Tuesday, December 2, 2008

ONE DOZEN ROSES - DEMO ON HOW TO REVIVE AND RE-ARRANGE FOR LONGER LIFE!

We all have had the pleasure of receiving at some point in time a dozen roses. Do not wait again until they are gifted, why not treat yourself to a dozen? After all it is the season when many of us have zilch to bring in out of the garden. It is all nicer still when they come in a vase to begin with. However, all roses in the bunch may not last as long as the others, so I would like to show you how you can lengthen and revive their vase life as well as re-arranging them to look like new again.
Here is a beautiful bouquet I received from a dear uncle, (as it looked a few days after I received it). While some blooms stayed quite erect on their stems, others were slowly lowering their heads, and the stems had weakened and become soft at just below the calyx.
METHOD FOR REVIVAL: Carefully remove all flowers and greens from the vase, keep like material together. Fill a bathtub or large sink with very warm (not hot) water. Re-cut all roses on a 45degree angle and submerge them in the bathtub, re-cutting all the stems at a 45 degree angle under water. The blooms will float very prettily! Leave in water for at least two hours even longer to "overnight" is what I prefer. You know they are ready when they are stiff around the calyx again and heads stay quite erect – you will be amazed. Occasionally, the odd one just
does not make it.
Now for re-arranging. You can pretend you are starting from scratch, and this is the way I like to arrange such flowers for full effect.
VASE: Choose a vase similar to the one shown. The flowers actually came with this vase and with the smoky violet ribbon which was a perfect match to the lavender roses. It is important that there is some width to the vase below the neck (even if the neck is somewhat narrower) so that all the material can be arranged at reasonable angles - this is what makes the arrangement look nice and full.Fill your vase with warm water – if you do not have preservative, add an aspirin or a teaspoon of sugar to this and a few drops of bleach (about half a teaspoon) - good for keeping water clear – especially in a see-through vase. Also if you use certain material like Gypsophila, you will really need the bleach as they tend to sour the water.
Start with your greens. Always use lots of greens as they also act as the support for your arrangement. If you receive 1 dozen roses and there are not enough greens, please go and pick some more from your garden, anything should work. Here are some suggestions. Boxwood, ferns, all the Artemesia's, viburnums, camellia branches etc. Pieris is very nice too. I usually prepare and cut them all to length before I start. Pieces approx 6-12” long depending on the vase you use and the finished height! This mainly acts as a support and filler.
Place the greens all around the vase at as much angle as you can muster strategically around and throughout the centre, until it is quite full, but not too tightly packed. Here you have your base. You do not have to sink your roses deep into the vase, you will be able to make them look as long as you like as the greens should support the stems and sort of act like the florist oasis that is used in other arrangements.
Now the fun part. Place your roses evenly throughout. I started with one held high in the centre, this should be your highest point. Then evenly spaced four on a row down from that. Now you have used five and have seven to play with. Fill the spaces in nicely with the remainder till you have a pleasing look. If you have some gypsophila, statice or any contrasting filler, then you can nicely fill in the spaces with a little here and there being careful not to overdo this step. Now you will have a beautiful full vase of flowers which you can place on your coffee table etc.
If you are going to situate this with it’s back to the wall you can just place more of the roses at the front of the vase – to get full benefit.
ENJOY! Of course, you can use this method with any flowers, florist and/or garden.

4 comments:

Lexi's Omi said...

Wow, Pauls, this is very informative ... even for a posy challenged gal like me! Thanks for posting this. I will certainly be referring back when I have a bouquet to revive.
Will this technique work with other flowers?

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