My Valentine is a rose that conjures up memories of Snow White and Rose Red, the Brothers Grimm story of two sisters, one dark one blonde. Each had a rose bush (white for the blonde and red for the brunette), rounded, neat-as-pins shrubs covered with the most perfect rosettes. My Valentine is a compact bush rose that grows to around 90cm, so never straggly or too tall, and its flowers are picture-perfect, opening from shapely, pointed deep-red buds to full crimson blooms that are softly scented. The leaves are glossy and dark green, hinting at good disease resistance from ailments such as blackspot and powdery mildew. There's no doubt it would make a fine Valentine's Day gift, although there are others in romantic pastel shades that would also fit the bill – take a look at the rest of our range of UK grown roses for sale here.
Keep My Valentine towards the front of a border; towards the back it's not tall enough to hold its own and might get swamped and overlooked. In fact, a dedicated rose border is a great idea, as is using My Valentine as a rose hedge. If you're combining it with other perennials, lime green flowers make a great juxtaposition to the rich silky red petals of this rose. Underplant with Alchemilla mollis, perhaps, or one of the more vibrant hostas, zingy Heuchera Lime Marmalade, maybe mixed with one of the shorter varieties of lavender, such as Hidcote.
So why are red roses traditionally the gift of love? Apparently the red rose was the favourite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Of course the Victorians pretty much gave flowers their own language, roses signifying romance and love.