Now that’s a thorny issue! Rose bush popularity wilts as young people think the romantic flowers are twee and old-fashioned
- Experts have launched a campaign to revive the rose after sales have fallen
- They went from an estimated 65million a year in the 1960s to 5million in 2021
- Some 5,000 rose plants have been sent to community gardens across the UK
Once upon a time it all looked rosy – their bright buds a staple of parks and gardens.
But sales of home-grown rose bushes have plummeted in recent decades as they are deemed ‘old-fashioned and twee’.
Now, alarmed by the plant’s wilting popularity, experts have launched a campaign to revive the rose – with next month’s Chelsea Flower Show presenting an opportunity for a formal ‘call to arms’.
Sales of home-grown rose bushes have plummeted in recent decades as they are deemed ‘old-fashioned and twee’
Celebrity gardener David Domoney, who is backing the campaign, told The Sunday Telegraph: ‘Young people see the rose as old-fashioned and twee and what their grandparents grew. So it’s time we…appreciated its versatility – its beauty, use in perfumes, health treatments and even in food.’
Sales are estimated to have fallen from 65million a year in the 1960s to five million last year.
Some 5,000 rose plants have been sent to community gardens across the UK as part of the campaign – with 100,000 more to be given away over the next decade.
Sales are estimated to have fallen from 65million a year in the 1960s to five million last year [File image]
David White, managing director of Harkness Roses, which is also supporting the campaign, said: ‘When I was a boy roses were seen in public parks and gardens everywhere, but over the years their reputation has gone down as people think they are too difficult to grow and you have to go on a three-day pruning course to look after them.
‘But the new varieties are so easy to grow. Young gardeners don’t want to spend months tending their garden, they just want an instant garden that can be an outdoor room and roses are ideal and great value.
‘A typical plant costs £15 that will give 100 flowers a year for 15 years which works out 1p a flower.
‘We want to galvanise all growers and breeders to revive the rose.’