The team at David Austin Wedding & Event Roses is pleased to premiere their new video ‘From Bud to Open Bloom’, which is a wonderful in-depth guide about how to condition and prepare these iconic roses. I also took the opportunity to sit down with the Jo and Amy from their Marketing & PR Team to learn more.
Q&A with Jo and Amy, David Austin Wedding & Event Roses
So, what makes a David Austin Wedding Rose different to other cut roses?
We don’t think it is one thing, but a whole host of elements that, when brought together, create the complete package. Think haute couture versus high street. Mr Austin called this indescribable quality “looking for a grace or charm in each rose”. He knew it when he saw it, and we believe it is what makes a beautiful rose.
Notably, a David Austin rose brings the garden into every floral arrangement. So just like on a bush in your front garden, our roses give a performance, opening from closed bud to glorious open bloom. They reveal a captivating beauty, and often a perfume that you cannot get in a bottle. Pure, unadulterated romance!
Of course, our roses are recognised for their voluminous, large blooms, but each variety has its signature style and personality. Some reveal surprising shifts in form, texture, or colour that enhance their charm. For example, Constance (Austruss) in bud is pink. But as she opens, she reveals an unexpected creamy and blush pink centre – see below.
The translucency of petals provide a luminous, natural colour that is quite mesmerising and never brash. Even our brightest coloured varieties, such as Capability (Ausapply), have read the memo offering a delicacy in tone as the petals play with light and shade.
When the David Austin cut rose collection first arrived on the floristry scene, over 15 years ago, they were the new kids on the block, and something very different to the hybrid tea rose. We believe they have changed the perception of what a cut rose is and has become.
Where can you buy David Austin Wedding Roses in the UK?
They are available to order 12 months of the year from all quality wholesalers across the country. Place your order, or discuss your needs with your wholesaler well in advance, so they are delivered to you on the day you need them. We want you to receive the stems as quickly and as directly as possible from one of our growers. Your chosen wholesaler can make this happen.
We have some great relationships with UK wholesalers, who are experienced in our roses. And therefore do get in touch with us if you need further help and we will be pleased to connect you.
What colours are your roses available in?
We have a collection of 17 cut roses from classic ivory and cream through to the softest blush, peach, pinks, yellows, and apricots culminating in the deepest crimsons, which you can see below.
Our rose colour wheel, hand-drawn and coloured by an incredible botanical artist, Janie Pirie, visually demonstrates the range of colours. There’s something for every palette – from the claret-dipped Darcey (Auschariot); the peach melba Juliet (Ausjameson) and the new classic ivory blooms of Leonora (Auswagsy).
How long in advance of a wedding should florists order David Austin Wedding Roses?
As a premium rose collection, they cannot be picked up off the shelf, so planning ahead is vital. As soon as you have a wedding date, start speaking to your wholesaler about the varieties you are looking for, quantities and delivery dates so that you have a plan. Each wholesaler will guide you on when the final order should be placed. Of course, you’re not always given the luxury of time from a customer. So it is still possible to secure our roses around two weeks before needed. But quantities or varieties may be more restricted particularly in the busy wedding season.
How long in advance of a wedding should florists receive David Austin Wedding Roses?
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend delivery approximately 4 days before the event. So for a Saturday wedding, receive the roses on a Tuesday. This gives you one day to fully hydrate them in cold storage, followed by a few days to open before you start arranging. We use cold storage to control the speed of opening and ambient room temperature to encourage their opening.
If a florist is using your roses for the first time, what advice would you give with regards to care and handling?
Firstly, we would say be confident. Our roses are incredibly resilient, and by following a few simple steps, you will reap the rewards. They do indeed require a little more time investment. But you will find it incredibly rewarding and a joyful process as you see the roses transform.
We’ve created our short how-to video ‘From Bud to Open Bloom’ to share our care and handling steps and top tips, removing any guesswork. And we’ve put together a downloadable leaflet, which is a great reference tool! Simply download it here by clicking on the ‘Download Leaflet’ button below the video.
Secondly, don’t hesitate to reach out to us to ask questions. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message us on social media at @davidaustinweddingroses. We read every message and aim to personally respond within 48 hours.
Finally, if you’ve never used our roses before, why not send your name and business details to email@example.com by 31st January 2021. Quote the word Flowerona, and we will choose ten florists at random to receive free David Austin samples.
Are all the David Austin Wedding Roses scented? And are they available all year round?
Unfortunately, not every variety has a scent. Our collection ranges from very light to intense perfumes.
When Mr Austin set about breeding roses over 70 years ago, he felt that breeders were allowing the fragrance to disappear. So his quest has always been to restore scent to the modern rose, but sometimes it can be elusive. Rose breeding isn’t an exact science. It is a balance and a compromise. And sometimes the unique beauty and charisma of a rose, such as Juliet (Ausjameson), will more than compensate for an elusive fragrance.
There is no such thing as a perfect rose, so our work will never end, but we will never stop looking for it…..David C H Austin (1926 – 2018)
And with year round availability it means that a wedding in December can be filled with fragrant David Austin Roses.
What do the terms Ausoblige, Auswasher, Austruss, etc in relation to the rose names mean?
Without getting too technical, as this is far outside our area of expertise (!), these are appellations or, more correctly, the “variety denomination”, which is unique to a variety. And officially is its primary identity. For example, ‘Juliet’ is the commercial name and Ausjameson is its denomination.
This may not appear essential nor relevant. But we invest a large amount of money in protecting our varieties worldwide for everyone’s benefit. The constant use of the variety denomination makes clear that the variety is Ausjameson, with Juliet being the commercial name, something that is essential when challenging illegal growing. The “Aus” prefix denotes ‘Austin’, the breeder.
Finally, you may have noticed that every wrap of David Austin Roses includes a tag, which is only available to our approved growers. Call this our hallmark of authenticity.
Could you tell us about your roles at David Austin Roses?
A cliché but not one day is the same! Variety is definitely the spice of life and we embrace it wholeheartedly. While our title is Marketing and PR, we feel our roles encompass so much more. As a small team, we cover everything from conditioning roses for a photoshoot, designing new material, speaking to consumers, florists, wholesalers, running our social media … the list goes on. Only recently, we received an inquiry from a florist based on the island of Sakhalin. We had to Google where in the world this is!
You could say the rose collection has indeed seduced us both. It is a constant source of inspiration. We are blown away by the floral masterpieces that come across our desks. And every day we say “how lucky are we”.
Above all, we are passionate about the brand, the collection, and the floral industry as a whole. We are continually learning from others and from David, our mentor, and boss. We have a front-row seat to David’s vision as he freely shares his knowledge and expertise and guides us through this ever-changing world.
As a florist, who can I contact at David Austin Wedding Roses for help and advice?
That would be us both! We’re here to help, either on the end of an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (+44 (0) 1902 376349), or social media message! We absolutely love talking roses, helping and, wherever we can, solve challenges. Sometimes those challenges can be impossible. But we will always try to find a way or ask someone else for help!
We look forward to hearing from you in the future. But in the meantime, we send our very best wishes to you all for the new year ahead.
Jo & Amy xx
P.S. Why not join our monthly e-newsletter group? Simply click here. It’s a great way of keeping in touch.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my interview with Jo and Amy and watching the ‘From Bud to Open Bloom’ video! On social media, you’ll find David Austin Wedding Roses on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
(Images: David Austin Wedding Roses)