“If you love a rose, you have to love its thorns too.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

Roses possess an ancient history from fossilised findings millions of years old, to references 7000 years ago. Noted by Shakespeare and collected by Empress Josephine, a rose should be reliably by your side in any garden. Romantic and very English, although their origins lie in Asia, they provide years of pleasure, whether in the form of rose bushes or climbing rose plants entwined up walls.

Loved all over the world for their fragrance and beauty and its symbolic representation of love and romance. However, we think we might know this infamous floral but there’s much more than meets the eye. That’s why we’ve put together 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Roses!

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Roses

1. An Extended Family

There are around 100 varieties of roses, that differ in colour, scent and shape!

2. The History of Roses

Roses are the oldest variety of plant on the planet. Ancient Romans cultivated the flowers to decorate buildings and furniture, and even laid rose petal carpets.

3. The Language of Roses

The language of roses and other flowers, floriography, has been used in many parts of the world. It has been used for thousands of years but only really took off here during Victorian times. Therefore, the colour of a rose signifies its meaning. Red signifies ‘love’, peach ‘modesty’, pinks ‘grace’ and yellow signifies ‘joyfulness’.

4. That’s one expensive rose…

In 2006 David Austin sold his Juliet Rose for a staggering $15.8 million (c. £10 million). After harvesting it for as long as 15 years!

5. They’ve even turned blue!

For years, breeders tried to genetically manipulate different species and colours of roses to create a blue one. In 2004, the world got its first blue rose.

6. Roses are edible!

Roses may look pretty in a vase but, their petals are edible too! They are very popular for their uses in rose water which is then often added to jellies or jams!

7. War of the Roses

War of Roses was named after roses were used to symbolise the side in which people supported or were fighting for. White roses symbolised Yorkshire and the red rose symbolised Lancaster.

8. The tallest rose!

The tallest rose bush ever recorded stood at an incredible 23 feet tall.

9. Hidden meanings

If your bunch of roses has open flowers this symbolises a love that’s already blossomed. However, tightly closed buds represent undeclared emotion.

10. The largest bouquet of Roses!

As recorded by the Guinness World Book of Records the largest bouquet was made from 156,940 roses. It was created by and displayed in NordWestZentrum shopping mall in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

What are the best roses to buy?

Now you know everything there is to know about roses you may be ready to start your very own rose garden or perhaps add a unique variety to an existing one. Below are some of our most popular bare-root roses with beautiful fragrant blooms that will lift your mood and attract those all-important pollinators to your garden!

The annual Rose of the Year Competition trials new roses from across the world, taking into account their performance on UK soil. Here at Dobies, we are thrilled to be able to offer the most current award winner – Rose of the Year 2021 – Belle de Jour

Belle de Jour

Rose of the Year 2021!

The Belle de Jour has an intense fragrance with hints of vanilla. Yellow buds with flashes of flame open to reveal golden-yellow blooms with masses of petals. Vigorous growing variety the Belle de Jour’s blooms can grow up to 7cm across. This rose variety will make a beautiful addition to borders or as a low hedge – With excellent disease resistance and a vigorous, upright habit. You can also create beautiful flower arrangements, as this variety will last really well when cut for the vase. Flowers June-October. Height 100-150cm; spread 90-100cm.

Precious Amber

RHS Award of Garden Merit

The Precious Amber will produce beautiful blooms of apricot, amber and orange shades that are lightly scented. Repeat flowering with colour from June-September. Height 60-70cm; spread 60-70cm. Precious Roses are award-winning varieties that rightly deserve their accolades. Boundless blooming, super healthy and also ideal for patio pots and filling gaps in beds and borders.

Timeless Purple

RHS Award of Garden Merit

A gorgeous regal purple variety, Timeless Purple is definitely one that catches your eye. These pinkish-purple blooms are richly perfumed and will put on a scrumptious display in any garden or patio containers. Perfect for homegrown cut flowers as new growth repeat flowers quickly after cutting. RHS Award of Garden Merit winner. Flowers June-September. Height 90-100cm; spread 90-100cm.

Hot Chocolate

Novelty Rose of the Year 2006!

Hot Chocolate is a really unique colour flower and definitely one to go for if you’re looking for something different. Popular amongst horticulturalists – it has glorious vintage coloured blooms. Petals are shades of orange tinged with red and dusky pinky brown. Very easy to grow and disease resistant. RHS Award of Garden Merit winner. Flowers June-October. Height 90-100cm; spread 80-90cm.

Super Trouper

RHS Award of Garden Merit winner

Super Trouper is a repeat flowering compact floribunda rose. Fruity mandarin orange blooms contrast with glossy green foliage. Flowers through summer and is a compact floribunda variety with a delicate fragrance. Vibrant blooms that are well-formed and freely borne on a neat bushy rose plant of medium height. Flowers June-September. Height 90-100; spread 90-100cm.

For Your Eyes Only

RHS Award of Garden Merit

For Your Eyes Only is a beautiful floribunda rose that will flower continuously throughout the summer. This rose plants unique flowers have a distinct darker centre and prominent bright yellow stems. It will fill your garden with a delicate light scent. For Your Eyes Only is the perfect rose plant for a patio and has excellent disease resistance. Flowers June-September. Height 90-100; spread 90-100cm.

Nostalgie

RHS Award of Garden Merit winner

Nostalgie is a stunning rose with gorgeous cream petals with a rose blush and edged with ruby red. Long stems hold beautiful small clusters. Sweet fragrance. Repeat flowering through the summer. They will make a beautiful addition to any rose garden or border. Flowers June-September. Height 90-100cm; spread 60-70cm.

We have many rose plants for sale, including the golden floribunda rose offers months of flowering and a delightful scent, perfect for a border or pot. Lucky is the ideal rose for growing at the back of a mixed herbaceous border, and may also be grown in a large container. 

If you like rose cut flowers, bring them indoors. Our Timeless Collection for the Home Florist is for you. You’ll also find a handy guide on creating your own floral arrangements. Browse our full collection below because a garden is not a garden without a rose.