Cupid's making a delivery to some lucky lover. Just look at this huge cart of roses! It's pretty impressive, even to this old practical (and cheap) Heirloom Orchardist. Does Cupid have any idea that these gorgeous cut roses will look like compost an a few days?
I have no idea what your sweetheart likes. But I'll go out on a limb, and suggest that on Valentine's day, instead of cut roses, consider giving a living one. There's plenty of time to order. I suggest a perfectly pure white heirloom variety: Blanc Double de Coubert. Here's what Gertrude Jekyll said about it in her 1902 book, Roses for English Gardens:
"The beautiful white Blanc Double de Coubert - whitest Rose of any known - has for purity of colour eclipsed the older, duller white Madame Georges Bruant, though this is still indispensable. Blanc Double de Coubert is one of the best Roses, for it blooms the whole summer through and well into autumn. Its rich, deep green foliage, highly polished though heavily reticulated, persisting till late in the year, gives it that look of perfect health and vigour that the leafage of so many Roses lacks late in the summer."
Of course, the reality is that this new rose will not be in full fragrant bloom on February 14. I understand that. You're sweetheart will also understand.
But here's another idea: Next year, force the rose into blossom. This is, apparently, "a very pleasing occupation." Mr. Podbury (a somewhat unpleasing name) gave these instructions in the April 1, 1871 issue of The Small Fruit Recorder and Cottage Gardener:
"To grow roses in pots for window culture is a very pleasing occupation. To grow them successfully, choose young, vigorous plants, say in April or May, either on own roots or on Manetti stock. Repot them in six inch pots and plunge them in the ground to the rim of the pot. Keep them well supplied with water and occasionally a little manure water. Keep all the flowers pinched off until the middle or the end of September. You will then have a plant with six to eight well ripened shoots."
"Prune them back, and shake them clear out of the old soil and repot them, using a compost of good loam and well rotted manure – about two thirds of the former to one of the latter - with sufficient sand to keep from packing hard. Soak the newly potted plant well with water, and plunge it again in a sunny spot. By the end of October you will have the pot full of young and vigorous roots. Introduce (it) to the window, and by the time the frost has killed the roses out of doors, this will be ready to succeed them, and give you a supply of roses without a great expense of fire heat."
You won't need the fire. This Valentine's day,there'll be plenty heat in the bedroom.