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Green Fingers: ‘Roses are red violets are blue’

Green Fingers: ‘Roses are red violets are blue’

With a little attention cut flowers can last for weeks and weeks

THIS article is intended to be of most interest to two groups of people. Firstly, those people who find themselves lucky enough to receive some flowers from a loved one over the next few days. Secondly, those people who can count themselves lucky enough to have someone special in their lives deserving of some flowers. I, happily, count myself in the latter group.

King among the cut flowers for Valentine’s day are long stem roses. These are available in a variety of colours- each depicting a different sentiment. White roses for ‘New Beginnings’ and ‘Hope’, Red roses for ‘Passion’ , ‘Love and Beauty’ and yellow roses for ‘Friendship’.

These long stem roses can be quite expensive. This is because they are grown by the florist trade from a specific strain of rose. These roses have only one single use and are of no use for any other purpose. There is a cost associated with ensuring these blooms are in peak condition at an exact time. If a single blemish is found on the flowers or leaves the entire stem is discarded. It is unlikely you will never find a long stem rose growing in a suburban garden. I know that I have never seen a long stem rose bush outside of a trade show.

There are many varieties of Roses to choose from depending on your budget. The premium variety is ‘Grand Prix’. These are the classic, timeless long stem roses. Another variety is Naomi- again, a premium variety.

A great accompaniment to any type of roses are: Gypsophila or ‘Baby’s Breath’. This plant gives sprays of white flowers. A bunch of these mixed with any type of roses give balance of colour. In addition, they give bulk to the bouquet and help to support the roses. There are, of course, other types of flowers available. Top ranking among them are Gerbera’s, Carnations, Lilies and Chrysanthemums. Whichever flowers you are lucky enough to receive, follow the steps below to ensure they stay their best for longer.

Looking After
your cut flowers

Cut flowers can look fantastic and can really brighten up a room. But they do require some maintenance to keep looking their best. Firstly, never put cut flowers near a bowl of fruit. The methane gas given off my ripening fruit will prematurely age your flowers. Before you place the flowers into a vase for the first time re-cut the stem ends- cut off only about 1 inch. This fresh cut will ensure that the stems can continue to ‘suck up’ water. By the same token, make the cut as steep an angle as possible. This increases the surface area of the cut, again, increasing its ability to ‘suck up’ water.

Replace the water at least every other day. This keeps the water fresh and prevents the water becoming stagnant. Fill the vase to around three quarters full. This will provide good ballast and help prevent the vase from toppling over. Remove leaves along the stem to ensure no leaves are submerged under the water line. The submerged leaves will quickly rot and begin to decay the flowers. Remember to keep the water topped up.

Contact James

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