Treat Yourself to a Little R&R&R (Rest, Relaxation and Roses)
White roses symbolize new beginnings, innocence and hope. And since February is prime time for red roses youâ€™ll find that white and pastel roses are often less expensive than their bold, passionate cousins. Make your own winter white rose arrangement, add a hint of spring with a few pastel roses, and lift your spirits with every glance at their perfection.
Start with the Freshest Roses
- Choose roses just beginning to unfurl. Closed buds may never open and fully opened flowers may be past their bloom, literally.
- Look beyond the flowers. Leaves should be fresh and bright green, without bruises, wilting or torn edges.
- Squeeze roses gently where petals meet the stem. If firm and tight, theyâ€™re still fresh. If soft and yielding, theyâ€™re already fading.
- Ask for roses from the cooler, rather than roses sitting out on display. Chilling helps preserve them.
- Remember, water is life. Bring a bucket to keep roses in water on the way home.
Set the Stage
- Highlight their wintry beauty with a white, pale grey or silvery ceramic vase, or with a frosted glass vase.
- Measure the vase against your roses. The vase should be about half the height of the flower stems. For long-stemmed roses, which are about 20â€ť tall, the vase should be 10-12â€ť tall.
- Make sure the vase is perfectly clean. Any bacteria left from prior arrangements will have a head start on besieging your new flowers. Rinse the vase with bleach, then rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
Prep Your Roses Properly
- Â Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to trim the stems, instead of scissors. Disinfect them first, like you did with the vase.
- Trim stems underwater, and cut at a 45Â° angle.
- Remove any leaves that will be underwater in the vase.
- Add a teaspoon of vodka or apple cider vinegar to water in the vase, along with a teaspoon of sugar, for a natural preservative.
- Place flowers in the filled vase after trimming and set aside in a dark, cool place for an hour. The flowers need to hydrate and rest before you finalize your arrangement.
Mix and Match Accents
- Â Red berries, such as hypericum, holly, winterberry or waxberry
- White berries, such as tallow berries and snow berries
- Pastel roses in pale yellow, peach or pink
- Thin bare branches painted white, pale pink or silvery grey
- Leyland cedar greens
- Silver dollar eucalyptus greens
- Queen Anneâ€™s lace, stephanotis or gypsophila (babyâ€™s breath)
- Dusty miller (silvery, wide-leaf greens)
Keep Your Roses Beautiful
- Refresh the water every day or two. No need to empty the vase and disturb the arrangement, just place the vase in your kitchen sink and use the spray nozzle to add more water slowly until the vase overflows and the old water is replaced.
- Keep the arrangement out of direct sunlight.
- Trim the stems again every three days.
- Display flowers in a cool spot. Winter means the heatâ€™s on â€“ place them far away from furnace vents, electric baseboard heaters and radiators.
- Put the vase of roses â€śoff stageâ€ť in your refrigerator each night when you go to bed. Letting them chill out this way really helps keep them going longer.