27 Jul2005

An unusual treatment of a “common” flower can jar the senses in a positive manner. aarose2Take red roses, for instance. Almost always delivered by the dozen, red roses with the longest stems are considered the most premium and thus the most expensive. This bias is so pronounced that growers are now resorting to all types of methods to extend the length of the stem (and ensure they are ramrod straight to boot) before the bloom matures. During the crazed Valentines season, perhaps 98% of crazed husbands, partners, suitors who send roses pick red ones, ignoring hundreds of other spectacular shades and varieties of this stunning flower. The entire planet has geared up to provide several tens of millions of red roses for one ridiculous greeting card holiday. My favorite scene in the movie The Addams Family is when Morticia (played by Angelica Huston) is filmed preparing her floral arrangement and she is snipping off the rose heads and putting the thorny stems in a vase…

The first time I heard about someone snipping off and using just the blooms en masse was aarose3when a little known American florist named Jeff Leatham took over the floral displays as the Georg V Hotel (Four Seasons) in Paris. In his first few months there he made such a stunning impression on an otherwise jaded Parisian design scene that people used to flock to the hotel to see what he was up to that week. This is all just a long introduction to my Version 2.0 of rose gifts… My daughter needed to give a present last Friday and wanted it to be red roses. I rummaged around my floral supplies area and dug out a terrific basket made out of branches and which was lined with a coir-like material. Perfect. I am very proud to say this was a recycled vessel. Very politically and environmentally correct. And I don’t re-use if I wouldn’t want to receive it myself. So into this vessel I put about two blocks of Oasis floral foam soaked in water and flower food.

Next, I picked 40 of the best roses from several bunches of the LONGEST stem roses aarose4I had purchased at Dimasalang and just snipped off the blooms, leaving 3-4 inches of stem (no leaves) so that it could drink up water. Some of you are probably scratching your head saying “duhh, why didn’t he just buy short stemmed roses?” and the answer to that is that the longest stem roses at Dimasalang are only about 18 inches and they do tend to have the biggest blooms! I arranged the 40 blooms in a relatively linear manner and these photos show you the results. I spritzed the flowers with cool water to hydrate the petals. Wrapped up in waterproof cellophane, the arrangement was unusual and stunning. It was also very simple to make.



  1. virgilio says:

    We have bushes of roses (different varieties) in the garden that bloom in clusters. Nevertheless the flowers are big almost like cabbage but the stems are short. Thanks for sharing your floral arrangement – you just gave me an idea. Any use for petals that drop? In Spring and early Summer the garden is a blanket of rose petals in different shades and I feel bad that we just rake them away and dump in the garbage.

    Jul 27, 2005 | 3:52 pm


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  3. Marketman says:

    Garden roses are so much better than cultivated! Don’t waste the petals… just use fresh petals by gathering up, washing briefly then freshen up in the fridge for a few hours, then they can be used in a bowl to add fragrance to a small space, like an enclosed bathroom. If you don’t use insecticide, rose petals are often edible so nice petals can be used as a garnish for dishes, though frankly I don’t like the taste. You can freeze them in ice cubes and use those for drinks if you want to get a little ridiculous/fancy…

    Jul 27, 2005 | 4:00 pm

  4. dodi says:

    So who says men do not like flowers? Thanks for sharing your ideas. I love flowers, most probably because I grew up in Mindanao where we let wilfowers grow in our backyard. Ironically, my girlfriend likes chocolates more, so we share both flowers and chocolates, hehehe.

    Jul 27, 2005 | 4:11 pm

  5. Marketman says:

    Yup, you got it. Since 70+% of all flowers purchased from florists are probably bought by men, they might as well know what their buying and how much they are getting fleeced! I mean, you rarely see women at a stereo shop picking out an amplifier to give their husband a present or at True Value choosing the latest power tool so he can make that bookshelf from scratch… argh, I can just see the comments from the female readers coming fast and furious…I say this in jest, of course!

    Jul 27, 2005 | 4:58 pm

  6. stef says:

    hey hey hey. i got my hubby a car stereo for his birthday last year!!! researched and everything. and sometimes i get even more excited about tools; i esp. want this sander thingie (ok, so i’m not good with NAMES of tools) to sand my hardwood countertop:D — but really, i don’t think i’m THAT rare.

    Jul 29, 2005 | 7:12 am

  7. suzette says:

    can we make these roses into a potpourri?

    Aug 1, 2005 | 2:04 pm

  8. Marketman says:

    You can dry the petals and use for potpourri. Except the real joke is that most potpourri use concentrated fragrant oils to give them smell, not the underlying flower petals only. In fact, dried rose petals smell a little sour… Maybe it’s the humidity here that doesn’t create the best quality potpourri…

    Aug 1, 2005 | 2:18 pm

  9. mia says:

    I just discovered your blog. Great work! And, ahem, I got my husband a three-in-one sander, drill, and jigsaw from Black and Decker (see? I even know the brand!), and yes, I bought it at True Value (or was it Ace Hardware?)… :)

    Aug 17, 2005 | 6:08 am

  10. Marketman says:

    Mia, I knew I would get grief from the wives… heehee. Glad you enjoy the site. Visit often!

    Aug 17, 2005 | 5:10 pm


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