Dilip's 2006 Garden Journal

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The roses are looking very nice! I fertilized them yesterday (with Eden Rich from Gardens Alive!, coffee grounds, and cotton compost) and watered them yesterday and today. For my miniature arrangement, I'm of course planning on using always prolific Gourmet Popcorn, as it's a good choice and the only other miniature that I grow, Doris Morgan, has never done well for me and currently only has 2 or 3 blooms. I hope that Chrysler Imperial will have three lovely red blooms of varying stages of bloom for the large arrangement; Veteran's Honor is another possible red one, but she has disease on her leaves. Big Purple may have one or two blooms barely ready for the arrangement. Multi-colored Granada will have three ready blooms, but they are small and have some insect damage.

My wife had a great idea though this morning - why not take the just gorgeous and perfectly open trio of Big Purple blooms that I cut from the garden yesterday, as well as the single and also just-right Veteran's Honor (or was it Chrysler Imperial?), and arrest their opening by refrigerating them? I have never done that - but why not? My friends in the Raleigh Rose Society who have done this have recommended using an empty refrigerator or at least one that doesn't have fruits and vegetables (the methylene[?] expelled in ripening hurts the roses?). My refrigerator is always packed, but I found some space including the meat drawer where I store soy products, and lightly wrapped each bloom in foil and/or plastic. In an American Rose Society article on storing and transporting roses to a rose show, this advise is given:

If one uses a frost-free refrigerator, it is advisable to place a baggy over each bloom. Air is forcefully circulated to remove water vapor in a
frost-free refrigerator. The baggy limits the drying effect this moving air has
on the bloom. The ideal temperature to store roses is 34° to 37°F. It is wise
to run several tests with roses in the refrigerator to ensure that the temperature control is reliable before attempting to store blooms intended for exhibition in this degree range. If the temperature drops below 32°, the bloom will suffer frost bite. Often this damage is not visible until several hours after the bloom is removed from the refrigerator and is placed on the exhibition table.

With a little luck, I'll have these gorgeous specimens to exhibit!

I spray painted black the "sculpture" for my large arrangement, after adding drainage stones to the bottom to give it bottom weight/stability. Twice while drying outside, due to a decent breeze, the sculpture tipped over! My wife is fairly confident that won't happen at the show indoors, even with the weight of added roses, but I'm a little nervous. The sculpture looks great, and the flat black hides the imperfections of bending.

The great news is that with my wife's help, I have a good design for the miniature arrangement!! I was inspired by some mesh-like paper I have in the kit I collect for arrangements. We were browsing at Michael's arts and crafts store, and found a plastic mesh in different colors - black becomes a modern arrangement, and that's what we took. We shaped it tentatively into a cone and are planning on hot gluing an "oasis" reservoir inside, to let a spray of Gourmet Popcorn tower over the landscape from this perch reminiscent of the triangular Transamerica building. We'll have a single Gourmet Popcorn bloom (the blooms have been huge 2" ones this year, which seem bigger than in the past) or possibly another spray at the bottom "on the ground", as if it were looking up. That seems to fill the niche well! We found these little maybe 3/4" or 1" gold hearts at Michael's, and I was thinking of hanging one or a few, but my wife pointed out that it wasn't necessary and really was an extraneous design element. With a background color of violet, the arrangement I think has a lot of potential of being clean, elegant, and nicely bringing out the theme, Vertigo.

I think we're in great shape for the show. The sculpture is sitting in the garage after a second coat of black and tomorrow I hope to do a trial run of putting vials of water with roses in three places, and seeing how the sculpture holds up. The miniature design requires little work tomorrow, such as spray painting little holders of oasis, and should then be set!


Post a Comment

<< Home