British Roses for Valentines and Mother's Day?
Over the last few weeks we have had lots of enquiries from people all wanting Roses for the two big flower events of the year - Valentine's Day and Mothering Sunday or Mother's Day as it is commonly known. With more and more people wanting to buy British grown flowers and locally grown this is all very encouraging, especially given the growing trend towards supporting British farming and horticulture and the 'slow flowers' movement. There's just one snag... the good old British weather really doesn't help us to have Roses blooming in February and March, well not unless you have masssive heated greenhouses. Plus Roses do like to have a dormant period over winter. They shed their leaves in late autumn just like the trees and hedgerows.
A friend of mine sent me a photo of an article about a similar subject which she came across in a copy of Amateur Gardening Magazine. It was asking "Where do our cut red Roses come from?" It made interesting reading and highlighted the point that almost all the Roses available to buy (at any time of year) are specifically bred to have long straight stems, and longer and tighter flowers. The compromise being that these Roses rarely have any scent.
Lovely though they are these Roses don't invoke the same sort of emotion and response for people as when they see a garden/shrub Rose in all it's multi petalled beauty, and the fragrance of the Rose wafting through the air. Maybe it's a British thing? We are a nation of garden lovers after all (or so I'm told) and most people will have at some point, walked up to a Rose plant and admired it. Even if they were just kids and wanted to rip the petals off the plant so they could chuck them into the air or to try and make a magic potion or perfume.
So it begs the question... are we all so detached from the changing seasons or is it just that the image of a dozen red Roses for Valentine's day is everywhere and we all seem to think that is what it's all about? There are lots of beautiful Spring flowers that are British grown and readily available in February and March such as Tulips, Daffodils, Narcissi, Muscari, Anemones and Hellebores. Wholesalers such as Flowers by Clowance , Tregothnan and growers such as Scented Narcissi (to name just a few) all ship throughout the UK and their beautiful Spring flowers would certainly make a change to see in Florist's shops at this time of year.
I don't know the answer to the Roses at Valentine's conundrum, all I know is that if you want Roses in February and March then the likely hood is that they will be imported from far warmer climes than the UK.