When I made my first flower order (with 99% help from Hannah) I was so overwhelmed with the process but so excited when they arrived. Opening a box is like Christmas, each flower arrives so differently and each one is cared for in its own unique way! Today we will lead you on the “not so little” journey of a garden rose from Alexandra Farms. We order these roses regularly and use them often in our wedding bouquets, essentially we LOVE them and know you will too!
Alexandra Farms is located in Bogotá, high in the Andes Mountains of Columbia where warm days and cool nights are the perfect match for growing garden roses*. There are many reasons to use Alexandra Farms but one in particular is the way they farm, they use sustainable practices that not only make sense in growing beautiful roses but also keeping our planet beautiful too!
- *The farm captures rainwater in large reservoirs on the farm’s grounds for later use.
- *All around the greenhouses, unproductive areas have been replanted with native species, supplying natural habitat for wild birds and other creatures.
- *All biodegradable waste from farm operations—discarded leaves, stems, etc.—is composted, while paper and plastic are recycled.
- *They cover the stems with mesh mitts, which protect the budding roses from pests without the use of chemical pesticides. The mitts are made with netting in a medical-grade weave, they are hand-sewn at the farm, washed regularly and reused.
Once we order the garden roses from our supplier they are cut at the farm by an experienced employee and boxed up and taken to the airport. There they are loaded into a refrigerated plane, pretty quickly, time is of the essence, temperatures can’t be too cold (for Valentine’s Day) or too hot (for Mother’s Day), then they arrive at our shop via a refrigerated truck and we start the floral process as soon as they arrive.
We begin by cutting the stems and removing any foliage that may remain below the water line, leaves that fall below the water line can cause bacteria in the water. We then break off the thorns by pushing them aside one by one or use a plastic sleeve that runs down the stem and dulls the thorns. Last we remove any “guard petals” that are damaged then place them in flower food and in the cooler they go.We leave the flowers in the cooler for a few hours and then take them out so they can open fully. Once we are happy with the size of the bloom for the design we pop them back in the cooler until we are ready to start designing!
This is how much a garden rose opens from when we receive it to the BIG day!
We hope you enjoyed our first blog!
Erin & Hannah
Photos & * by Alexandra Farms