I was very fortunate to visit the largest garden rose farm in the world, Alexandra Farms, located in Bogota, Colombia. It was truly amazing to see these beautiful garden roses in person and meet florist designers around the world.
I had two amazing days at their farm and saw so much. I saw garden roses that were smaller than a fingernail, and on the other end of the spectrum, garden roses bigger than my head! The variety was astounding.
But one thing is that each garden rose had was a captivating scent. Each has a specific smell that is unique to each variety. From citrus to heavy floral fragrance, it ranges differently from each bloom. You can imagine the fragrant sort of heaven I was in being surrounded by these blooms!
Alexandra Farms grows and sells more than 60 varieties of garden roses on their two farms, and I got to view over 70 other varieties that they were experimenting with. I even had the chance to vote whether or not they should continue to grow these varieties or if it was not worth eventually bringing to the public.
It was wonderful to see the scale of the operation and the large team that works for Alexandra Farms. Each staff member is responsible for their own section of garden roses. They are so proud of what they grow and how they take care of these young flowers from small bushes all the way to a mature, blooming plant. They are responsible for controlling pests, fertilizing the plants, and harvesting the roses one by one.
Most people know Alexandra Farms Roses mainly for David Austin’s Garden Roses, and yes, their best selling rose is the peach colored Juliet. But did you know that they have their very own special line of deluxe garden roses? They also have a large Japanese line of the Princess Japanese Garden Roses and the Wabara of the Rose Farm Keiji Garden Roses. I highly recommend you set aside some time to browse all of these collections, because you will get sucked into all of the pretty photos and info.
Another incredible line up that they are now offering is fresh-cut dahlias available year round! Isn’t that incredible? This is the first year that they are offering more than a dozen varieties and colors of dahlias. If you were looking for the cafe au lait in February, they have it!!!
The most surprising thing for me on this trip was seeing the bloom cycle of these garden roses. They start out with just a simple small bud, and then bloom to these extraordinary flowers with intricate centers. On average each rose head had about a hundred or so petals! As a paper florist with a keen interest in the petal make-up of a flower, this fact wowed me.
If you want to dive into the world of garden roses, I highly recommend it! Here are some ways to get started:
Become a Garden Rose Expert
If you are interested in becoming a garden rose expert, consider enrolling in the Alexandra Farms Certified Designer Course. Jose Azout (President of the Alexandra Farms) and Holly Chapple (Floral Designer Extraordinaire) have partnered to help you master the knowledge and care of garden roses. The course even includes 96 stems to practice with! Besides the amazing lifetime access to all of this knowledge, you will also receive floral design recipes, special sales, and early notification of new garden rose varieties before anyone else.
Win a Trip to Alexandra Farms
If you are interested in a chance to visit the farm, consider entering their Garden Rose Design Contest! They just announced the 2022 winners and 2023 contest will be open later this fall. Make sure to sign up for their newsletter or follow them on Instagram to be notified when it is open.
The first-place prize is an all-expense-paid trip for two to Alexandra Farms. Other prizes include 1,000 or 500 stems of garden roses. What would you do with all of those amazing blooms?
I’d love to hear what your favorite variety of garden rose is and how you’d use 500 of them! You can also check out my paper flower garden rose tutorial that is available now via Florist’s Review. Tag me on Instagram @pinkandposey with your fresh or paper garden rose creations!
Quick Garden Roses Tips When You Get Them
When you receive your garden roses, be sure to follow these tips: