• Julia Watson

Fashions and Fads and Ugly Roses


'Ingrid Bergman' is NOT an ugly rose, but in 2021 she's not in fashion.

I don’t much care for roses in subdued neutral colors like beige, mocha, tan, ecru, buff and sand. I know they’ve been in vogue for brides for a while now, but I think they’re ugly. There, I’ve said it – they’re ugly! To be fair, floral designers can do wonderful things with beige roses, and one of the best places to see that is on the blog Flirty Fleurs. I've seen gorgeous bouquets there, but in my own garden I'll stick to other colors.



I guess it’s a good thing I’m not growing for brides. That’s the beauty of being a small business - I can do (mostly) what I want, and I want to grow flowers that are beautiful in form and color. For many large-scale growers this isn’t an option – they have to keep up with fashions or they would lose out on lucrative orders. But I see a day coming when they’ll probably tear out all those neutral roses like Quicksand, Toffee, Camel, Sandy and even my namesake, Julia’s Rose, and replace them with the next fad.


With the advances in genetic engineering using CRISPR, there may blue roses someday. Maybe there could be roses in the clear, blue-sky color of Meconopsis, aka Himalayan Blue poppy. That’s a fad I might get behind, although I’d probably still prefer roses in delicate shell pinks or blends of peach and coral.


But fashion often moves to opposites, so I predict that the next fad will be rich deep reds, made new again by pairing them with flowers and foliage in unexpected colors or forms. Roses like Mr. Lincoln could make a comeback. It’s a rose that a florist could love – strong stems, weighty petals, flawless flower form. But brides could love it too – the deep red would set off their pale dresses, and the fragrance would weave itself into memory.



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