David Austin Roses

Growing Scented Garden Roses for Floristry

In Fierce Cutting Garden, Fierce Influences by FiercebloomsLeave a Comment

WORDS: Kathryn Cronin PHOTOS: Ricky Bache
The new wild garden style of floristry celebrates the delights of the passing seasons. There is no flower so full of romance and ethereal beauty as the rose in summer.

Scented garden roses remind you of halcyon days and that being alive is worth celebrating with every blousey, beautiful petal. Their beauty delights but it their scent that transports you to the notion of wild romantic abandonment of summers passed. They are irresistible.

Growing scented garden roses for floristry has now become a quest. There had been many a time when I have cursed my clay soil. Who doesn’t dream of friable well drained soil? You know the type of thing that the gardeners of old like Percy Thrower and Geoff Hamilton regularly poured through their hands on our TV screens of old. My other halfs back has a deep and enduring understanding of this desire of mine. In my garden I can unearth so many handfuls of solid clay, I have considered storing it for pottery. Then there are the slugs. Need I say more. But that was before I was reliably informed the high levels of nutrients are rather fabulous for growing roses. So rather than fight with my soil and hang up my spade in defeat, I have decided to test it for all it is worth on the pursuit of growing scented garden roses for floristry.

You’ll already appreciate, dear reader, the varieties of scented garden roses to choose from is huge to the say the least. Scented garden roses have never gone out of fashion but more than ever, they are in demand. This in part is thanks to companies like the Real Flower Company who have built their business on growing British scented garden roses (they grow ethically in Kenya during Winter just in case you are wondering about their year round supply).

My method, as always, is to study and learn from the choices of scented garden roses from the great and the good. Of course, they all look fabulous but I needed to know which varieties were faster growers that would repeat flower and whose blooms would be ideal for cutting for floristry.

Scented Garden Roses For Floristry – Inspiration from Other Florists

Green and Gorgeous grow huge numbers of roses. Some of proprietor Rachel Siegfried’s favourite varieties include Whiter Shade of Pale and Irish Hope. These are both heat resistant (although quite honestly readers I have no fear of that up north).

Chandos Beauty and Margaret Merril are other scented garden roses providing really strong scent. Others include: Sweet Child of Mine, East Park, Millie Ross, Queen of Sweden, Warm Wishes and Sweet Dreams. Rachel also grows David Austin roses including Port Sunlight, Crocus Rose, Chris Beadshaw and Crown Princess Margareta, a rather lovely shade of apricot/orange.

Tammy of Wildbunch uses scented garden roses to create her romantic and captivating bouquets, including Grace, Evelyn, Sally Holmes and Sheperdess.

Growing Scented Roses For Floristry – Fierceblooms Recommendations

I ordered my scented garden roses from The Cornish Rose Company for this coming year.

My thorny rose stems are nothing to look at right now but they are already budding.

I then promptly forgot about them until one fine snowy day just before Christmas, when the barbed stems of my bare root roses arrived from their Cornish growers perfectly wrapped in damp newspaper. Already there was life within. Under the dark of a cold northern sky, I planted them straight away following the planting instructions meticulously.

The scented garden roses that I am looking forward to blooming for me this summer (ever the optimist) are:

  • Scent from Heaven – a lovely apricot orange climbing rose
  • Joie de Vivre – a peach to pale pink shrub rose
  • Chandos Beauty – a soft peach repeat flowering easy to grow rose
  • Margaret Merril – a highly scented and repeat flowering white petals
  • Sweet Child of Mine – a fragrant floribunda with creamy white blooms

There will never be any competition with the Dutch growers on volume. However, what I can deliver with this planting are wild garden style scented roses with each and every bloom that delight the senses and are full of nostalgic romance.

Even one or two of these darlings in a bouquet will utterly transform it. live quite near to David Austin’s nurseries. Some of us in the household see this as an advantage. It is very tempting to fetch the Queen of Sweden to join her other rose subjects.

My thorny rose stems are nothing to look at right now but they are already budding. I have clear instructions to cut them again. It seems brutal but I will, for once, do what I am told.

Read more from Fierceblooms on the floristry blog.

On the site, there are also lots more articles about my evolving canalside cheshire flower cutting garden.

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