A unique selection of beautifully colourful (and delicious) edible roses come to Dobbies just in time for spring. Plant now for a gorgeous summer crop.

Discover the edible plants you can grow on your doorstep. As gardens burst into life, the launch of a brand new variety of roses will add even more excitement to your flower beds.

Not just pretty, roses contain high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants, matching and even outperforming lots of common fruits and vegetables.

It’s time to take a fresh look at one of the UK’s best loved flowers, as Dobbies Garden Centres celebrates the launch of their ‘Taste of Love’ culinary rose collection.

About the ‘Taste of Love’ range, gardening expert and horticultural director for Dobbies, Marcus Eyles, said, “Roses are well-known for adding an elegant touch of beauty to any outdoor space, but the fact that there are edible varieties is often forgotten.

“The three roses that feature in the collection have each been specifically chosen for their unique flavours and textures — from silky sweet to refreshing citrus. The floral medley will leave your garden brimming with beautiful blooms that can be used to complement a variety of sweet and savoury dishes.”

Just like different varieties of fruit, roses have different flavours and aromas. The ‘Taste of Love’ collection features three different roses, ‘Very Berry’, ‘Nadia Zerouali’ and ‘Theo Clevers’.

This is how to use yours.

Very Berry Rose 

With strong, upright branches, this rose has a sweet taste of redcurrants. Flowers are nicely rounded and full of soft petals, blooming all summer long. In the kitchen, use them in confectioneries such as rose petal preserve or rose syrup. Also suitable to sprinkle on salads.

Nadia Zerouali Rose

The petals of this rose are edible and have a fresh lemony lemongrass taste. Strong medium-sized, healthy and resilient, it blooms continuously throughout the season and is very attractive to bees and butterflies. Best used in salads, Mediterranean cuisine, confectionery and drinks.

Theo Clevers Rose

This variety has a gentle aroma of strawberries and beautiful rosette-shaped flowers in large, tight clusters. These work well planted next to pergolas or porches — also suitable for growing in larger pots if you only have space for containers on the patio. Use in confectionery, salads and beverages — this variety makes a lovely base for a rose petal ice cream.

The easiest way to enjoy rose petal flavour all year round is to preserve their essence by making rose water or rose syrup, or dry them and store in an airtight container.

Top tips

  • The best time for harvesting rose flowers is early in the morning, as that is when the concentration of aromatic and nutritional compounds is at its peak.
  • If flowers are not to be used immediately after they are picked, they should be kept in an air tight container in the fridge. Petals can also be air-dried and stored in glass jars.
  • Even though stamens of roses are also edible, and they contribute to the overall aroma, people with pollen allergies should avoid them and use petals only. The ‘Theo Clevers’ rose is perfect for those that do not like to deal with the little golden beads, as it has no stamens.
  • Water thoroughly before planting, positioning in full sunlight. Prune in late winter or early spring and feed in late spring and again in mid-summer with good quality rose fertiliser.

Other garden plants you can plate up.

  • Hollyhock, such as Crème de Cassis
  • Calendula fruit twist
  • Violas
  • Sunflowers
  • Marigolds

Note: It’s best to avoid eating any types of flower if you suffer from hay fever or other plant allergies or are allergic to pollen.

For more expert growing advice and seasonal trend insights, listen to Dobbies gardening podcast, available on Apple Music and Spotify.