Give your Roses the bends.

Roses are the most popular flower sold around the world.   They can signify love, friendship, death or a happy divorce.  You name it and the rose has it covered.

Day in and day out people are buying someone roses.

It’s coming out party every year though happens on Valentine’s Day.  And men love it.  Other than where to buy them and what colour to get, it’s the one holiday there are NO decisions to be made.
Enter store, pick roses, deposit first born child at cash register, leave store.

Done and done.

So given their popularity, chances are you will be getting roses on Valentine’s Day.

I, on the other hand, will not.  I made it a rule long ago that no roses were to enter this house on Valentine’s Day.  I understand there’s a correlation between the cost of things and supply and demand and that’s the way the world of economics runs.  But it angers me.  So as nice a gesture as it is, I do NOT want roses.

You wanna do something romantic for me on Valentine’s Day?  Cut your own toenails.  How ’bout that?


So I get roses at other times of the year.  Like the other day, 2 weeks before Valentines Day, I got roses.  They were probably  $15.  On Valentine’s Day they  will cost $172, three matching eyeballs and the bellybutton of an albino unicorn.  But yeah.  This week they’re $15.

While I love roses, I hate their stems.  They have no grace, no bend, no movement.  There is no whimsy in a rose stem.  Only repetitive militant structure.  It’s the Bikram Yoga of the flower world.

So I’ve taken to bending the rose stems.  This has to be done carefully, but if you do it,  you end up with a rose arrangement that has bend and interest.

Which is not to be confused with an interesting case of the bends.



Floral Wire or any 20 gauge or so wire.



The first step in any flower arrangement is to recut the bottom of your flower stems.  Your best bet is to do it under water, but second best is to cut them with a sharp knife or scissors and immediately plunk them in water.

Once you do that you’re ready to start wiring your stems.



Cut a 12″ or so length of wire.


Pierce the base of the rose with the wire and push the wire right through to the other side.  Carefully or your flower head will pop off.
Like one of mine did.




Now take one side of the wire and wrap it around the stem.  Tightly but not so tightly you cut into the stem.




Finally take the other length of wire and wrap it around the stem in the opposite direction.
By the way … floral wire is green.  This stuff I found in the bottom of my craft cupboard and it is not green.
Green will disappear when you do this.  The stuff I found at the bottom of my craft cupboard does not.




Once all your roses are wired, gently bend them.  You’re not going to be able to make something in the shape of a circular staircase out of them but you can create the look of movement.
Now, put them in your vase.  If they need adjusting, adjust away.  Depending on the number of roses you have and the size of the vase you might need to use mushed up chicken wire in your vase or tape criss crossed across of the vase to keep your stems in place.


Bent Roses Crop


If I had some I would have put some time of filler in the base.


Bent Stem Roses


Now granted.  This isn’t the most beautiful arrangement I’ve ever made.  What with not having anything other than roses.  But if you were to incorporate this into an arrangement that has a few other things to help hide the stems you’d be lookin’ at a winner right now.


And if this were Valentine’s Day, you’d have a million dollar winner!  And approximately 3 less internal organs.



  1. Shannon V. says:

    I’m the same. I told my husband long ago NOT to buy me roses on Valentine’s day. In fact, we don’t even go out to dinner…way too pricey. We usually make a lovely dinner here at home together…that way we can both drink lots of yummy red wine!

    • Pat says:

      Yup, that’s how we roll as well. At home with the fireplace, our own choice of red wine(at a non-inflated price), two beef tenderloins on the BBQ and no driving! And if it happens on the weekend after Valentine’s Day, then so be it.

      • Shannon V. says:

        Same here….does it really have to be on the 14th? Any day works just fine for me. Infact, my hubby works away from home for a month at a time, so the month that he his off, we try to do this several times.

  2. Toronto Boy says:

    Valentine’s Day should occur everyday … not just reserved for one special occasion!

    Back on topic …

    For some strange reason, those roses look like they are trying to crawl out of the vase. =P

    But that’s probably because I grow different varieties of roses and am used to seeing rose stems with “no whimsy”! =)

  3. Trine says:

    If you grow roses in the garden it’s a whole different story- they can be flexible and much more “natural” looking e.g. Jacques Quartier roses, with a charming messy look.

  4. Leena says:

    In a way this post makes me happy we do not celebrate much any of the holidays you have there in the North America. We can buy roses from the supermarket for 6 euro a bunch all year round, including valentine’s day.
    LOVE the arrangement! Looks natural, like it’s a rose bush.

  5. Moe says:

    Me too.. No “flower shop” roses, but if he felt the need to, then he could get me a single rose from the grocery store. No gifts either. Just a sappy card and I don’t cook supper. We usually order out from the local greasy spoon.. cheeseburger platters..yum. And I LOVE your table.. that is so cool. And the bendy roses.. they look awesome.

  6. Suanne Jefferies says:

    Let’s talk about Valentine’s Day traditions! (Beautiful rose arrangement, by the way) My wonderful husband and I take the day off work (we don’t play hooky…we plan this as one of our vacation days)and he sends me off to get a pedicure while he creates a wonderful meal. One time he even had lobster flown in from Boston. (an extravigance I’ve told him never to repeat after I found out how much THAT cost) He never tells me what is on the menu until I come home to see. He always makes a lucious dessert of some kind. The meal is complete with candles and a cloth tablecloth! He gives me a call when the meal is almost ready and I head home from a day of pampering to a beautiful evening with my Sweetie. We both look forward to this special day each year.

  7. Diane A. says:

    Leave it to Karen to decide that rose stems need to bend…even with no filler your bendy roses look stunning. Never been crazy for roses, and now I want some. Thanks

  8. Anita says:

    Years ago, my now ex boyfriend gave me 2 dozen long stem roses thinking this would wow me. Little did he know I hate roses. Hate Hate Hate them. he watched in horror as I cut the stems down to 3 inches and put them in a square short vase. Thats the only way roses look some what tolerable. He learned quick- tulips are the way to this girls heart.

  9. Kerri says:

    I made the same rule about roses with my husband. No roses, no occasion, never ever.. put some frickin’ thought into it man! Actually, it may have been, no flowers, period.. I was still using crates for furniture when we met. By choice. Fast forward to the day my youngest proudly purchased a pot of baby pink teacup roses for me for mothers day, all by himself. I love flowers now, and getting them and gardening with them and now I’ll love bending them too. I actually like how the stems look, thanks for the idea 🙂

  10. Langela says:

    Are you telling me women actually GET things for Valentine’s Day?! My husband has convinced me it’s a day for men, and women are to ‘put out’ on that day to show their love. Hmmmm, I’m going to have to have a talk with that man. This year, if he’s “gettin’ some”, I’ll be getting something too!

  11. Ruth says:

    My husband had better not buy me roses, because if he deposits our firstborn – in our case… ‘onlyborn’ – at the cash register, we’re done. 😀

    Cute arrangement. What’s ‘time of filler’?

  12. Alex says:

    I’m not much of a flower person either (with the exception of Orchids and Lilies) but I don’t like getting flowers as any form of a romantic gift. Give me a good bottle of Wiser’s and I’ll have a way better night.

  13. Randy says:

    Well you hit the nail on the head with the rose thing! It’s ridiculous how they increase the price. Sixty dollars one day and 15 cent a stem the next… I love your arrangement; you’re so very talented in so many ways. I also love your style of writing, very humorous, it make reading your blog very entertaining. I hope you have a wonderful day.

  14. Chris says:

    I really MUST know where that gorgeous table is from!! I would gladly maim you (or anyone else in possession of it) to own it! Please share before I begin my life of crime…

    • Karen says:

      Chris – I got it at Homesense in Canada which is the equivalent to HomeGoods in the States. Many people have asked about it, but the table has no makers mark on it. Nothing to say who made it or where it came from. So i’m afraid it’s a mystery. 🙁 ~ karen!

      • Barbara says:

        I just saw the exact same table at Home Goods here in Bucks County, PA – Yesterday !!! I believe it was $99 and I LOVE it ! And I love your blog and your bendy roses – Thanks for sharing !

  15. Jake says:

    Please tell us about that fabulous table. 🙂

  16. Deet says:

    I have been buying a bouquet of 6 roses every other week at my Florida supermarket for $4. I don’t need to buy every week because these gorgeous roses last for two weeks. I have a low chadelier over the dining table so I keep the bouquet short and un-whimsical and love it. However, yours is certainly inovative.

    I, too, called a moritorium on Valentine flowers years ago.

  17. toekneetoni says:

    they look fab & interesting. thanks for sharing this tip.

  18. Love how you’ve shown those roses who’s in charge, Karen. They are just so uppity. I’m in my fifties and I’ve received roses from the Hubs exactly four times… after the birth of each of our sons. Thank God none of those dates coincided with Valentine’s day. Now I’m sad I’ll never get to use this new-found rose binding knowledge…

  19. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    So pretty much more interesting..and of course that table makes anything you put on it Shine!!

  20. Jeannie B says:

    Your roses look very pretty Karen. The wiring must have been a bit tedious but the effect is interesting. Store bought roses have always made me anxious. Ever since I received a dozen long stemmed red ones, years ago, that drooped an hour after I put them in a vase. Like I’d caused their necks to wither. It depresses me to watch cut flowers slowly die. I’d rather just have one beautiful bloom given to me in a bud vase. As for Valentine’s Day, I’d rather have a poem or a love letter. But I know that’s not likely to happen. And why do we have to remind men to cut their toenails?

  21. So, who does actually buy roses on Valentine’s Day…seems to be a resounding “NO” here, and i’ve issued the same instruction. One rose is ok, but not a bunch of overpriced ones with no scent.
    Instead, I like to get a bush (even at another time of year) and plant it in my garden, but scent is a must!

  22. Shauna says:

    This looks really cool. Too much work for me, but really cool. I, too, agree about Valentine’s Day and the cost of roses. I wonder if we all revolt, could we bring the cost down? doubtful.

    On a totally off topic – I just ordered two new chickens to be delivered to my abode on February 10th – Easter Eggers, I’m so excited. I know there will be ugly pecking order issues to deal with as I’ve dealt with it in the past, but I’m hoping all goes well and everyone can play well together fairly quickly so I can get me some blue, pink or green eggs. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      That’s great! I’d like another chicken so I could finally get some more EGGS. I’d like a Marans. Good luck with your new gals! ~ karen!

  23. Barbie says:

    Do you find that the life of your rose is shortened significantly by doing this? As I understand it, once the stem has a break in it (or bendish/break) then it won’t draw water past that bend/break. I wouldn’t know since I have alway discarded the rose if it has a bendy/break in the stem.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barbie – They were fine. The tops flop when you get an air bubble in the stem. With this, the stems don’t break, you just gently bend them. Worked fine for me, but of course you’ll probably do it on my advice and they’ll all keel over, LOL. ~ karen!

  24. marilyn says:

    i too dont require flowers on valentines day…or a card or anything for that matter because as corny as i know it will sound and i dont husband is so good to me it feels like every day is valentines day..your roses are pretty tho and all i can say is thank God they arent red!!

  25. Sara says:

    A friend and her husband drive to the store every Valentine’s Day. They stand together in the card aisle, pick out a card for each other (but don’t sign it), stand in the card aisle to read the card, laugh out loud, put the card back and leave the store. Genius! The color of those roses is beautiful!

  26. Bonnie says:

    I love this idea, simple yet elegant. I have a good idea to share, too. I love gardenias, but they get brown so fast. When my daughter was getting married, the florist suggested gardenias in the arrangements. I asked about the browning issue, and she told me that the secret to keeping them from browning is to dip them in white glue that has been thinned with water. She insisted that the heavenly aroma is still evident. I did try this once, and it seemed to work ok, but I think I may have to experiment with the proportions of glue and water to perfect it.

  27. Jenifer Koyle says:

    I’m anti – roses on principle. They are unoriginal and somewhat lazy. Of course now I rarely get flowers cause I don’t want the easy option. You really can’t win.

  28. Melissa says:

    I worked seasonally at a florist, and our cost of a dozen roses would quadruple around Valentines Day. $200 for flowers, are you kidding me? Totally a rip off. Men would rush in and fork over the money and not even blink.

  29. Becky says:

    My “fella” is not allowed to buy me anything that dies in less than a week.
    Wanna buy me flowers? Buy me a house plant or a bush I can plant in the ground and will live for years…
    (really wanna get lucky? buy me a bush that produces fruit we can eat lol)
    The only thing he’s allowed to bring home on V-day is a heart shaped box of chocolates. My Grandpa did that for my Grandma every year, and I’m a sentimental fool like that.

    I like the look of your bendy roses, but I really like the way the wire looks like the ribbons on ballet shoes more.

  30. Lisa Kuhl-Thomas says:

    I’m with you on the no roses for Valentine’s Day. I used to want one on our anniversary for every year we’ve been married. Who know we’d be married so damn long! So that’s out. To expensive. And besides, we don’t need roses for Valentine’s Day when every frickin’ day in our house is Valentine’s Day. Now I ask him on each of these days to give me a plant or seeds I can plant outside, something that will last.

    Love the arrangement with the bendy roses though. That looks pretty cool and I bet would be awesome with more foilage to cover the stems.

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