This was one of my first entries on this blog, posted on Christmas Eve 2004. I am re-posting it so more folks can read about it. I will also post one with dalandans then I promise to resume more current posts…I just happen to be swamped and am so behind on everything! Enjoy! Excessive, stunning and over-the-top. There, I said it before any of you send me horrible emails lecturing me on the need to tone down my entries. It is Christmas, after all. A three foot tall topiary made with over 300 large blooms of dark red roses was my personal beacon that the holidays were in full swing at our house. On the back of a successful dalandan topiary, I decided to use the same wooden base to create a holiday centerpiece made entirely of red roses. The results were really rather stunning. Put side by side with the dalandan topiary this is a sight to behold. And bottom line, it cost far less than a really good bottle of red wine.
How to. Really easy. Late one evening get into your car and drive to the Dimasalang Flower Market in downtown Manila. In your best bargaining mode, strike a deal to buy red roses. Lots of red roses. The night I went it just so happened I caught a delivery just as it was being unloaded from the trucks, all packed in styrofoam coolers. Each bundle was a pricier than normal but still cheap P120 for 24 roses (they are normally P60-80 a bundle when it isn’t too close to major holidays) but they were in superb shape. As fresh as you can get them in Manila. I purchased many bundles and rushed home to my brilliant crew of assistants (cook and staff) who were waiting with five pails of water. Then we cut off the bottom three inches of the stems and plunged into water overnight so they could recover from their grueling ordeal in a dark styrofoam box with melting ice for 6 hours driving down from Baguio.
Next day, make a Christmas tree form with oasis foam on your wooden base. Soak oasis in water to ensure that they are really heavy with water. Cut the roses about 3-5 inches below the bloom and insert in the oasis in a circular manner until the entire foam shape is filled. I like to pack this tightly but you can leave some space for the roses to open slightly. This particular topiary was about three feet tall and used up 300 roses. Total cost about P1600. But try and buy a decent floral arrangement for that much, you may get 2-3 dozen roses at most. Spritzed with water, the topiary lasted 6 days. Have a truly Merry Christmas 2004!!!