TALL ORDER? NOT IF IT'S FOR LOVE

This Valentine's Day, roses are red - and 1.5m tall 

Floret and Teddies' Ms Tara Chia with the roses, which are 1.3m to 1.5m tall. One man has ordered 100 stems.
Floret and Teddies' Ms Tara Chia with the roses, which are 1.3m to 1.5m tall. One man has ordered 100 stems.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

If roses are a way to declare your love on Valentine's Day, what do giant versions which grow up to 1.5m say?

Florist Tara Chia, who owns Floret and Teddies, has brought in 300 stalks of the world's tallest roses.

Known as Freedom, they are from Ecuador, where prolonged sunlight, cool nights and fertile volcanic soil help them flourish. "They stay fresher longer too," said Ms Chia, 42.

She is selling them at $55 apiece, and one customer has snapped up 100 for his wife.

Ms Chia said she first saw the giant roses at a flower fair in the Netherlands four years ago and thought of them when regular clients started asking for "the most unique flowers" for Valentine's Day, which falls on Saturday.

In the business since 1998, she said: "More men are able to appreciate beautiful flowers today. They are more willing to pay to please their wives and girlfriends."

Mr Royston Low, 56, managing director of Katong Flower Shop, agreed, saying: "Nowadays, it is not unusual for men to send 99 or 999 roses to their girlfriends or wives."

The man who ordered the 100 stalks of Freedom roses from Ms Chia is a 37-year-old engineer who asked not to be named because he wants to surprise his wife. They have been married for just over a year.

"It's a sign of love to do something that makes your partner happy. Flowers make my wife happy," he told The Sunday Times.

"I don't know much about flowers so I'm leaving it to my florist. It's like diamonds. I don't quite understand why women like that rock either."

joycel@sph.com.sg