BOGOTA, Colombia: Colour variety is a playground—and the wide scope of garden roses a well-stocked toy box. Alexandra Farms, the premier grower of fresh cut garden roses and spray roses from Colombia, invited the world’s top designers and wedding event planners on their tried and trusted and new spectacular new varieties.
No doubt, the color that comes first to mind when you think about garden roses is probably a blush pink or peach or creamy white—the perfect choice for classic wedding design. But today, wedding palettes are trending brighter and more vibrant, and garden roses are coming into wider use for all kinds of floral designs—whenever the occasion (or non-occasion) warrants something special.
Fortunately, garden roses come in almost all the colors of the rainbow, from delicate tints to rich tones and eye-popping brights. And let’s not forget the quality that makes garden roses so versatile a component in all kinds of colour combinations: blended hues that can range in one flower from soft to saturated (think ‘Beatrice’ (Auslevity) or ‘Effie’ (Ausgray), with pale outer petals and buttery interiors) or transition from one hue to another—say, pink to peach (‘Miyabi’) or from bright salmon to bubblegum pink (‘Rosa Loves Me’ (Just a Little Bit More)).
Look at some of the latest wedding palette trends, as revealed by experts at The Knot, and it’s remarkable how they line up with the colours of garden roses. It’s almost as though the colours of the roses have influenced the trends—which, of course, they have!
Lilac and lavender are coming on strong, in fresh new colour combinations. Lavender roses like ‘Tiara’, ‘Princess Kaori’ (Fragrant), or our new Wabara garden spray rose ‘Sola’ are pairing up with candy-colored pastels like soft pinks, pale greens, and lemony yellows.
Indeed, yellow is coming into its own as a cheerful, surprisingly harmonious accent colour. At her studio Revelation Design in Florida, Brooke Raulerson, AIFD, FSMD, recently did a wedding all in lavenders, whites and yellows, with ‘Catalina’ lending its creamy, citrusy hue to the mix. “It lasted beautifully and was a big hit with everyone at the wedding,” said Brooke.
Yellow and lavender both make cozy companions to light blue, another trending colour for wedding celebrations. Light blue also pairs well with hues such as burgundy or rusty orange—colours often favoured for fall weddings and abundant in the garden rose palette, from wine-red ‘Darcey’ (Auschariot) or ‘Tess’ (Ausyacht) to the aptly named ‘Sunset’.
According to The Knot, a tasty, sherbet-y orange—they’re calling it papaya orange—is the latest variation on salmon, coral or peach. ‘Free Spirit’ and ‘Princess Aiko’ (Beloved) both meet the description of this colour, perfect for pairing either with earthy neutrals or with vivid brights.
And brights are in a trend category all their own, a throwback to the eighties and nineties (with appeal, therefore, to millennials). Vivid pinks like ‘Ashley’, ‘Pink Piano’ or ‘Baronesse’, tangy yellows like ‘Catalina’ or ‘Lemon Pompon’, even bright reds like ‘Piano’ or ‘Wanted’ all fill the bill—not to mention, again, glowing orange garden roses like ‘Free Spirit’, ‘Sunset’ or ‘Princess Aiko’.
“My favourite garden rose is ‘Princess Aiko’, with that vibrant orangey color in the center, pink on the outside,” says Brooke. “We sell a lot of it. It works with all kinds of bold colors.”
Neutrals, especially earthy, sandy tones like those found in ‘Amnesia’, ‘Quicksand’, ‘Golden Mustard’, ‘Caramel Antike’, ‘Sahara Sensation’ or ‘Westminster Abbey’, remain among the most popular choices for 2021 and beyond, earthy yet sophisticated, compatible with ivory and linen tones.
In floral design, of course, the ultimate neutral is green—which has long been coming to the fore for weddings, with couples choosing arrangements featuring more and more green foliage, along with décor that relies heavily on lavish use of green plants. A rose like ‘Charity’ (Auswasher), with her petite green eye, harmonises with other greens in the environment. Or, for a stronger statement, try adding some ‘Princess Midori’ (Green) garden spray roses to the mix.
‘Princess Midori’ looks great with dark, winey tones (as in ‘Darcey’ or ‘Tess’), according to designer, educator and influencer Holly Heider Chapple—and that’s a look that’s no longer limited to fall or winter.
Indeed, one of the broad colour trends is the liberation of colour from seasonal constraints. “Reds like ‘Piano’ and ‘Darcey’ can be paired with just about anything and used at any time of year,” says Brooke, “not just for weddings but for sympathy and everyday design.”
That said, Brooke loves a combination of different reds, like ‘Piano’, ‘Darcey’ and ‘Tess’, for Christmas. “Going for a more upscale, premium look, sometimes we don’t want the strong contrast with whites and reds,” she explains. “So we’ll play off the reds on top of each other.” The tone-on-tone effect brings all the texture of garden roses to the fore.