Luxurious, fragrant David Austin Roses are the perfect expression of love in bloom. Perhaps that’s why the February issue of Martha Stewart Living offered only one suggestion — a romantic array of our beauties in soft, pale tones — for Valentine’s Day flowers this year. The two-page spread featured this lovely arrangement, photographed by Mike Krautter. The text reads: “Sorbet-hued blooms hit just the right note for Valentine’s Day…we chose garden roses from David Austin Roses… with petals more ruffly than the standard sort — an effect made even sweeter thanks to their lovely scent.”
Most floral arrangements last six to seven days or longer, depending on the varieties used and the care they receive. The Society of American Florists provides these Consumer Tips for longer-lasting, more vibrant flowers.
Looking after flowers
Keep the vase filled (or floral foam soaked) with water containing a flower food provided by your florist. Flower foods make flowers last longer but it is very important to follow the mixing directions on the flower food packet. Most packets are to be mixed with either a pint or a quart of water. Flower foods should not be diluted with more water than is specified on the packet.
If the flower food solution becomes cloudy, replace it entirely with properly mixed flower food solution. If possible, re-cut stems by removing one to two inches with a sharp knife. Immediately place the stems into solution.
Keep flowers in a cool spot (65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit), away from direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents, directly under ceiling fans, or on top of televisions or radiators. (Appliances like televisions give off heat, which causes flowers to dehydrate.) Most flowers will last longer under cool conditions.
When arranging fresh cut flowers, fill a clean (washed with a detergent or antibacterial cleaning solution), deep vase with water and add a flower food from your florist. Remove leaves that will be below the waterline. Leaves in the water promote bacterial microbial growth that may limit water uptake by the flower. Re-cut stems by removing one to two inches with a sharp knife. Place the flowers in the vase solution you’ve prepared.
Ask your florist about flower care.