The Quest for the Perfect Rose Petal Heart in the Sand

The Quest for the Perfect Rose Petal Heart in the Sand

Reflections on a Proposal Shoot
By, Tabitha Miki Floral Designer for Jolene Kaneshige Photography

For as long as I can remember, and probably before my time as well, rose petals have been associated with love, romance, and beauty! So what better way to enhance a surprise, destination proposal with a large outline of a heart made with rose petals on one of the beautiful Hawaiian beaches? It’s classic, timeless, and a beautiful memory of being proposed to in Hawaii!!

However, achieving that perfect heart with rose petals in the sand is not as easy as it looks! For one thing, a 10’ by 10’ heart requires several pounds of petals which does not come cheap! Think of it as buying several dozen roses and turning them into petals. That is why it is so expensive to create. The larger the heart, the more petals; but it is so worth the money! The end product is so beautiful,classic, and a simple look!

There is also quite a bit of work involved especially when you have to deal with the elements, like wind! Simply sprinkling the light weight petals in the shape of a heart in the sand is not going to hold; and when you have to set up 1-2 hours ahead to set that perfect movie like romantic proposal scene, the petals have to be perfect and in the exact place!

One option that works is a trench outline, however, it requires a good bit of work. The outline heart is drawn in the sand. Once you have the outline drawn to your satisfaction, a trench can be dug in the sand. The problem is dry sand falls down on itself, so you need to introduce a little water to pack the sand on both sides to create the walls that hold the rose petals in. This one heart takes about 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours to set up by an individual depending on skill and experience, as well as weather conditions, but the end product is definitely worth the effort! It is a true labor of love!

The trench method works but I was determined to improve it in order to really showcase the floral side of our department! I sat and brainstormed, watched other renown florists create masterpieces that had nothing to do with my current project, so maybe, just maybe a technique for something might be used that I could use it, in creating the perfect heart with rose petals. Suddenly, I found several techniques from various other projects that could help me tremendously! (I definitely cannot thank these floral designers enough)! That same day, our Social Media Director and I were talking about the quest I was on, he suggested something life changing! He told me if I found a way to produce that one thing and used a tool to be efficient it would create a consistent quality of the product I wanted!! It was true! I then came up with the perfect rose heart solution by combining everything that I had learned that day!! What is it you ask? That is a trade secret that I cannot divulge!! But I can tell you that it does produce amazing rose petal hearts in the sand!!

With my quest complete, I could rest easy and was now free to scheme, dream, and inspire others with my designs! This project allowed me to think outside the box and utilize various techniques of floral design, a bit of architecture, as well as basic problem solving skills! For those gamers out there: Floral Design skill- level 19, Architecture skill – level 2, and Problem Solving-level 37!

I hope that this blog gives you inspiration as you begin to plan your proposal. Need help? Contact us and Let us help you tell your story!


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