David Austin English roses: Grown in California, cut for a vase and delivered to your door
If you’ve been seduced by the voluptuous English roses bred by British plantsman David Austin, I won’t have to convince you that they are an essential design element of the romantic cottage garden. With flowers and growth habits reminiscent of old garden roses, David Austin’s shrub roses have a reputation for being particularly tough, reliable and healthy, not to mention incredibly fragrant.
Demand from brides and flower lovers yearning for bouquets of peony-sized English roses prompted the grower to develop a specialty cut-flower program. Fifteen years in development, Cut Garden Roses by David Austin has just launched nationwide with door-to-door-delivery by FedEx. The collection features seven English garden roses -- all with rich color and lush shape -- bred especially for long vase life. (The company guarantees the roses will last at least five days in a vase.) There's Miranda, a plump rose-pink flower packed with ruffled petals, and the peach-colored Juliet, one of David Austin’s most beloved roses. They're all sustainably grown by Green Valley Floral in Salinas, Calif., and available year-round because they are raised in greenhouses during winter months.
Each bouquet contains 12 stems. Prices (excluding shipping) range from $80 to $125, depending on whether you select a single flower or mixed arrangement. Like conventional long-stem hybrid roses, the flowers arrive with closed buds. Unlike conventional roses, after being placed in a vase, the buds open to reveal an abundance of nicely arranged petals, just as if you picked them from grandmother’s garden. I received a boxed bouquet last week, and after changing the water and recutting the stems every other day, I snapped a picture, left, to show how beautiful the blooms still looked after five days. Sorry you can't smell them!
“People have always used our garden roses for cutting and to create wonderful arrangements," said Michael Marriott of David Austin Roses. "But we wanted to lengthen the vase life of the roses.”
You can take advantage of a 10% discount on orders of $100 or more (use promotional code LAT3) through Nov. 30.
Photo credits, from top: David Austin roses, Debra Prinzing