Starnberg: "Infinity roses" - flowers that last forever

Petra Hergenröther-Magenau’s flower shop could also be her living room. The shop called “Les Petites Fleurs” is located at Glatzer Straße 5 in the Söcking district of Starnberg, actually a purely residential area. To the right of the front door is a sofa landscape with a cowhide carpet, to the left a bar stool and a table. Cozy, dimmed light – there are only four desks in the back part of the room, one for each employee. A picture of a girl hangs on the wall. It wears a cap that says “Homegirl”.

Starnberg: If possible, the flowers are brought to the customer by bicycle.

If possible, the flowers are brought to the customer by bicycle. “But we probably can’t become 100 percent sustainable,” says Hergenröther-Magenau.

(Photo: Georgine Treybal)

Not only is the sales area unusual, the most important product that Hergenröther-Magenau sells here is just as unusual: preserved roses. Flowers from all over the world – from Ecuador, Kenya and the Netherlands – from which water is removed in a complex process and an alcohol solution added. “But these are still real roses,” says Hergenröther-Magenau in an interview. So why buy a preserved rose instead of a fresh one just picked in your home field? “The difference is that they are easier to care for,” explains the shopkeeper. “You don’t even have to water them.” And these roses don’t wither. Expiry of the expiration date: at the earliest in one year. Real roses wither after five days, at the latest after two weeks.

Starnberg: The infinity roses come in all sorts of colors.  In pink....

Infinity roses come in all sorts of colors. In pink….

(Photo: Georgine Treybal)

Starnberg: ...or also in white.  When they are preserved, the flowers lose their natural color.  In a second step...

…or also in white. When they are preserved, the flowers lose their natural color. In a second step…

(Photo: Georgine Treybal)

Starnberg: ...so you have to color them in again.

…so you have to color them in again.

(Photo: Georgine Treybal)

The flower shop was founded in 2017 by the Greek couple Tasousis. The couple ran the shop until two and a half years ago when they decided to move back to Greece. The current owners Petra Hergenröther-Magenau and her husband Marc then took over the business. To this day, “Les Petites Fleurs” is the only flower shop in the region for so-called “infinity roses” – “roses for eternity”.

Eternity roses are in great demand, especially on special occasions

Hardly any flower in the world has a worse carbon footprint than a preserved rose that travels to Bavaria from South America. Does it have to be that way? “We probably can’t be 100 percent sustainable,” emphasizes Hergenröther-Magenau, “but we’re trying.” The roses themselves are biodegradable. “In a study, we found that our roses emit less CO₂ if we have them delivered by ship instead of by plane,” says the rose dealer. “And I almost always bring them to the customers with our e-car or delivery bike anyway.” But is this transcontinental effort really worth it? “Our product is in high demand, especially for special occasions,” Hergenröther-Magenau replies. “And it’s just nice to make customers happy with the roses.”

The roses are available in specially made, magnificent vases and in self-designed wooden boxes. The flowers are available in all colors on request. They lose their natural color during the preservation process, after which they are recolored with glycerine and food coloring – this is what makes diversity possible. There are also roses for special occasions such as Christmas, weddings and Mother’s Day. You can also buy candles, pillows and soap at “Les Petites Fleurs”.

However, what they lack, the preserved roses by Petra Hergenröther-Magenau, is the smell. Isn’t that a pity? “Yes, of course it’s a pity,” says the operator. “But we don’t try to replace a real bouquet with living flowers either – they are and will always be beautiful.”

The roses are mainly sold online through the store’s website: https://lespetitesfleurs.de

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