natural as that’s how you would find them growing in the garden.
A stunning peach coloured rose that is one of the British varieties grown by The Real Flower Company along with many other beautiful varieties that tend to only be available during the summer months so during that time I try to lap it up as much as I can. It has a great size head and is the perfect shape for a rose, it also has the most exquisite scent too!
Now you would be forgiven for mistaking this gorgeous garden rose for a peony as when fully open it is about the same size and comprises of just layer upon layer of delicate ruffles that form a perfect round shape. The colour I would describe as a deep pink/magenta. This is another rose that has the most delicious scent too so perfect for bridal flowers. One of our October brides last year desperately wanted to have peonies for her wedding and I had to be the bad cop and tell her that they wouldn’t be in season when she was getting married to which you can imagine she was really disappointed to learn but the compromise was this beautiful rose and she was over the moon with it! She actually couldn’t believe that it was a rose and not a peony which reiterates the point I made previously about some of these garden roses giving the peony some serious competition!
David Austin Miranda
Now I will be honest, had I created this wish list last year I can’t say that Miranda, another rose by David Austin would have made the cut however this year I have used this variety a number of times and I’m not to proud to admit that I may have overlooked her a bit too hastily! She is a beautiful shape and has a large size head (bigger then Kiera) that when opened is just perfect for both bridal flowers and larger statement arrangements. More pink in colour then the other blush varieties which works really well if your working with a mixed colour pallet of both lighter softer shades and more punchy vibrant tones as it is what I would call a ‘bridge’ colour as it bridges/ties all the colours together nicely without there being to much of a contrast from light to dark as this is in between the two. Unfortunately it’s not really scented but it’s a great pick in terms of size and shape.
Things to Remember
Garden roses are of course more delicate then normal roses which are more robust. Their stems are often not as sturdy so when conditioning them you need to be extra careful which can be tricky as some of them are really thorny! They also bruise really easily (bruising on the lighter varieties is also more visable) so after they are conditioned I tend to put them in shorter buckets so not to bash against the sides and I also put them in their own separate buckets too. Unfortunately as beautiful as they are the garden roses don’t tend to have a long vase life. I would probably say a week absolutely maximum but you can help them to survive as long as possible by changing the vase water every couple of days and re-cutting the stems at an angle also try to keep them somewhere cooler out of direct sunlight. Personally I almost think it adds to their beauty even more the fact that their cut flower life is so fleeting means you enjoy them even more and it is wonderful seeing the different stages at which they grow, some you will notice will change in colour too. Another piece of advise I would give is always allow for spares/extras when you are ordering as they can be volatile and can sometimes drop there petals really easily, especially in the summer heat (which can be very stressful!). Yet despite their awkward and non compliant ways I will always use them again and again as they are just so stunning and I am a total sucker for their beauty and grace.
What is your favourite garden rose variety?