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Garden roses are back and a popular option for weddings

Garden roses, which once were the everyday rose sold by local flower shops, are back in their uniquely big and fragrant ways.
Their large blooms and strong scent not only distinguish them from today’s standard roses but also make them an increasingly popular option for weddings and other special occasions.
This is how Alexandra Farms in Bogota, Colombia, the source for most of the garden roses that Royer’s buys, toasts its product: “Garden roses are to roses what champagne is to wine.”


Decades ago, Royer’s and other florists grew their own garden roses. What today is known as a standard or modern rose didn’t exist.
By the 1970s, however, an oil embargo made it prohibitively expensive for Royer’s and other domestic florists to heat their greenhouses. Meanwhile, Bogota, by virtue of lying on a plateau near the equator, enjoyed warm days and cool nights – or near-perfect conditions for rose production. (Today, the major rose-producing nations are Colombia, Ecuador and Kenya.)
But as with many things in life, there was a tradeoff: The farther away growers were from florists, the hardier that roses (and other flowers) had to be to withstand the added time and rigors involved with shipping.
So, a choice had to be made between flower bloom size and fragrance on the one hand and vase life (or how long a flower lasts once it is cut) on the other. Garden roses have twice as many petals as standard roses, which manifests as significantly bigger blooms than standard rose blooms.
“In many cases,” according to Alexandra Farms, “you couldn’t get a garden rose with a long vase life if you wanted it also to have many petals or fragrance, so [growers] moved toward standard roses. Rather than getting more beauty or fragrance in the varieties they grew, they got longer vase life. In short, [roses] lost some of their charisma in favor of performance.”
Famed rose breeder David Austin changed that by developing a garden rose genetic line specifically for the cut-flower market.
“Now, garden roses are bred for performance in addition to their charismatic qualities,” according to Alexandra Farms, “so you can have the best of both worlds.”
Meanwhile, improvements in post-harvesting techniques – from hydration methods to anti-ethylene treatments (ethylene gas can promote premature flower death) to better packaging – “have enabled us to grow more productively and ship our cut flowers around the world,” according to Alexandra Farms.
The grower said it has tested more than 1,500 varieties of garden roses for beauty but also for shelf and vase life.


Garden roses are available in almost every color that exists for standard roses. True to their champagne reputation, garden roses cost more than standard roses, but they are a cost-effective alternative to peonies.
Garden roses are sometimes described as having “powder puff” petals that mirror those of peonies and make them a good substitute when peonies aren’t available.
Peonies require frozen soil – and therefore seasons, Alexandra Farms explained. The plants must freeze in the ground for months in order to sprout in the spring. Based on time of year and availability, peonies can be considerably more expensive than garden roses, which are available year-round.
But Alexandra Farms, which grows 61 varieties of garden roses in Colombia, noted that garden roses don’t have to be limited to weddings and other special events.
They “can be used for anything including home décor, vase work, etc.,” according to the grower. “The garden roses grown at Alexandra Farms were bred and selected for longevity, as well as beauty. They are hardy and work well for any use.”

Homecoming flower trends: Royer’s visits Fox 43


Fox 43's Heather Warner with Barry Spengler of Royer's.
Fox 43’s Heather Warner with Barry Spengler of Royer’s.

Fox 43 Morning News’ Heather Warner figures she has a decade until she has to worry about homecoming dances in her household.
But she talked about current homecoming flower trends this morning as she welcomed Barry Spengler of Royer’s to Fox 43’s York studio.
“The newest thing this year … the guys are getting flowers when they ask the lady to the homecoming dance,” he said.
He noted that Royer’s Carlisle store had seen 20 to 25 young men (or in some cases, their mothers) come in to buy flowers in advance of asking girls out. Handing Warner a hand-held rose bouquet, Barry said: “I think it’s one of those things when you ask somebody, you hand them something, it takes the anxiety out of it.”
Warner said: “You can’t say no if they present this, can you?”
Barry quipped, “It’s almost bribery.”
Warner: “I think so. That would have made it awfully tough” to say no.
Other trends Barry touched on:


Barry eased a ring corsage onto the right hand of Warner, who marveled:
“The day of the corsage with the little rubber band are gone. Very cool.”


Barry demonstrated a snap bracelet on Warner’s arm, explaining where the corsage attaches.
“A lot of the seniors, it’s their last homecoming, they’re saying, ‘I want a little keepsake after the dance,’ ” Barry said. “So they’re getting something in a bracelet like that for after the fact … . And even little trinkets; there’s little butterflies that you can save for after the fact, too.”


“There is no wrong with bling,” Barry said. “Anything with color, pop, snap. Bright is the thing.”
For instance, he offered a silver bracelet with dendrobium orchids and jewels. Another bracelet featured orange flowers and acorns — to go with a camouflage dress.
“Now, anything goes,” Barry said. “Just don’t get anxiety over the flowers. Just get what you think works.”
Click here to watch the entire segment.

Sisters Annie and Maddie celebrate birthdays at Royer’s

Birthday girls Maddie, left, and sister Annie.
Birthday girls Maddie, left, and sister Annie.

Melissa Castellano is expecting her third child, a boy, in August. When he turns 5, he can join the Royer’s Kids Club.
“If his sisters have anything to say about it,” Melissa quipped.
Sisters Annie, 10, and Maddie, 6, are veterans of the kids club, although the family’s ties to Royer’s run even deeper than that.
When Annie was 3, she attended a holiday open house at our Harrisburg store. It snowed that morning, and to complete the festiveness of the day, Annie won an Advent calendar at the open house.
As Melissa said, Annie “has a bond with the store.”

The girls share August birthdays and like to have their parties together. This year, they wanted a garden party theme – and they wanted to celebrate at Royer’s.

Melissa broached the idea with Harrisburg store manager Shannon Fink at a kids club event. Shannon’s team was more than happy to oblige.
The Castellanos arrived an hour before to set up for the two-hour event. They brought birthday cake and other food, as well as clay pots for the 17 children.
While Annie’s group was eating in the store’s loft, which was decorated as a butterfly garden, Maddie’s party was decorating the pots in the store’s design room.
Melissa’s grandmother died in March, so this was the first time she wasn’t there for Annie and Maddie’s parties. In her honor, the children filled their pots with African violets, the grandmother’s favorite.
The day was a big hit with the birthday girls.
“They loved it,” Melissa said. “The girls said a couple times it was a dream come true to be let loose in a flower shop.”

4 Occasions Where Flowers Make the Perfect Gift

The gift of flowers is always a welcome breath of fresh air for the recipient. Flowers make excellent gifts for many different occasions and can be the perfect choice whether you’re giving a gift to a casual acquaintance or a close loved one. Here are just a few times when flowers make a great gift:
Who doesn’t love to get a bouquet of flowers on their birthday? A bright arrangement of flowers is a celebration of having someone in your life. When it comes to birthdays, flowers make a thoughtful gift for a co-worker, but they’re equally special when they come from a close family member or friends. When you’re not sure what to get someone for their birthday, think flowers.
Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is the time that florist sell the most flowers. Of course, roses are Valentine’s standard, but you aren’t limited to them for this occasion. If your significant other has a favorite flower, a gorgeous bouquet of his or her chosen blooms is every bit as romantic as standard red roses.
Coming to the end of a career is a major achievement, and flowers are a good way to mark the occasion. Let the retiree know how highly you regard his or her accomplishment by giving the retiree a bright bunch of tulips or a mixed arrangement featuring daises, carnations, and more.
An anniversary is a time for you to show your loved one how appreciated he or she is and to celebrate your ability to stick together as a team through whatever life throws at you. It’s not just women who can receive flowers on an anniversary. Flowers can also be a special gift for a man, especially when you choose flowers in yellow, red, and other less feminine shades.
There’s hardly an occasion that can’t be made more memorable with flowers. To order flowers and for help selecting the perfect arrangement, call Royers Flowers & Gifts at (717) 273-2683. We have a huge selection of top-quality flowers and can add on vases, gift baskets, and more. Contact us to place your order today.

How to Give the Gift of Flowers

Going on a first date is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. This is especially true if you don’t know whether you should give flowers or what types of flowers you should give.
This video clip offers some excellent suggestions on not only the types of flowers you might give on a first date, but also on how to present those flowers to your date. Check out the video to learn how to give beautiful flowers on a first date.
If you need fresh flowers, whether it’s for a date, holiday, or special occasion, contact us at Royer’s Flowers and Gifts. Call (717) 769-1413 today to place your order.

Looking For More Flower Tips For Special Occasions?

Whether you’d like more tips on prom flowers or need a little more help keeping your cut flowers fresh and beautiful, you’ll love the information in the following resources. Call Royer’s Flowers and Gifts at (717) 769-1413 to order your flowers today.

How to Win Over Your Date’s Parents on Prom Night

Prom night is perhaps the single most important night in a high school student’s life. Dresses, tuxedos, music, dining, and dancing all play a role in this formal occasion, as do flowers. The first stop on your way to the festivities is to pick up your date, and most likely, you’ll meet her parents while you are there. Are you ready to make a positive impression? Here are a few tips:

  • Present a Flower to Her Mother. This part of prom night etiquette is not as commonplace as it once was, but that fact works to your advantage. Bringing your date’s mom a single flower shows that you are respectful, thoughtful, and courteous. It will be appreciated by both parents, as well as by your date herself.
  • Bring a Corsage for Your Date. More important than flowers for mom is the flower you bring your date. Wrist corsages are most popular and can be worn with any dress. Ask your date about the color of her dress so that you can choose flowers and ribbon that will match. Be sure to call the florist at least a week in advance to get your order in.
  • Be on Time. Punctuality shows responsibility and respect for your date, both of which will be admirable qualities in her parents’ eyes.
  • Be Mindful of Your Manners. Come to the door instead of waiting for her in the car. Introduce yourself, refer to your date’s parents as Mr. and Mrs., and respond to questions with “ma’am” and “sir.” If your date has a curfew, allow yourself plenty of time to have her home by then. As you leave, open the car door for your date. If you show that you are respectful, it is much easier to earn respect for yourself.

Prom and flowers go hand in hand. Call us at Royer’s Flowers and Gifts at (717) 769-1413 to secure your perfect prom night flowers, both for your date and her mother. Above all, be safe on this special night and have fun!