Friday, October 3, 2008

Happy Roses waking up in Idaho

I brought some rainbow roses® in for our spring flower and bridal show in March, and since then have had many people ask about them. There are all kinds of rumors bouncing around the globe about how they are made, or grown, or magically coloured, so I thought I could post just a little information for my friends here. I will include a link to a great explanation that J Schwanke wrote in an article on his uBloom® page:

The Happy Colors of Rainbow Roses!
uBloom - Friday, 03 October 2008

You can check it out, and also learn more about the floral industry from our friends at uBloom

There is quite a bit of information as well if you go to the happy roses site where the original product development is described. Peter van de Werken is the owner of Riverflowers® and the happy flower concept. Here are a couple of links that are very interesting to look upon:
then click on the link "noviteiten" for a nice gallery of the happy rose colour choices
the new web site

there is a very interesting video to watch, but you will have to brush up on your Dutch to understand most of it. If you google rainbow roses, or happy roses, you can see video clips from all over the world. It is quite educational.
The two photos I have placed here are bouncing all over the web, so it is hard to give appropriate credit to the original photographers. Please forgive.

People have been colouring flowers for ages, with myriad products that could enter through the stem, or be painted on the petals. There are paints, dips, and dyes, all creating illusions of colour that nature could not seem to come up with on her own. And sometimes when you are in a pinch, you need to alter the colour, blending an odd flower here or there with something that just would not match up otherwise. I love to guild the edges of a poinsettia or a fresh or artificial wreath with gold colortool® at Christmas time. Learning to air brush a rose with colortool® from Design Master is something every florist should know how to do well. It is not just spray painting, but rather a technique of brushing the paint through the air onto the petals with a very light touch.

Stem dye can be kind of messy, but who can not recall a stalk of celery in food coloring from a science class in grade school? It was a quintessential thrill to watch the dye as it gathered in the veins of the stem and leaf. We seem to want something that nature does not provide. It is a thrilling pursuit to try to find the perfect blue rose, or a black rose, or a chocolate orchid.
photo © getty images
I mentioned Florigene® dianthus in a blog post about Amy and Benj's wedding a while back. This is another way to play with colour in flowers. This company is using genetic modification to bring new colours into the marketplace. Check out the web site:

Since 1986 the company has tried to create a blue rose. The result so far has showered many surprises into the vases of the world. I love the play on purples and lavenders. There seems to be an additional benefit of increased vase life as well. Playing around with the biosynthetic pathway of anthocyanins in the flowers has delivered genetic changes in pigment. With all the interest in phytochemicals that benefit us in our diets, I wonder if some foods could be improved with the same methodology. (maybe that is why Suntory is interested--they are most known for beverage production in Japan) Those dark natural colours seem to deliver more good things at every turn. The Florigene company is based in Melbourne, Australia. They have become involved with Suntory, a Japanese firm, in this pursuit. You put great people together, some of the best names in industry, and you are sure to come up with value and beauty. I love to see the results!

Please enjoy surfing the sites I have mentioned above, and let me know if you see something new out there while you are traveling the web, or the globe.

1 comment:

Seth and Jessica King said...

What beautiful roses! I can't believe what they are able to do nowadays! Dad, just curious, did you ever hear about the project to collect seeds from all kinds of plants and store them in a huge underground building, just in case something happens to the plants we have today--disease, extinction, etc.? I can't remember where it's located, but it sounded really cool.