I couldn’t resist doing this blog post as a dear friend of mine popped by with a gift which included this rather lovely vintage book below. It inspired me to think about how we use roses in our wedding work and also my experience of growing them.
Written by Mr Cuthbert in 1952 and published by Cassell & co ltd, it’s a reference book on how to grow roses, its very detailed in tips on getting you started in rose growing. The introduction is a helpful place to start…
“No English Garden is complete without roses and this loveliest of flowers is neither expensive nor difficult to grow.”
While I agree with Mr Cuthbert that they are the loveliest of flowers, times have changed a bit. We use roses at Young Blooms a lot for wedding work and I grow some roses in my garden at Hartley Farm and some at home as well.
This gorgeous peach rose we got from Sarah Raven a couple of years ago, it worked well in the early summer as cut flower as you can see from the arrangement below. As a florist first, I need flowers to be useful that I grow! 🙂
Another favourite I have at home is a David Austin rose called ‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’. I saw this rose below at Highgrove pre-covid and decided to treat myself. The scent is incredible and by the time the blooms are fully open they are the size of small teacups. I’ve kept this one in a large terracotta pot and it seems perfectly happy, I gave it a fairly severe prune last year and it rewarded me this year as can be seen below.
One of the aims for Young Blooms is that we use British Grown flowers as much as possible and this means we have found some amazing growers. One of them being Usk Valley roses, based in Powys wales. We used their roses last May and let me tell you, they were STUNNING! The scent was beautiful and the quality was perfect as you can see below.
So back to Mr Cuthbert and his rose growing tips. He talks about how the growing of roses can be summed up in the following 5 points…
- Preparing the ground
- Pest control
You could probably write an essay on those tips alone, I tend to keep things simple so here are my 5 tips on growing roses as a florist first and gardener second.
- Buy roses that you love the look of.
- Plan your container but if its a pot, make sure its pretty.
- Plant your rose and then celebrate.
- Pruning is certainly worth it as your rose will thank you and bloom beautifully the next year
- Pest control is also worth it, if you get blackspot on leaves, get rid of them straight away. If you get bugs on the roses then I tend to use soapy water and spray it on.
It is certainly worth researching roses that you want in your garden and thinking about the space you have to grow them. I have bought a variety of them through the years, some of been cheaper varieties and others more expensive. Some haven’t done so well and some have been a raving success. I’m afraid I tend to go with the theory that plants have two chances….
On a final note, being at Chelsea Flower show this year meant we got to see some incredible roses, the David Austin stand in the grand pavilion was breathtaking so the old adage is correct that its always worth stopping and smelling the roses.