The rose series – a guide to buying cut garden roses

Category: Garden Roses

In the last couple of years fresh cut garden roses have become a big sensation in the world of blogging, flower and wedding magazines and floral news. And since then have become a must have in luxury wedding bouquets and popular Instagram feeds such that today it may feel like they are everywhere. Now it is hard to imagine that this fantastic rose has almost disappeared from the world. And was only recently brought back to floristry by breeder David Austin.

This rose is definitely in the news, but the amount of accurate information about this variety is limited and many odd rumours and beliefs have come out of nowhere to the extent that it is difficult to get a clear picture of what is going on with this gorgeous rose variety.

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Let’s start with the 5 most commonly asked questions about cut garden roses.

1. Where can I get them?

In London those roses can be bought at the New Covent Garden Market, but beware that this is a wholesale market that operates at night time. You can read more about this market here.

You can also try out local florists, though not all florists stock those roses as they are quite pricey and rare. Production of cut roses is steadily increasing, but availability of some varieties is still quite limited. So it is better to preorder your blooms. For most florists, standard minimum notice is 10 days.

2. Why are they so expensive?

They are harder to transport. Garden roses travel as open blooms and this makes them an especially fragile in comparison to standard rose varieties that travel as tight buds. They also need a longer cooling down period than traditional roses. Because they are so fragile and have a short lifespan growers developed a special packaging technique. Garden roses travel first class with transport care sheet that protects them from diseases and mattress foam with liquid. All of this adds to the cost.

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3. Can I grow cut roses by David Austin in my garden?

Sadly not. Cut varieties are bred specifically for floristry. They have the long, straight stems required for flower arrangements, produce less of the flowers that would be expected from a garden shrub, and so would be a terrible addition to your garden.

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4. How long do they last?

One week at best. When buying your blooms make sure that you are buying partly open buds, fully open flowers would not last longer than 3 days and tight buds may never open.

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5. Do all garden roses have a strong fragrance?

Unfortunately, not. David Austin roses are famous for their fragrance, but even those roses sometimes lack smell. If you are looking for fragrant roses you are better off trying a variety called Patience as it is the most fragrant rose. Keira and Kate also have fragrance, although It is more subtle. While Darcey, Juliet, and Miranda are very lightly scented.

With this article I am starting a garden roses series. That will address common issues, introduce new varieties of those fantastic roses, and provide a source of never ending inspiration so keep an eye out.