Best of British – our team pick their favourite English roses
Monday 19 June marks the start of British Flowers Week, a campaign launched by New Covent Garden Flower Market to celebrate the wealth and variety of British cut flowers and foliage.
Here at The Real Flower Company, British Flowers Week is close to our heart. Our founder Rosebie Morton started growing her own roses in 1995 because she hated the fact that most of the roses on sale had no scent. For us, as flower farmers and enthusiasts, it is important that the flowers we grow retain their own special characteristics, including their glorious natural beauty and scent. Most supermarket roses are genetically modified to remove their scent gene. Our flowers, by contrast, are responsibly grown using sustainable farming techniques and eco-initiatives. We are certified under the Assured Combinable Crops Scheme, we are part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and are members of the Farm Wildlife Advisory Group. Plus, because many of our flowers are grown in our own farms in the south of England, they come to you with the smallest possible carbon footprint.
Here at The Real Flower Company, we grow more than eighty types of roses. In celebration of British Flowers Week, we would like to share some of our favourites with you.
Rosebie Morton, founder
“The first rose I grew was Margaret Merril, a variety I remember from my grandmother’s garden. She has the most beautiful scent and effortless elegance. Margaret Merril is a white rose – but her buds have the softest touch of green and her open white petals have a subtle touch of delicate pink. Margaret Merril is always popular – for very good reason.”
Rob Marsden, rose farm manager
“My favourite rose is Evelyn. It has a good scent and behaves well. We sometimes need to support the heads as they can grow large but overall it’s a strong grower with a beautiful colour and shape.”
Liz Newton, trade & special events sales manager
“My favourite has to be Chandos Beauty because of its beautiful scent. I also love the way it changes in both colour and shape as it opens.”
Jane Hamilton, Managing Director
“I love classic ivory roses so I’m spoilt for choice – Margaret Merril, Cream Piaget and Vitality are all favourites. On our Spring photoshoot I completely fell for our Candlelight roses. As the name suggests, they have a beautiful warm glow that just lights up any arrangement.”
Mandy Marsden, flower farmer
“I absolutely love Romantic Antike. Because of its shape, it’s often mistaken for a peony. It has a strong, beautiful scent, a wonderful colour, it’s easy to pick and it’s long-lasting. It’s always popular on Fridays when we sell our rose plants at the farm gate.”
Eunice Edmondson, customer service advisor
“Evelyn brings warmth to my heart. It’s a combination of her pinky, peachy flowers and beautiful scent. The perfect classical rose.”
Verity Enticknap-Ivory, trade & retail customer services manager
“It’s hard to choose a favorite. But I always call Margaret Merril my surprise rose because in bud it doesn’t look particularly special but then it opens into the most beautiful blooms.”
Becky Steed, lead florist
“For me, it has to be Evelyn. I’m not normally a peachy-pink person but for me Evelyn is the perfect English rose.”
Catherine Rubaine, lead florist and manager of our London flower shop
“Coming to work in the morning, I’m like a kid in a candy shop. At the Chelsea flower shop we get deliveries throughout the week from the farm, so we have so many wonderful seasonal English flowers and types of foliage to work with. I love Rachel Louise Moran with her raspberry-ripple petals. She always lifts an arrangement and looks so beautiful just in a simple jug on her own.”
Discover our English Flower Collection here.