Everything’s Coming Up Roses
Host J Schwanke shares some history behind the beloved rose and why this flower is so much more than a Valentine’s Day gesture. Learn to make rose tea, a rose-inspired veggie tart, and visit a rose farm in South America… everything’s coming up roses!
The History of Roses
Roses are the favorite flower of so many- and were you aware of the amazing history behind the rose? Archeologists tell us that flowers in the rose species have been around for over 35 million years. I also discovered that commercial rose production and hybridization began in China nearly 5000 years ago. The Romans were famous for their roses- and they often would grow roses- so the petals could be removed- and they would use millions of fresh fragrant rose petals as confetti for their elaborate celebrations. WOW! The War of the Roses- also used 2 different colors of roses- to denote- which side of the war you were on- they adorned flags, suits of armor, chalices and more… this entire episode is dedicated to the rose… and we’ll learn more about the National Flower of the US today!
My Friend “Joey” Azout-from Alexandra Farms in Colombia, South America-
Every other year- Kelly and I travel to South America to the ProFlora Event hosted by Asocolflores-and Association of Colombia Flower Growers- and we visit farms and learn more about the Flowers of Colombia- we’ve created a 12 show Documentary about the Flowers of Colombia on uBloom.com- You can watch it here!
One of the Visits we make every time we are in Colombia- is the Visit to Alexandra Farms- and my Friend Jose (Joey) Azout. Joey knows how to throw a party- (the food and drink are always incredible)- and the Farm is beautiful and picturesque – it’s a 20 hectare farm- (for your information a hectare is a square with 100 meters sides- a hectare is roughly 2.45 acres)… 2550 meters above sea level- and the perfect location- both in climate and geography to grow roses… Colombia has on average 70˚F days and 50˚f nights- with the perfect elevation and foot candles of light for rose production. Colombia is known the world over for it’s Flowers… and Garden Roses is no exception.
We visit with Joey- and learn more about the sustainable practices they use to produce the largest variety of Garden Roses in the World- the roses are spectacular- fragrant and come in an extreme variety of colors. The Best part about a visit to Alexandra Farms- is Joey- he’s charming, funny- and an amazing friend- you’ll enjoy this visit to Alexandra Farms and spending a bit of time with Joey Azout.
Arranging Garden Roses for everyday- #FlowerCraft
We don’t need a special occasion to enjoy Garden Roses! Garden roses are relatively NEW developments- in that New Varieties have been developed to last longer- have large blooms, stronger stems and better fragrance- as well as different colors. Garden Roses used to be a little rare and more expensive- but times have changed- and now we have Garden Roses all year long- the open gracefully – to a full platter (meaning the center of the rose- with pollen is exposed) and hold at that state for several days- making them much longer lasting- add to that the color, petal count and fragrance and you have a GREAT Opportunity to enjoy Garden Roses every day!
I show you some simple tips and tricks for arranging Garden Roses- and then I crate a bouquet using 12 Myra’s Bridal Pink Roses- from Alexandra Farms- and several different types of grasses- and umbrella foliage from Australia- this is simple and it’s a fun way to arrange a dozen roses- that doesn’t look like your typically dozen Red Roses for Valentine’s day. Look for Garden Roses- at your favorite flower seller- and you’ll be seeing these wonderful garden roses at your local farmers market (In California) and in Grocers across the USA!
A visit to the Tournament of Roses Parade
A few years ago- we had the opportunity to follow several floats that were Certified American Grown- for the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. You’re familiar with this Historic Parade- that was originally established to ‘show off’ the State of the California- the Ideal Temperatures and the Amazing Horticulture- it became popular- because California took the opportunity every New’s Years Day- to show the rest of the USA- how the temperatures were perfect- and the floats allowed a graphic depiction of the variety and prolific quantity of agriculture throughout the state.
The Flower adorned floats- took center stage- each float is required to have the entire float covered – stem to stern- with Natural Botanical Products- Flowers, Foliage, Vegetables, Fruit, Seeds- and all the produce must be natural- none can be dyed or color enhanced- it’s a huge project- and today there are several dozen floats- that participate- many costing upwards of a million to create, animate, and cover with flowers and foliage.
It’s amazing to watch on Television – and TRULY INCREDIBLE To see up in person- and up close. One of the most incredible venues- is the park- following the parade where the floats are parked following the parade- so that the general public can see them up close and admire the detail – of the floral and foliage coverings- that are all completed in a mere 36 hours before the parade… it’s painstaking- and an effort of hundreds- (maybe thousands) of Volunteers.
We visit Fiesta Parade Floats- and Jim Hynd AIFD- along with his crews of Flower Artists- including Modesto Busto- AIFD, Sherry Miller AIFD, and Susan Ayala AIFD- that work on the many floats Fiesta creates… Fiesta as a company that creates many of the award winning floats you see each and every year in the rose parade. It’s Amazing.
We created a documentary for the KIT KAT Clock Company – for their anniversary float- that was created entirely out of American Grown Flowers… you can watch that Documentary Here!
On the Converse we visit CalPoly in San Luis Obispo- this float is designed by students- and created with the help of CalPoly Alumni Volunteers- the float is created on the CalPoly Campuses- in SLO and San Mateo- each campus working on half of the Float- then the float comes together and is “put together” in the final three days- right in the parking lot of the World Famous Rose Bowl… it’s an entirely different operation. It’s a Tradition- and it’s designed by students… Incredible.
We created a documentary for San Luis Obispo as well- about their unique Student Created Float- that was also certified American Grown- you can watch that Documentary here!
One of my favorite restaurants in Grand Rapids is Terra GR… it’s a farm to table concept in Historic East Town- just down the street from Eastown Antiques- featured in Episode 207- thinking outside the vase) Kel and I traditionally stop there every Saturday after the farmers market for a Mushroom Pizza- that is outta this world… That’s exactly why/how I met my friend Kristin Adkins- she was a Bartender and Server at Terra- and we hit it off… she’s a whole lot fun. Kristin is a mixologist- as well and created one of the most popular drinks on the Terra GR Menu.. “Pillow Talk”…
“Pillow Talk” is created with two hand made ingredients that Kristin perfected- a Rose Water- and a Pink Peppercorn Syrup. Kristin originally created the drink for Valentine’s Day- but it was so popular they keep it on the menu year round.
Flowers – especially roses are mood enhancers- and this drink will certainly get you in the mood for some Pillow Talk! hehehe!
Want to learn more about my Friend Kristin? Visit my Blog here- she’s one of my favorite Flower Friends!
Featured Flower- the Rose
The Featured Flower for this show is obviously the rose- and there are so many varieties to discuss and share… we start with the Hybrid Tea Rose- that the go-to Rose for Florists- and the ones you are used to seeing at the local florist or grocery store- and what we send for Valentine’s Day- Anniversaries- and much more…
Then there is the Garden Rose- you saw these in action at Alexandra Farms- with Joey- and also the Romantic Garden collection of Roses- with my friend Chad Nelson at Eufloria Flowers- in Episode 103- The Romance of Flowers.... Garden roses- are different from other roses- because of their unique shape- petal count- and fragrance… they almost always open to a platter- meaning that the pollen in the center is exposed… and they are featured in the arranging segment of this episode of Life in Bloom
I also share “Green Eye” Varieties- this is a special group- where the pollen center mutates- into a very textural – very green center- the Green Eye Varieties of roses are very long lasting- and almost look other-worldly…
We also show the different varieties of Spray Roses- Miniature roses that grow on a spray- so there are several flowers per stem- it’s a great value- and there are many different types- include the “gem” and “lace” varieties that NEW hybrids in the marketplace…
Flower Tip- Planting a Rose Bush in your Garden
It wouldn’t be a rose show- without planting a rose in the Garden… NOW Let’s be clear- I’m not a Rose Authority when it comes to Garden Roses- I try- “Hard”- but I have challenges- and I like to have a few roses in the garden- because we used to grow roses in the Greenhouses back at the Family Florist in Nebraska… but Michigan weather can create challenges- and there are things like “black spot” and “Japanese Beetles” that plague me every year…. but I keep on keeping on…
I also like to grow my roses ORGANICALLY because I like to add them to recipes and cocktails- so that also creates more challenges. Kelly is more of the rose guy than I am – he has patience- where I want instant gratification… hehehehe…and we like varieties that have SUPER Strong Fragrance- and ones that remind us of great memories- that sort of thing.
In this show I plant a Julia Child rose – it’s a Yellow Hybrid that she chose- and it was create at Rose Story Gardens in Santa Barbara CA- the story goes that Julia would come and sit in the Rose Gardens at Rose Story Farm- and just enjoy sitting amongst the roses- and finally the owner asked her if she might like to have a Rose named after her… What would you say???
The Rest is history- and so I found a Julia Child Rose- and thought – it would be a great addition to our garden at home… it’s doing well- and we’ve cut several blooms off that bush – this season already… it’s a great way to enjoy the roses you plant in the garden… I hope you enjoy this episode dedicated to the Rose!