There's a reason roses are such a well-loved flower. They can be pretty, beautiful, graceful or sexy. They can be simple, small and white or huge, frilly and red. There are unscented florist roses which are bred to be prolific, long-lasting and  straight-stemmed. But there are also some scented florist roses (such as white Norma Jeane, red Grand Prix, and lilac Ocean Song/Boyfriend) and of course, very scented garden roses such as pinky-white O'Hara, or David Austin's wonderful roses.

Here are some roses I especially like.

Apricot-yellow David Austin Jude the Obscure roses are probably my favourite garden rose - this was the first rose plant I bought, and the perfect-looking blooms and strong scent are a delight.

Pink Cariad roses grow from another David Austin plant that produces stunning flowers and a gorgeous scent. 'Cariad' means 'love' in Welsh, so I am biased towards this rose because of my Welsh connections...but it really is beautiful!

Peachy David Austin Juliet roses look similar to Jude the Obscure, but they are bred as a cut rose. Here is one with pale pink Keira and dark pink Kate roses. All three smell gorgeous.

Creamy David Austin Patience roses are incredibly scented and open up like a saucer.

Raspberry red David Austin Darcey roses exude passion! The rose was named after the wonderful ballerina Darcey Bussell, who I was lucky enough to see in her final performance at the Royal Opera House in 2007. This is a bouquet I made for Valentine's Day.

Another company that specialises in English garden roses is The Real Flower Company. They sell some gorgeous roses - single stems and spray roses - but many are only available during the British rose flowering season as the company grows many of its cut flowers and herbs in Britain. These are a mixture of their roses (and a few dark dahlias) that I bought from their shop in Selfridges and arranged when I got home. I wish I'd written down the varieties, but all I can remember is the big pink roses are Yves Piaget. They filled the room with their fragrance.

There are other garden roses that can be bought wholesale or from some florists. I particularly like Augusta Luise - it's an old-fashioned sort of rose, frilly and pink, and it smells gorgeous. I used it here with burgundy and pink dahlias and chocolate cosmos.

Norma Jeane roses are white, huge, and slightly scented - which makes them a star among florist flowers. I used them here with (unidentified) pink garden roses, purple veronica and pink bouvardia.

There is something ethereal about lilac roses. In flower language, they stand for enchantment or love at first sight, and of all the wholesale, non-garden roses, these are the ones that tend to retain some scent. Here are some Ocean Song or Boyfriend roses, which I combined with purple alliums and midnight blue viburnum.

So the next time you are planning to buy flowers for yourself or someone else, try to get hold of the most special, beautiful, scented roses that you can. And remember, if someone has a garden, then a rose plant may be just as welcome as a bouquet!

1 comment:

  1. I am a David Austin addict. I love Jude the Obscure, too.