Garden roses inspired by London landmarks

Neill Strain Floral Couture is renowned for its diverse range of rare and exceptional flowers throughout the year and, during the summer months, for its Garden Roses in particular. With the grower's enthusiasm for Neill's London clientele, an entire range of exquisite Garden Roses has been named after London landmarks, many of which are available exclusively at Neill Strain Floral Couture. Following a recent visit to the grower's glasshouse in Holland, Neill tells us the story of these London-inspired Roses.

"Garden Roses are one of our most popular sellers both at our Belgravia boutique and our concession at Harrods. Is it the nostalgia of the Roses we loved in our parents' or grandparents' gardens when we were children; is it that intense fragrance that we no longer find in most commercially-grown Roses today; or is it just the exquisite shape of those hundreds of petals that appear to be never-ending as the Roses gradually open? I go to great lengths during my sourcing visits in Holland to find the most beautiful Garden Roses to satisfy my clients' aspirations and I have found them at VIP Roses.

"VIP Roses, of Sassen Brothers, is a second generation family owned and operated business. Cor Sassen founded the business originally growing Carnations which he changed to Roses in 1975. Almost three decades ago, Cor's three sons, Marc, Ed and Jeroen Sassen, took over the company and it was the brothers passion for Garden Roses that led them to focus on these beauties and form the brand VIP Roses in 2008. Since then they have created a magnificent and ever-growing portfolio of more than 40 Rose varieties grown in 3 glasshouses covering 3,500 m2.

"Ed and Marc work closely with the Dutch Rose breeders, constantly looking out for exceptional Garden Roses to add to their selection. They work mostly with breeders De Ruiter, Spek, Kordes, Olij, Schreurs and Meilland whose Garden Roses have made up the VIP Victorian range, a Jane-Austin inspired range, scented Roses, "Minor Grass-Heart" Roses, and many more.

"Only two years ago, with more and more exquisite Roses in bloom, Ed and Marc decided to create a range of blooms named after the famous landmarks of London, the British being inspirational both for growing Roses and as a valuable clientele. The first Rose was called "London Eye" at the request of its breeder, Spek. Today, the London range boasts 9 varieties."

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