The Victory Bouquets of the 2012 Oylmpic games in London combine the essence of the English love of flowers featuring four different cultivars of roses separated by applemint, lavender, rosmary, and wheat, tied up in a traditional nosegay with a purple ribbon. Ah…what a lovely, nostalgic bouquet complete with delightful fragrance; a feast for the eyes as well as the nose. But what about those roses? Take a close look at the bouquet and you will see that they are quite spectacular.
The roses used are not your everyday garden variety of rose. In fact, they would probably not do very well in most gardens as they are not very hardy and are usually grown in a greenhouse. Here are the available stats on these roses.
This popular rose has been around a while and has flowers 3.5” to 4.3” across with 25-35 corn yellow petals with a lime green tinge on the outer ones. The stems are 20-35” long and somewhat thorny.
Buds 1.6-2” high open to hot pink flowers 3.5-4.5” across with 35-40 petals. The stems are 24-31” long and thornless.
As the standard bi-colored/orange rose, Marie Claire has large buds 1.4-1.8” high that open to flowers 3.3-3.7” across with 30-45 petals. Stems are moderately thorny and 24-31” long.
A relative newcomer to the florist scene, Wimbledon is prized for its green flowers. Relative to the other roses used in the bouquet, the flowers are small, only 2” across, and the stems are short, 16-20” long.
As beautiful as these four roses are, none of them are noted for scent. Fortunately, the designer included fragrant herbs so that when the winners sniffed their bouquets, as some did, there was a pleasant fragrance to complement the gorgeous array of color. The mint, lavender, wheat, and rosemary also added texture to contrast with the smooth silkiness of the rose petals. Simply elegant!
Although these roses are not good garden plants there are an excellent choice for using in arrangements. They were chosen for the Olympic bouquets for the durability of their blooms and their ability to look good for the longest period possible as a cut flower. Most local florists will probably not have these in the cooler but could order them if you give them a few days notice.
If you would like to learn more about Olympic bouquets see my post on Olympic Bouquets of the Past.