It's no secret that I'm an avid fan and adept of garden style. I take every opportunity to work with garden roses for weddings, events, occasions, and my free work. When a marketing director from De Ruiter, the world's largest rose breeder, Örjan Hulshof called me and invited me to visit their nursery in Amstelveen, about a 20-minute drive from my creative flower studio in Amsterdam, I was overjoyed.
Overjoyed to Be Here
Örjan showed me the greenhouse with dozens of rose varieties, many of which were tagged with a number code instead of a name: Örjan explained that these roses are still being developed for the market, that it takes up to 8 years to produce a perfectly healthy and strong new variety that could be presented to growers from all over the world to be chosen by them for large scale production. I learned that De Ruiter is represented in 25 countries worldwide, their roses grow in different parts of the world, from South America and Africa to my native Russia and China. It was a very informative and exciting first visit.
Rose London Eye and many wonderful new varieties adored by Shari & me at De Ruiter nursery.
The World’s Most Beautiful Roses Bowing Under Their Weight
Örjan came up with the idea to use some of the images from my portfolio for large-scale prints for their office decoration. He selected an image of a wall arrangement made with orange roses and dry materials that I made for my last year's blog for the Trend Color 2021 theme "Scorched Earth", titled 'The Edge of the Cliff', as well as a romantic Tuscan flower arrangement, made with beautiful roses from my Italian friend's garden. You can see it in the article 'Summer Flowers in Tuscany.'
Overwhelming natural beauty is found in Sahara Bubbles spray roses and in the richness of the greenhouse I was flattered and honored that my work was selected, but at the same time, I felt that it would be much more valuable to make a few special arrangements with the roses from De Ruiter's greenhouse for their posters. I was really impressed by some corners of the greenhouse, where roses bowed under the weight, the richness and the beauty of the landscape almost overwhelmed me. We agreed on a date and on November 1, the start of an important week in Aalsmeer, an international trade fair for floriculture, me and my South African colleague Shari Tamar Akal, with whom I wanted to share this great experience, donned two white protective suits and entered this rose breeder's paradise.
A mind-blowing London Eye rose and sales manager Arjen enjoyed himself with Lavender Bubbles and Alegria sprays.
A selfie with Shari & Arjen and one of my favorite images of a sensual spray rose stem Pink Dimension bending under its weight.
We’re in a Florist’s Paradise!
You may wonder why a protective suit should be worn in the nursery. The reason is bacteria that can be brought into the greenhouse by humans and can be harmful to roses. It felt quite warm in the suit, but Shari and I were so obsessed with the beauty that surrounded us that we didn't worry about discomfort at all. We made our hosts Marco & Arjen, who accompanied us and cut roses for us, laugh often shouting "We're in a florist's paradise!", "It's so beautiful here!", "Look at this one!" “Ah, it's soooo beautiful!”, “Can we have some?” "Just one?!? Ok.." Marco carefully cut some of the most beautiful roses, maintaining the integrity and representative look of each variety on display.
Marco proudly demonstrates the excellent new variety Cynthia and my favorite spray rose Ranosha. The roses we were picking were wonderfully open and ready to shine in our floral arrangements. It is such a different experience compared to our normal work routine when we usually work with closed-cut flowers and have to wait for them to open. Like this, they are for sure the world’s most beautiful roses.
Shari walked through the fields of flowers and buckets with our “harvest".
Roses That Would Certainly Be Appreciated by My Customers
What amazed me is the fact that many of these absolutely breathtakingly outstanding roses will never find their way to a consumer. The chain is designed in such a way that the growers make their choices at the breeder's nurseries which rose will have the opportunity to be grown on a large scale and enter the market. They do it according to their local or global market demands, trends, traditions, cultural expectations, experience, technical conditions, commercial considerations, many other reasons.
We florists hardly have an opportunity to influence their choices, to contribute our expertise and experience into it, although at the end of the chain we are the closest to the last and most important fragment of the chain: our customer. Some of the roses I have seen during the selection of the roses in the greenhouse were so unusual, very impressive, and would certainly be appreciated by my customers.
The sensuality and beauty of the roses are very touching.
The Roses Are the Absolute Queens in the Arrangement
After a few hours of fun and exciting roses 'foraging’ in the greenhouse, many jokes exchanged and photos taken, Shari and I made a few bouquets and flower arrangements with the freshly cut roses of our choice. I made a large garden-style bouquet in a warm color scheme. I have used about 20 different rose varieties, from cream, soft peach, to intense terracotta and orange with some warm light pink roses at the end of the gradient.
My arrangements are often seasonal. You can see that reflected in textural elements - berries, rosehip, and ilex. The roses are the absolute queens in the arrangement, their overwhelming beauty is touching and makes me emotional every time I see them in the pictures.
Shari’s fantastic bridal bouquet and Lavender Bubbles spray roses which she used.
Shari Has Her Master’s Degree in Fashion and Teaches at the Amsterdam Fashion Academy
Shari is an excellent South African florist who recently moved to Amsterdam. She contacted me last summer and offered her freelance services for my larger events and weddings. When I saw her portfolio I was very impressed with her skills, excellent shapes, and deep understanding of color.
Shari has her master's degree in fashion and teaches at the Amsterdam Fashion Academy. I am honored and grateful to be able to work with Shari on some of my projects as her talent and expertise enhance my work and services. It felt good and natural to invite Shari to collaborate with me and share this magical experience in De Ruiter’s nursery. Her gorgeous bridal bouquet, made with about seven different types of roses in the analogous lavender-purple-magenta color scheme, is absolutely gorgeous!
Coffee Bubbles and Belle Histoire.
Shari's impression of the collaboration:
"It was a truly magical experience wandering through De Ruiter’s greenhouse. Gaining an understanding of the decades-long processes undertaken to create each unique rose variety added to my already great love of this classic flower. Being able to choose stems cut directly from the plant is a florist’s dream. The wide range of colors, tones, shapes, and sizes inspired me to create a hand-tied bridal bouquet in shades of lavender, using both large single-stem and cluster roses from the greenhouse."
My wall arrangement in mixed technique, made in my studio in Amsterdam. I mixed six varieties of De Ruiter roses, hydrangeas, painted foliage, scabiosa, clematis, and rosehip in this creative floral design.
A Floral Fantasy and an Emotional Expression in Itself
Now in autumn, the days here in northern Europe are very short. I didn't have enough time that day to realize all my ambitions and took some roses with me to my creative flower studio in Amsterdam. I made this artistic wall arrangement in a mixed technique.
From a recent wedding, there were some excellent hydrangeas in the most unusual hues of grey and blue, painted leaves, some rose hips, scabiosa, clematis. I felt like a painter mixing splashes of colors, textures, and shapes. It was a beautiful moment of creative expression, pure, fulfilling, and joyful. In the beginning, I was quite critical and skeptical about this design, but now when I look at the photos I have to say that it has a right to exist. It is a floral fantasy and an emotional expression in itself.
Shari’s garden-style arrangement is made with white varieties of De Ruiter.
"So Grateful to Have Been Included in This Collaboration"
While I was working on my fall arrangement, Shari looked at several varieties of white roses. She carefully selected them for her asymmetrical, foam-free, garden-style flower arrangement, made with acacia or mimosa branches, lisianthus, alstroemeria, and eucalyptus. It was lovely and the white roses were displayed so well. Shari’s comments:
“In contrast to this color-rich bouquet, I then assembled an asymmetric vase arrangement with De Ruiter’s numerous white Rose varieties. This time was inspired by the differences in petal shape and texture of each rose. The final arrangement of the day was designed to combine two bold colors, peach and purple to create something a little more whimsical. These three styles highlight the versatility of a rose, especially De Ruiter’s roses, which are each so thoughtfully created. I am so grateful to have been included in this collaboration with Katya Hutter, De Ruiter, and Thursd. An experience is not quickly forgotten."
My Garden-style bouquet is made with about ten different varieties of flowers and foliage.
The breathtaking beauty and perfection of the roses make me emotional.
"I Am in Love With Their Big Perfect Heads, Long-Lasting Performance and Attractive Shapes."
Another garden bouquet made in my studio in Amsterdam with a flamboyant London Eye rose in a pink shade and a few more garden roses from the De Ruiter collection. It contains six different varieties of roses and is made in a pretty bold color scheme with pink, peach, and yellow accents. It smelled so good and lasted for a really long time. I must say that I am surprised by the excellent quality of the roses and the large size of the heads. As I understood they are not exactly garden roses but have a garden look. I usually work with top-quality French, English, and Japanese garden roses. De Ruiter roses is a new exciting niche for me to explore. I am in love with their big perfect heads, long-lasting performance, and attractive shapes.
My favorite spray roses, I hope they will be available on the market soon.
After a long productive day at the nursery and close collaboration with the De Ruiter team, it felt like we were one big family. I know it sounds banal, but in fact, Marco, Arjen, Örjan, Shari, me, and other colleagues enjoyed each other's company, exchanged jokes, appreciation, and passion for roses. Imagine my excitement to hear from Örjan the excellent news that De Ruiter wants to continue our collaboration and involve me as an influencer and a creative force in their magical world of roses breeding. I am excited and honored and can't wait for the future to unfold!
Shari and I with Örjan posing surrounded by the wonderful roses