I’m getting married this year, and the colour for the wedding is a deep blue. This poses a problem for bouquets as blue flowers are less common. While cornflowers would be available they would be coming to the end of their season and are not assured to be good quality. A florist suggested blue thistles – I love the look of thistles, but I don’t know what message I would be sending if I turned up at the altar with an armful of spikyness. After looking around online I saw, and fell in love with, blue roses.
According to wikipedia blue roses convey inner feelings of love at first sight, being enchanted by something or someone.
When I say blue roses I don’t mean the bred strains of lavender coloured roses that they call ‘blue’, I mean deep blue dyed roses. The commercial blue roses are created by cultivating the roses in a blue dye solution.
I visited two local florists yesterday for a ballpark quote for flowers. One shop would not do dyed flowers, the other had very recently put together a bouquet of 12 blue roses for another customer. Both place quoted me a base figure of £65 per bouquet (without blue roses, which would increase the materials price). Judging from the size of the basic bouquets, and the size and price of other, non-wedding bouquets I can only judge that the cost of skills, time and raw materials for a small, hand-tied bouquet is about £40 max and the additional cost is ‘wedding tax’.
I’m trying to do this wedding on a low budget and indulging arbitrary markup for a non-essential item isn’t on the cards.
The only place that I can see that does blue roses for delivery on the internet is InterRose. Yes – their website is terrible to look at, but they do lovely roses (check out the happy roses). They’ll do 12 blue roses for £60. From 12 roses and some cheaper additional white flowers I can make the 2 bouquets and 3 buttonholes that I need at less than two thirds the price that the florist would charge for 2 bouquets without blue roses. If I’m going to pay for expensive flowers it will probably be through this mechanism.
Dyeing my own
Everyone knows the old trick of dyeing carnations by feeding them water with food colouring in. This tactic also works for roses. I bought a cheap bunch of white roses at Sainsbury’s and put them in strongly coloured water. After 3 days the results are below:
Disappointing. Only the tips have coloured and the colour is more turquoise than deep blue.
Making fabric flowers
I have a bag of remnant fabric in the blue that I wanted. I followed the instructions at http://duhbe.com/blog/?p=807 to make a synthetic fabric rose. The only step I didn’t follow was the advice not to have drafts in the room when melting the edges of the fabric, I instead opted to open the window and work in a well ventilated area.
I tried a similar method with a white cotton fabric. Because I used a cotton I couldn’t seal the edges with flame, but instead zigzag stitched along the edge. The plan was to use ultramarine Brusho to dye the edges of the petals and get a two tone effect. Unfortunately the Brusho ran a bit too much and the white was lost.
I’m experimenting with other methods of colouring the tips of the petal.
My search for a blue rose continues.