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Remembrance Roses for Valentine's Day

Close up of rose bush with red flowers, with sun shining behind it

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

If your partner has died, Valentine’s Day can be difficult to cope with, especially if their death was recent. You might prefer to ignore it, but if you are ready, it can be a good time to do something positive in remembrance of them.

A remembrance rose, which will bloom for many years is a beautiful, and discrete, tribute for anyone who has died, and there are several varieties that are particularly appropriate for Valentine's Day. Late winter and early spring are also ideal times to plant ‘bare-root’ varieties of remembrance roses, either in your garden or in containers.

You can also send a bare-root remembrance rose in the post as a sympathy gift for a bereaved friend or relative, although you should always ensure that they are happy to recieve it before you do so.

Where can you buy a Valentine's Day remembrance rose?

A pink rose

Photo courtesy of Style Roses

In the UK, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to specialists who grow remembrance roses. There are many beautiful remembrance roses to choose, named to pay meaningful tribute to someone you miss.

If you don’t have a garden, it’s often possible to find your chosen variety in a form that will live happily in containers and a good garden centre will be able to advise on the plant that’s right for you.

You’ll be surprised just how many varieties of roses there are to discover, with so many to choose with names expressing loving sentiments and endearments.

If you feel something unique is more fitting, you can find rose-growers who have single, un-named rose bushes available to buy as a one-off, which you are free to name after your loved one.

A more expensive option is to commission a rose-breeder to develop a commercial rose, to be named in memory of that special someone. It’s not always a possibility and it’s a process that can take several years and can cost up to £2,000. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has some useful links to growers from whom you can find out more.

Whether you’re looking for a rose to be grown in a patio pot, a more formal upright ‘standard’, prefer a rambling profusion of perfumed buds and petals or like dramatic statement blooms, you might also want to consider the time of year they are likely to burst into flower, if this coincides with a significant anniversary.

How do you plant a remembrance rose?

Bare root roses are just that – so expect to receive a cluster of short, leafless stems atop a bunch of lifeless-looking roots. But don’t be dismayed – you’ll be surprised just how quickly they burst into life by the springtime. Before planting, soak the rootstock in a bucket of water for half an hour.

Photo by Anthon Rachek

Choose your perfect planting spot on a frost-free day and dig a hole with a fork, wide enough to accommodate the plant’s spread-out roots. Once you’ve positioned your rose (making sure that the visible join, where the plant has been grafted onto the roots, sits slightly above the soil surface), back-fill the hole with a mixture of soil and manure or fertiliser.

Gardening can be a helpful activity to help you cope with grief. If you find it therapeutic you might be able to find a group near you which offers it as a form of support. In Gloucestershire, for instance, Ronan’s Trust was established to bring bereaved individuals and families together to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers.

Planting a rose in memory of someone that you loved can be a wonderful living memorial that will grow and thrive for many years to come. Funeral Guide also has a list of beautiful remembrance roses that can be planted all year round.

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