Rosa Rugosa, the Wild Rose, is a florist with a difference in the village of Haworth, nestling right at the heart of the famous Bronte Country.
The business has been established for more than 30 years and came to Haworth in 2017. It provides top quality flowers for a range of requirements, from personal bouquets to large arrangements for functions and businesses. Specialities include weddings and the hospitality sector.
Rosa Rugosa is run by Annie and Steve Milner, who were drawn to this wild and beautiful part of the world because it was the perfect rugged terrain for their fell running passion.
Annie Milner – the florist
Annie simply loves flowers. She’s one of the most highly-regarded florists in the region with over 30 years’ experience in the field.
Annie qualified in floristry at Leeds College of Art and Design. She then went on to run floristry businesses with others in Leeds and Pontefract before going into business with her husband, Steve.
Over the years, she’s provided front-of-house flowers for bars and restaurants across Yorkshire. This includes top hotels and wedding venues such as the prestigious Wentbridge House Hotel, Pontefract, 42 The Calls, Leeds and Quebecs Hotel, Leeds.
“This isn’t just a business for Annie, it’s her life. She lives, breathes and loves flowers” – Catherine Hardy, General Manager – Wentbridge House Hotel.
Florist to the stars
Back in the ‘90s, Annie appeared on the TV quiz show “The Price is Right”. While she didn’t win the top prize, she did get a Brucie Bonus. When Annie met the flamboyant host Bruce Forsyth in the VIP room, they got on so well that he invited her to work for him as a personal florist.
The friendship opened doors to work on the sets of popular Yorkshire Television shows like “A Touch of Frost” and “Where The Heart Is”. Bruce would even call on Annie to send bouquets to friends like Esther Rantzen and Liza Minnelli when they came to Leeds.
Steve worked in engineering in a previous life, but was drawn into the very different world of Rosa Rogusa by his wife’s passion for flowers. He brings practical and organisational skills to the table, managing the business, doing the paperwork and running the deliveries.
But Steve does have a creative side too. He’s the cameraman and director behind the all the videos and tutorials and sets up the “scenery” and tables for floral displays at wedding venues.
He’s on a self-confessed learning curve, honing his own floristry skills and is now able to step up and recreate Annie’s designs when the need arises.
During their leisure time, Annie and Steve still like to be among nature and the great outdoors. They’re keen fell runners and members of Wharfedale Harriers.
Annie’s determined spirit is carried over into her sporting activities too. With her running partner Jackie Scarf, she clinched first prize in two recent OMM events. The Original Mountain Marathon is the biggest and most prestigious long distance orienteering challenge in the UK. It sees competitors navigating some of the most arduous mountain terrain in the country, weighed down with heavy equipment, over a gruelling two-day course.
They also share a deep love of dogs, owning and breeding their favourites, Cavaliers and Cavapoos. Over the years, the couple have had seven pet dogs of their own and they’ve bred litters totalling 25 pups.
When they’re not running across the fells, they can be seen walking their four-legged friends on and around the Bronte moors.