What fluids do you use in your show vases? I've heard a couple of different practices.
Water. Cold if I'm trying to get the bloom to hold form and the exhibit area is hot, hot if I'm trying to get the bloom to open a little more. Most people use whatever water is provided at the location. I must be from another planet, I've not heard of cooling gel being used (at least not in these parts)
Zionadams :~) Hey girlfriend!
Re cutting the rose under water right before staging will help. Also, some exhibitors use preservatives in the water to help the rose hold. Also, conditioning your roses when you cut them will ensure fresh entries.
You are going to love Merlot ;~)