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Alexandra Farms started growing Wabara roses
"Many romantic roses are still undiscovered"
Garden roses are traditionally very popular for weddings. Brides love to include the white, pink, peach and pastel colored roses in their bouquet. Also at this year’s most bespoke wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, these romantic flowers also played a role. In her bouquet Meghan chose garden roses (Lady Di’s favorite flowers) along with peonies and foxgloves. Since everything that has been chosen at the royal wedding gains popularity, it is promising for the garden rose.
Ken Kunieda, Jose Azout, and Yuki Nakamura.
Colombian garden rose farm Alexandra Farms started in 2007 with eight varieties of garden roses, now they grow over fifty. This year they started growing the Wabara roses, varieties bred by Japanese breeder Keiji Kunieda of Rose Farm Keiji. “We tested over twenty-five varieties and we have chosen three for their beauty, hardiness and performance in the vase: Miyabi, Senlitsu and Tsumugi. Miyabi is a very sophisticated flower. It is hot pink on the edges and as it opens it reveals a peach heart. Tsumugi is a fabulous light pink, large cup shaped rose with over 100 petals. Senlitsu is a bit different. It has a deep cup shape and green exterior petals. It is a huge hit in Russia and also very popular in the US", says Jose Azout, owner of Alexandra Farms.
Alexandra Farms grows the Wabara varieties on half a hectare. “We expect to grow three more varieties next year. Therefore we are planning to expand growing them on three hectares in the next two or three years.
This year’s wedding season did have a good start. Only two months and Jose sees a twenty percent increase in interest in garden roses compared to last year.
According to Jose there are a lot of beautiful varieties that are just undiscovered. “Many of the roses nowadays are very identical to each other. They have been bred just to last fifteen days travelling and another twenty days in a vase, but in the process they lost the charm of fragrance and of romantic cup shapes and the performance in the vase. Therefore we want to bring back the varieties with old-fashioned shapes and fragrances. That is also why the cooperation with Ken Kunieda of Rose Farm Keiji works well. He is a master breeder of this sort of varieties. We want to continue to bring to the world old garden rose varieties with romantic shapes and fragrance. We will work with our partners at Wabara, David Austin, Tantau, Meilland and Kordes Roses. There are many varieties that are still undiscovered to the cut flower business. It is very exciting for us to keep finding new and better flowers.”
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