Growing up on a cut flower farm, with fields of garden roses, I took them for granted. It has been nearly a decade since my family said goodbye to our beautiful old farm. And now, I'm realizing I miss them. May is the explosion of roses, the first flush. I picked a single bucket of roses from my mother's garden and it felt spectacular. The fragrance, every petal and fading bloom makes my mind buzz like a bee to the next one, and the next one.
If you're picking garden roses, make sure you have a bucket of deep water nearby and place them in that bucket as soon as you can. Good hydration is key to lasting flowers. The water should always be room temperature whether in a bucket or vase.
When dealing with roses, make sure you have sharp shears so you can get a clean cut. When ready to arrange, cut above a node and always cut at an angle so the stem can drink the most water. Make sure you have plenty of water in your vessel and check it daily, filling as you need. After twenty years of doing flowers, the single most overlooked thing restaurants and other accounts do is forgetting to water in the first couple of days. Then, when the flowers begin to wilt, they add more water. More times than not, this is too late and they won't come back. If you notice a bloom or two wilting a bit, take it out and recut the stem.
Part of the beauty of garden roses is the color fading and petals dropping. I mean, big swaths of fluffy petals. This has been shown in paintings for centuries. Flowers are beautiful in all states of life, after all, isn't that why we pick them?