Thursday, February 14, 2013

Everything's Coming Up Roses

Ed. Note: My darling Marsi is filling in today with helpful hints that could be immediately applied to a St. Valentine's Day cadeau and then, forever after. She is giving us the Valentine present that keeps on giving -- perfect for those who appreciate and celebrate February 14th, and for those who think it's all so silly.

Here then from Marsi, and by extension from moi aussi, Happy, Happy Valentine's Day. . .

        Nothing takes the bloom off the rose -- literally -- faster than receiving a bouquet of gorgeous roses and then having them wilt and die before they ever have a chance to blossom open.

 Years and years ago, I worked as a receptionist for a huge law firm in downtown Denver. Every Monday morning, a bounty of fresh and lovely flowers was delivered to the reception desk on each floor of the firm, and we receptionists were charged with arranging the blooms for our lobby.

Jan Frans van Dael (1826)
One morning, I asked the florist why roses always die before they blossom open.

Still Life: Vase with Roses

Vincent Van Gogh
 He told me that roseheads go droopy because water isn't reaching the flower and the bloom dies of dehydration. The cause? An air bubble trapped at the top of the stem.

His tip? Pierce the stem, all the way through, at the spot where the stem meets the receptacle. (The "peduncle," according to the diagram below.)

The florist suggested using a bent paper clip to pierce, ever so carefully, the stem.

The two small holes will release the air bubble, and water is then free to nourish the bloom so that it does just that: bloom. A simple, elegant, perfect solution.

More voluptuous blossoms from Jan Frans van Dael
And now -- because one can never get too many roses -- below is a special bouquet of roses from moi to vous.
"At middle age the soul should be opening up like a rose,
not closing up like a cabbage."

John Andrew Holmes
"To contemplate roses is to punctuate one's days with poetry." 
Anne-Sophie Rondeau
"Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
One perfect rose." 

Dorothy Parker
"The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns;
the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose." 

Kahlil Gibran
"I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. 
But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: 
No good in a bed, but fine up against a wall." 

Eleanor Roosevelt
(and that's her rose, the Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt)
"The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman
to a rose was obviously a poet;
the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot."

Salvador Dali



Mademoiselle Poirot said...

What a great tip! Will have to try it next time I get some roses - which might or might not be today... The quotes made me smile, thanks for sharing. Happy Valentine's Day xo

The enchanted home said...

A beautiful and informative tribute to one of my favorite flowers!
Happy Valentines day to you!

Deborah Flanagan said...

Thanks for the bunches and bunches of roses and the great tip.

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

My husband gave me a dozen roses last night and I brought a couple to work this morning...I am going to do this right now! This could be a life changing moment...i have always loved roses and hated how quickly they droop! THANKS! Happy Valentine's Day!

knitpurl said...

Beautiful, thank you and Happy Valentine's Day.

(The tip was worth more than you will ever know.)

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I do that trick with a needle especially with tulips.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Anonymous said...

We call that "slitting their throats" ( a little melodramatic) and do it with tulips, roses, peonies, etc. - it seems to really work.

Lorrie said...

I'll be trying out that tip. Thanks for sharing.
Those quotations are a lovely mixture of sweetness and fun. The one by Eleanor Roosevelt makes me laugh every time I read it.

Splenderosa said...

Wonderful advice! And, beautiful flowers, all the images make me smile. Happy Valentine's Day, Tish to you and family. xx's

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

Some timely advice. My red roses were a lovely surprise and have perky the moment.
Je vous souhaite une très joyeuse Saint-Valentin.

Kathy said...

Wouldn't you think that florists who get paid so much for their roses would do that piercing themselves? Well, it's a great tip anyway, and thanks! Love all the quotes, and particularly the Salvador Dali one. Gave me a good laugh.

vicki archer said...

Thanks for the pin trick Marsi...
I hope you both had a happy Valentine's Day... :) xv

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this tip! I love the idea that we're slitting their throats--kind of like my friend who calls removing the stamens from lilies "gelding the lily".

You can avoid the drooping altogether, though, if you cut about 2 cm/ 1 inch of the stems. The trick is that you have to cut them under water. That's because when you cut the stem, you sort of crush it a little, and when it springs back it sucks in a bubble of air. If you cut it under water it will suck in water instead, and you wont' have the bubble problem. I've done this for years and honestly my roses never droop.

I love your blog, and your guest posters. Thanks!


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