I know it sounds like a cliche, but the Rose is my utterly favourite flower, the English Garden Rose in particular. They are very different creatures from the imported, straight stemmed varieties that are available all year round. Unlike these commercial roses, the Garden Rose is delicate, stunningly fragranced and blowsy. I prefer them to all other roses and love that summer morning when I can first smell their heady scent breezing in from the garden. I have a very cold garden so they’re still in bud, but I am waiting with baited breath.
I find that Garden Roses add the most wonderful freedom to an arrangement as their stems are far more fluid than the comertial type because they are much thinner. The trick is to not find this intimidating, embrace their natural shape, don’t try and control it. Enjoy the deconstructed look they give your arrangments, and allow Mother Nature to take the reins a little, she has been doing it a lot longer after all.
If you’re on the hunt, either for the garden, or for an arrangment you can never go wrong with a David Austin variety. David Austin is a rose breeder, who puts a particular emphasis on creating roses with the character and fragrance of old garden roses (such as gallicas, damasks and alba roses) but with the repeat-flowering ability and wide colour range of modern roses such as hybrid teas. They are the best of both worlds, and to my eyes are simple perfection. Just watch your fingers when you handle them, they tend to be extreamly thorny!