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Picking roses for your home

Published on November 8th 2018
A close up of a flower
If you want to bring a room alive, add flowers! It can be as simple as a jug full of roses or something more adventurous…
Don’t worry if you don’t have the traditional hybrid tea picking rose. These days, gardens are more likely to be filled with “My Granny” roses, which produce beautiful trusses of flowers that cascade over the vase.
There are also tricks for making a few roses go further, like adding foliage as a filler. Silvery leaves always seem to go well with roses, as do herbs like basil, lavender, rosemary and Santolina, even succulents, luscious green spinach leaves and sprigs from fruit trees.
A row of beautiful bottles, each with a single stemmed rose also works.
It is just a case of opening your eyes to what is around you and asking, what is growing in the garden that will work together?
Here are some tips:
  • The best time to cut garden roses is early or late, rather than in the heat of the day. Have a bucket of water with you so that you can put the stems into water immediately after cutting.
  • Know what look you want; is it a table arrangement, a posy, or for an entrance.
  • What containers do you have? Clear glass is lovely but that means stripping the leaves off the stems. If you don’t feel like doing that, rather opt for porcelain or silver containers.
  • Change the water every two or three days, especially if you have not stripped off the leaves as the water becomes murky.
  • Chrysal flower food is better than vinegar and sugar for extending the life of the flowers.
  • When cutting the stems make a long-slanted cut. The bigger the wound the more water the stems take up.
  • To get the balance right the length of the flower stem should not be more than double the height of the vase.
Did you know?
Blooms which have opened on the bush - to a third or half open - last better in the vase than immature buds.
How to revive drooping roses:
Cut-roses that have been purchased are usually picked immature and have had a hard time before they arrive in your home. Arrange them in warm to hot water (not boiling) having added three tablespoons of sugar to about 1 or 2 litres of water and a teaspoon of Jik or a tablespoon of vinegar. Even drooping buds will come upright!
What about fragrance?
Many of the best roses for cutting are not fragrant. These are selected for long vase life, which requires thick petals that do not release a fragrance. But if you want fragrance you can include two or three fragrant roses within a vase and the effect will be fragrant. Replace them as they fade.

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