In Sydney, we have markets in several places every weekend. We can enjoy the markets in tourist spots such as The Rocks and Manly, or we have unique markets in Paddington, Glebe, Kirribilli, and so on. Have you ever bought flowers there? You can usually find flowers for sale in all markets. Flowers of the same kind are sold wrapped in cellophane paper. Rarely will you see flowers of different colors in a bouquet or in a fancy arrangement, which is often seen in Japan for Halloween or New Year. Many of you may have seen small bouquets with several kinds of flowers but they are far more expensive than a bunch of flowers of the same kind, far more expensive than you would have expected.
In that case, let us take a plunge and buy a bunch of roses. Ten roses will sell for about 15 to 20 dollars. To choose fresh roses, find ones with fresh, crisp leaves. Then pinch the most swollen part of the flower bud lightly between your thumb and index finger. If it remains firm, it is fresh. On the other hand, if you find it a little soft and your fingers sink into it, it is not fresh anymore. It is beautiful just to place the roses you have just bought in a vase but let´s make one more little effort to enjoy their beauty even more.
First, take a rose in one hand and cut the stem in two parts, one with the fresh leaves and the other with the flower. Cut all the flowers to the same length, gather the flowers together in one bundle, and the leaves in another bundle. You needn’t buy additional leaves for the arrangement. You already have enough material to enjoy the color contrast. Now, place the short-stemmed roses in a low container full of water. They will look beautiful even without a kenzan or oasis for Ikebana. If you find someone selling roses at the street corner, or at the market, please try the above process with roses of your favourite color and make your daily life happier.