It's been an astonishing year for roses. The mild winter, combined with a hot spring and wet summer, have allowed tender roses to survive and put out flush after flush of blooms. It's meant I can actually make bridal bouquets with local roses - a dream.
What draws florists to these particular varieties are the different tones in each rose. 'Koko Loko' has unmatched shades of beige, tan, and brown which drip into lavender. 'Julia' has copper, caramel, pink, to mustard and fawn. 'Distant Drums' starts out with vivid pink and caramel but fades to blush and peach. New to me, 'Carmella Fairy Tale' is a lovely butter yellow with an apricot undercoat, the edges melting into cream. Even 'Anne Henderson', in all her bright glory, is a multi-hued orange. Each rose has subtle differences, each is important to the arrangement. It makes it all so much more interesting!
In the States (well, really only California, Oregon and Washington) there are a few growers who've been in the game for a long time and a few more who have recently taken up the gauntlet to get these particular garden roses to the wedding industry. They can be frustrating because they weren’t bred specifically for the cut flower industry, but instead for the garden. They have uneven stem lengths, are usually carrying multiple buds on each stem, and require more delicate handling. Unsurprisingly then, these roses aren't available as cuts in Alberta (or indeed most of Canada as far as I know). It makes me savour each stem and dole them out with the utmost intention. And you don't want to see my phone - there are two million rose pictures on it.