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Monday, September 17, 2012

"What's in a name? That which we call a Rose..."

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose..."
-- Shakespeare; Romeo & Juliet

When Shakespeare used this quote in Romeo & Juliet, he was referring to the fact that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention. How right was he when it comes to using the name "Rose"?! In our world of flowers, we get requests for Roses everyday. However, as many clients soon learn, to us a rose is just a name, with over 100 species (and thousands of varieties) of roses we find ourselves breaking out the design books and going into full-on teacher mode! 

The common misunderstanding is the difference between the traditional Standard (or Hybrid Tea) Rose and the Garden (or English) Rose.  The use of one over the other can change the entire style and feeling of an arrangement. Keep in mind that we're covering only the bare minimum about roses as cut flowers here, and not going into the intricate history, varieties, classifications, care and handling, or growing of roses.  

Standard Roses are the most common type of rose. These roses are have a large head supported by a long, straight stem.  If you've ever received or ordered a 'dozen long stemmed roses,' it's most likely been a standard rose variety.  The wide variety of color options, traditional shape, year-round availability and reasonable price makes this rose very popular for weddings. 

Standard roses used in bouquets, centerpieces, and cake decor.

Garden Roses are known for their high petal count, lush appearance, and wonderful fragrance. As cut flowers, they have a shorter vase life than the standard rose.  However, their fragrance and appearance is often a fair trade.  Garden roses are often mistaken for Peonies because of their similar appearances. If you are looking for a flower that will give you a soft look, and you can't get Peonies then this would be flower. 

In recent years, David Austin, a well-known rose breeder, has developed many varieties of English Garden Roses, which have become increasingly popular.  These roses are known for deep cups, high petal counts, and absolutely amazing fragrance.  We often use the David Austin varieties in our wedding designs.  As you can see, they bring a soft, romantic feeling to any bouquet.

David Austin Garden roses featured in bridal bouquets.
Varieties include 'Juliette' and 'Pink Piano', two of our favorites.
More images of garden roses can be seen on our Pinterest Board: Flower: Garden Roses

Enjoy!!


Information sources: Wikipedia-garden roses and David Austin Roses