Roses…there are so many different varieties, aren't there? To help you when you're buying this very popular bloom at New Covent Garden Flower Market, we thought, as part of our Product Profile series, that we'd take a look at them, by colour. And we're starting off this month with white and cream. Aren't these Avalanche roses below just so beautiful?
From the Rosaceae family, roses are one of the top 10 best-selling cut flowers in the UK and they're also the national flower of England. Available all year round, you'll find them in a variety of stem lengths. And they come from Holland, Ecuador, Colombia and the UK.
According to Shane Connolly's book 'The Language of Flowers', white roses have different meanings depending on whether they’re open, in bud, dried or withered. For example, an open white rose means 'I am worthy of you'.
Here are some of the different varieties of white and cream roses, which you'll find at Nine Elms.
The most popular white rose at the Market is Avalanche. It's a large-headed rose with a hint of green to its petals and sometimes tiny deep pink spots. You'll find Avalanche in stem lengths of 50-90cm. They generally come in wraps of 10 stems and their average vase life is 10-14 days. If you're looking for a reliable white rose, Avalanche is definitely the perfect choice! Available at the majority of flower wholesalers.
Akito is a medium-headed pure white rose that has a relatively long vase life. Usually available in stem lengths of 50-80cm, they come in wraps of 20 stems. Available at Alagar.
A beautiful white large-headed rose with a stunning scent. Stems lengths vary from 50-90cm and they generally come in wraps of 10 stems. Available at D G Wholesale Flowers, Dennis Edwards Flowers and Bloomfield.
Patience - David Austin
A buttermilk rose, Patience has a beautiful fresh old rose fragrance and ruffled petals. Available at Dennis Edwards.
White medium-headed rose in varying stem lengths. Available at Bloomfield.
Pure white large-headed rose, in different stem lengths. Available at Bloomfield.
The Mondial rose is a wonderful soft cream rose with a beautiful swirling petal structure. Available at Zest Flowers.
Large-headed white rose in varying stem lengths. Available at Zest Flowers.
Vendela, often mispelt 'Vendella', is a large-headed cream rose with an apricot hue to its petals. Available at Bloomfield.
The Green Eye rose is a relative newcomer to wholesale flower markets and it has an unusual appearance, with its white petals surrounding a green centre. Available at Dennis Edwards Flowers.
Other popular white and cream rose varieties include White O'Hara, White Naomi, Gussie, Dolomiti, Alabaster, Vitality and Polo. And don't forget Garden roses! There was a super profile written about them for British Flowers Week 2014. Plus there are a large number of spray roses available in white and cream hues, as you'll discover in this recent Spray Roses Product Profile.
James (pictured below) at D G Wholesale Flowers says:
"Avalanche is the most common white rose. From the 'Eagle' grower, there's black label and blue label Avalanche. Black label is picked when the buds are relatively tight, whilst blue are picked when the roses are more open. Norma Jeane is a beautifully scented rose, which is great for weddings, but it's not as long-lasting as Avalanche. And Akito, due to its size, is perfect for buttonholes. As a general rule, the longer the stem length, the larger the rose head. Some florists blow on the petals to open up the roses and make them fuller. Care wise, make sure to not get any moisture on the rose petals, as it can mark them."
Jon (pictured below) at J H Hart Flowers, says:
"Some people like the green guard petals which Avalanche roses tend to have. But it really depends on the look that you're trying to achieve. White and cream roses are most sought after during the wedding season from May to end September. And sometimes they're in demand too at Christmas, as a contrast to traditional red roses."
Bobby at Alagar says: "Take care when handling white and cream roses, as if you manhandle them, the petals can become bruised. Buy them 2-3 days before a wedding to allow them to open up in time."
Paul at S Robert Allen says: "White O'Hara, an Ecuadorian rose, is very popular. They have a big head like a garden rose. And Alabaster is quite similar to White O'Hara."
Barry at Zest Flowers says: "Ecuadorian roses are top quality. They have thicker stems, bigger heads and are long-lasting."
From the Instagram feeds of Market customers, here are some examples of fabulous floral designs featuring white and cream roses.
(Source: Euphoric Flowers)
(Source: Simon Lycett)
(Source: By Appointment Only Design)
Thank you so much to everyone who sent in their photos for last month's Product Profile on freesias. This month, we'd love to see photos of designs you've made using white and cream roses from New Covent Garden Flower Market. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, stating your company name, website address and the variety of rose used. Or if you prefer, you could post your photo on Twitter and copy us in, by including @MarketFlowers in your tweet. We'll then upload your photos into this new section.
So, I hope you've enjoyed reading this month's report and it's given you lots of inspiration. Please do ask away below if you have any questions or would like to make any general comments. We'd love to hear from you…
P.S. Which colour of rose would you like us to feature next?