It’s only been a few days but we already miss the olympics! In this past 2012 London Summer Olympics, nearly 4,800 Victory Bouquets were given to medal winners. Designed by Susan Lapworth, the Creative Director at Jane Packer, the bouquet consists of yellow, orange, green, and pink roses, along with bunches of lavender, wheat, apple mint, and rosemary, all of which are grown in England. The International Olympic Committee wanted the bouquet to not only be fragrant, but also reflect the energy of the games.
The flowers of this bouquet are simply different colors and varieties of roses, each of which can be grown in your own home garden. The yellow, orange, green, and pink roses are known as Illios roses, Marie Claire roses, Wimbledon roses, and Aqua roses, respectively. You may also be able to grow lavender, wheat, apple mint, and rosemary alongside these roses, making your flowerbeds into a permanent Victory Bouquet!
Choosing a Location
Although where you decide to grow your roses is entirely up to you, planting them properly requires you to plant them in the “right” place. This location must receive at least six hours of sunlight every day and not be in a spot where future plant or tree growth will cast a shadow. It’s also important to consider the size of a fully-grown rosebush when choosing a location, as well as how well the colors – yellow, orange, green, and pink – will go with the rest of your yard.
Sunlight and aesthetics, however, aren’t the only components of choosing the right spot: The soil is another major factor of proper rose growth. The soil must be well-drained, abundant in organic materials, and have a PH level between 5.5 and 7. The latter can be tested and adjusted by picking up a PH testing kit from your local hardware or gardening store.
Caring for Your Roses
Newly-planted roses should be watered whenever the top two inches of soil is dry. Frequent watering will help new roses maintain their moisture, which will ensure that they develop strong and healthy roots.
After about a month of growing, your Olympic roses should be well on their way to being full-grown. At this point their roots will be very developed and won’t require frequent watering. In fact, fully-grown roses don’t require much watering with the exception of a spray-down every two weeks or so. If you live in a hot and dry climate, however, more frequent watering and a filtered shade may be necessary to keep them healthy.
Fertilizer should be applied three months after planting or once the roses are full-bloomed. Think of this as an “award” for good performance!
The only other maintenance you’ll need to perform on your roses outside of watering and fertilizing is occasional deadheading, as well as pruning in the winter months. Deadheading involves clipping the bud directly above the five-leaflet part of the stem, which will help ensure strong blooms in the future. When you need to prune your roses, simply cut them back to about a quarter of their original size.
Assembling a Bouquet
With your new Olympic roses, you’ll be able to make your very own Victory Bouquet! The bouquet will require three of each rose, along with 10 sprigs of rosemary, 10 apple mint leaves, 10 stalks of wheat, and 60 sprigs of lavender.
Arrange the flowers so that they follow this arrangement: Lavender separating the pink and yellow roses, rosemary separating the yellow and orange roses, apple mint separating the orange and green roses, and wheat separating the green and pink roses. Once completed, you’ll have a beautiful Victory Bouquet that smells just as great as it looks.