20 May2012

I rarely buy lots of flowers for Valentine’s or Mother’s Day anymore. The prices are so absurdly inflated on the few days surrounding those holidays that it seems almost criminal to get caught up in the artificial hype. Just wait a week and see what you can get instead… :) A trip to Dimasalang just 5 days after Mother’s Day yielded this robust bouquet of locally grown hydrangeas or milflores, an unusual find at the tail end of summer. At PHP60 a bloom, the 12 blooms in this plain glass vase were simply beautiful and good value to boot!

The hydrangeas were put on a side table, with another vase nearby filled with dried pussy willow branches, which we kept from this holiday arrangement 5 months ago!

On the dining table, in a massive but equally plain glass vase similar to the one used with the hydrangeas, we massed roughly 10-11 dozen red roses, or about 120-130 blooms. They were incredibly fresh, and we “conditioned” them when they got home, so they opened up nicely and made a great big lush bouquet. At PHP30 per dozen, yes, repeat PHP30 per dozen or roughly 6 U.S. cents per bloom, this was another great value!

Pick the freshest looking blooms at the market. Take them home and immediately fill a huge “balde” or pail with cool water and some “flower food” if you have it. Strip leaves and thorns off the lower parts of the stems, make a fresh diagonal cut per stem and immediately plunge into the water. Let the flowers rest and soak up liquid for several hours before arranging them in their final vase. Believe it or not, you can revive most limp roses or even hydrangeas by placing them in a bathtub or large pail and completely submerging the blooms in cool water or add some ice cubes even. Leave the blooms to soak for 2-3 hours before arranging.

We placed another taller arrangement of about 6 dozen roses on a table just as you enter our home. The blooms were a bit small, but the long stems were unusual and plainly visible with this type of clear glass vase. At around PHP180-200 for this arrangement, it was a steal if you ask me. We had about 4 dozen roses left over, and those were cut and arranged for two dearly departed mothers who are hanging out at their respective “apartments” at a nearby church… Happy Mother’s Day, a week late. :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. bearhug0127 says:

    Just simply beautiful. (And a bargain to boot!)

    May 20, 2012 | 6:01 am

     
  2. scott says:

    MM, I cannot get over how inexpensive flowers are here! YOU know how much a dozen red roses cost in the states especially during valentines day or mothers day. Beautiful arrangements I love the pictures!

    May 20, 2012 | 7:08 am

     
  3. Marketman says:

    scott, yes, and if you go to the wholesale market for flowers in Cebu, you would be shocked further… really very reasonably priced except for a few holidays during the course of the year. Btw, Susie of Cebu chimed in with the name of the wholesaler/retailer of Italian goods in Cebu, in the lamb ribs post. :)

    May 20, 2012 | 8:03 am

     
  4. Gigi says:

    Hi MM, just wondering, how often should the water be changed?

    May 20, 2012 | 8:08 am

     
  5. Marketman says:

    Gigi, if you use plant food, and perhaps a couple of drops of clorox bleach to prevent bacteria buildup, you could change the water every two days. The water should remain quite clear, otherwise, best practice is to change it. Simply grip the arrangement of blooms with two hands and lift it out of the water, and have a second person dump the water and refill the vase and eventually return the blooms to the vase in one go. You may find it necessary to re-cut the ends of the stems if you want the blooms to last a little longer. I find, that if you manage to purchase fresh roses at the wholesale market, and properly condition them, and keep them indoors in a reasonably cool environment, and change water, your roses can last up to 6 days or so. In the cooler months like December or January, they sometimes last a day or two longer. We are on our third day of these arrangements so far, and they are just about at their peak of opening up (will hit that tonight or early tomorrow), and will probably last another 2-3 days or so after that.

    May 20, 2012 | 8:27 am

     
  6. PITS, MANILA says:

    HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY … a week late too!

    May 20, 2012 | 8:30 am

     
  7. Hiddendragon says:

    Thanks for the nice post and great advice!

    What’s plant food? Can I just mix fertilizer with water and add into the solution?

    Sometimes I hear advice about aspirin, 7-Up, etc. Should I just buy a siopao and drink the 7-Up instead?

    May 20, 2012 | 9:27 am

     
  8. Marketman says:

    hiddendragon, plant food comes in little packets and florists put in the water of arrangements… they have various names like floralife, etc. You can buy them at wholesale flower suppliers. Barring that, just put a few drops of clorox bleach in your glass vase, then add water, the bleach helps to retard or slow bacterial growth in the water.

    May 20, 2012 | 9:36 am

     
  9. Pink Carnations says:

    It’s always a delight MM, seeing new posts from you, your blog is always a part of my day! It is so what i like so much in life! God bless you, your fam, and crew; and thanks a mil :-)

    May 20, 2012 | 10:37 am

     
  10. Pink Carnations says:

    Belated Happy Mother’s Day Mrs. MM! :-) —read MM’s post after commenting, na-exite sa lovely flowers hehe :-)

    May 20, 2012 | 10:44 am

     
  11. Lydia P says:

    In a recent past life, I worked for 16 years for a big flower grower/exporter in Colombia and Ecuador. We grew several types of flowers. As part of our training, all employees were taught the life cycle of flowers and their care and handling post harvest for the farms to the US and Aalsmeer in Holland. With reference to flower food, it is basically bleach, citric acid and some sugar. DIY flower food is a tablespoon of bleach and some lemon/kalamansi juice. I usually do not add sugar. In a pinch, some bleach and 7-Up should work, too. And just like MM advises, once the water gets cloudy, dump the water, clean the vase and refill. Keep your blooms in the coolest part of your house, if possible. Hope this helps.

    May 20, 2012 | 10:54 am

     
  12. millet says:

    MM, when you prep the flowers, are the blooms submerged in water too?

    May 20, 2012 | 7:31 pm

     
  13. Marketman says:

    millet, generally, no, if they are fresh, I just soak them up to about 3/4 of the stem. If you do soak the whole bloom, they will be even perkier I suppose…

    May 20, 2012 | 7:56 pm

     
  14. millet says:

    ok, thanks MM

    May 20, 2012 | 8:26 pm

     
  15. Gej says:

    In the absence of commercial plant food, you can use Seven up or Sprite to prolong the vase life of flowers.

    May 20, 2012 | 8:45 pm

     
  16. mfilart says:

    are there available rose thorn/leaf stripper here in the philippines?

    May 20, 2012 | 9:28 pm

     
  17. Mari of NY says:

    Lovely flowers MM! And pretty inexpensive too! I was at the flower district Friday before Mother’s day to check how much the roses were…$35 for 25pcs! Still cheap compared to florists’ prices, but they’re not a bargain anymore. I remember getting them for $22 on holidays.

    May 20, 2012 | 10:35 pm

     
  18. Betchay says:

    I’ve been using your flower tips(from previous posts) and it really works and if you retain the wrap around the bouquet, it even last longer!

    May 21, 2012 | 8:44 am

     
  19. mfilart says:

    for me, the price of the roses are cheap because here in vigan, roses cost 10 pesos a stem so it would cost 120 php per dozen.

    May 21, 2012 | 7:26 pm

     
  20. nooniemart says:

    great arrangements. our dad’s 40th day prayers is coming up this sat june 16. where in dimaslang do you get good flowers? hope you can help

    Jun 9, 2012 | 10:03 pm

     
  21. Marketman says:

    nooniemart, I just walk up and down the wholesale street at Dimasalang and stop and bargain at whatever stall has the flowers I am interested in. The prices are very reasonable compared to flower shops in the fancier parts of town, so its worth the tip if you are getting a significant amount of blooms.

    Jun 10, 2012 | 8:43 am

     
 

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