A Red, Red, Rose
O, My Luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June:
O, My Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune!
Who doesn’t love a dozen long-stemmed roses for Valentine’s Day? Nothing says, “I love you,” like a bunch of red beauties, at least according to floral tradition. Of course, pink, white, yellow or other roses customarily carry different shades of meanings. Whatever the color and message, roses are the perennial favorite for Valentine’s Day or any holiday.
Receiving Long-Stemmed Roses
If you are fortunate enough to receive a parcel of long-stemmed, fresh-cut roses, be sure to hold them in a gentle embrace. Think of Miss America or Miss Universe, as she carries her victory roses cradled in her arms. This prevents the flowers from waving about and breaking. Treat your fresh-cut flowers with kindness, and they will last a lot longer!
Arranging Long-Stemmed Roses
Many rose recipients mistakenly attempt to trim their long-stemmed flowers one at a time and then arrange them in a vase. Don’t do it!
Here’s an easier and more artistic way to prepare your lovely roses for display. This will protect your fresh-cut flowers from breaking and virtually guarantee floral arranging success every time.
Gently unwrap the flowers on a kitchen countertop.
Fill a large, tall vase with clean water. Ideally, your vase will be about half the height of your long-stemmed roses. Add the florist’s packet of rose food, if available. (If not, you can drop a few regular aspirins into the water, as these will help to preserve your flowers.)
Hold all of the flowers in one hand. Gently pull a few stems up, and tug a few down, until you have a lovely visual arrangement. (Try to avoid touching the buds or blossoms!) Add the foliage and baby’s breath, if you have them.
Under cool running water, trim the entire floral arrangement straight across, using sharp floral clippers or kitchen shears. Make a clean cut, just below your hand that holds the flowers.
Place your rose display into your vase. Lovely!
Caring for Long-Stemmed Roses
Be sure to keep your fresh-cut flowers well watered. Check the vase at least once a day, and refill it, as needed. Use cool water only, as warm water will wilt the flowers.
If the water becomes murky or cloudy, remove the flowers gently, and rinse out the vase before refilling it with clean, cool water.
Exploring Other Rosy Options
Of course, one is not bound to offer long-stemmed red roses for Valentine’s Day, even for a spouse or romantic interest. Other wonderful options now abound. Rosy wreaths, mixed floral arrangements and even potted flowers make ideal gifts too. In fact, tiny tea roses may be perfect for a parent, teacher, friend, child or other special person. When spring arrives, the floral recipient may replant the roses in the garden for a long-lasting annual display of color and affection!