The team at David Austin Wedding & Event Roses is pleased to premiere a new video, From Bud to Open Bloom, which, in addition to glorious English garden roses and floral designs, features care and handling tips.
As part of the celebratory release of From Bud to Open Bloom, the company presents this Q&A session with David J.C. Austin himself. A great interview to start the new year. We hope you enjoy. ■
If you could share one fact or tip with floral designers, what would it be?
Allow time for our roses to open! A closed David Austin bloom is like receiving a beautiful packaged gift that you’re not allowed to look inside or like pressing your face up against the sweet- shop window. When my father [David C.H. Austin] and I set about creating a collection of cut roses nearly 30 years ago, our aim was to bring the beautiful forms and fragrances of old roses back into the world of modern commercial cut roses. We developed the roses to open just like the evolution of a rose in the garden.
So how much time does it take for a David Austin rose to open?
Good question. We are working with Mother Nature, and so the answer is never black-and-white; hence, our new video From Bud to Open Bloom.
Each of our varieties is different. Think of them as individual characters. Varieties such as ‘Juliet’ (Ausjameson) and ‘Constance’ (Austruss) are show-offs; they cannot wait to reveal their beauty and will open within a day or so. We also have more-shy and retiring types such as ‘Tess’ (Ausyacht) and ‘Edith’ (Auspluto), who may take up to three or four days to open. This is why we have
divided our roses into two categories—fast openers and slower openers. The video shows which category each rose falls into.
Personally, I never tire of seeing the roses arriving in bud form and watching them transform. It is part of the enjoyment of working with our roses, and you really get to know their characteristics.
For example, ‘Constance’ (Austruss) in bud is pink, but as she opens, she reveals an unexpected creamy center, with watercolor pink diffusing through her petals. In addition, for all our varieties, one stem is never exactly the same as another, and I think that adds to their overall beauty.
Based on your experience, how should floral designers plan their timetables to open your roses for a wedding or event?
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend delivery of our roses approximately four days before an event. So, for a Saturday wedding, receive the roses on the Tuesday prior. This gives you one day to fully hydrate them in cold storage followed by a couple of days to open before you start arranging.
We use cold storage to control the speed of opening and ambient room temperature to encourage opening. A particular experience is engrained in my psyche: We had to open 10,000 roses for one event. It was nerve-wracking but, at the same time, incredibly rewarding, seeing the roses on their arrival at the nursery followed by the processing and opening. Our production unit was covered in roses, and they pulled quite a crowd! ‘Patience’ (Auspastor) was one of the varieties, and, my goodness, the fragrance knocked your socks off! Of course, to add more pressure, the week of the event was one of the hottest on record in the U.K.
We constantly refer to the beauty of our roses, but there are also important practical advantages that we, perhaps, take for granted. A fully open David Austin bloom is big and blousy, and you need only one to create the same impact as three standard roses; in short, you don’t need as many flowers or foliage. So while you are paying a premium price for a David Austin rose, we know they will bring value in quite unexpected ways.
What’s your advice to a floral designer who may not have used your roses before?
First, find a great wholesaler who is experienced in working with David Austin Roses, with whom you can place your order well in advance for delivery to you on the day you choose.
It’s also worth highlighting that our cut rose collection is available 12 months of the year.
Second, don’t hesitate to reach out to us or ask questions. Although the team is based in the U.K., its members are talking to florists across all time zones! Email them cutroses@ davidaustin.co.uk or direct message them on social media @davidaustinweddingroses. They love talking roses!
Third, watch our new video, From Bud to Open Bloom. You may already know the information, but, on the other hand, you may pick up a useful tip or two that you can share with colleagues.
Finally, if you’ve never used our roses before, email your name and business details to email@example.com by Jan. 31, 2021, and we will choose 10 florists at random to receive free samples of David Austin roses.
Contact the David Austin team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit them on social media @davidaustinweddingroses.
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