Flowers are emotive. We use them to express how we feel at different times in our lives – in fact flowers can say so much without words. Flowers are given to declare love, to show we care or even as a mark of respect.
Buy Healthy Flowers
Whether you are buying flowers for yourself or as a gift they should create feeling. Buy flowers that make you happy and ones that have a nice scent. Remember-flowers should be memorable.
As well as choosing the right flowers make sure they are healthy and cared for. They should look colorful and pert and the leaves should be fresh and green, so don’t buy any with foliage that looks faded or yellow or any flowers that have lots of pollen on their petals as this is a sign that they are not at their best. You can tell a good florist by the way they display their flowers: Flowers should be placed in buckets of fresh water and be positioned carefully away from draughts, air-conditioning units and heaters. No flowers should ever be left outside in the scorching sunshine but should be brought inside to a cool environment.
Prepare Flowers to Last Longer
Basic Flower Kit
It needn’t be expensive to put together a simple flower kit and it should include:
- stem and thorn stripper;
- gardening gloves;
- tissue paper and
- wrapping paper.
Before you begin you will need to decide how you are going to display your flowers. If you are using a vase you should make sure it is thoroughly clean by washing it with hot water and a small amount of bleach. This will kill any bacteria lurking at the bottom of the vase which could shorten the life-span of your flowers.
There are many different types of flowers so you will need a sharp knife to trim stems and secateurs for the tougher, woodier types. Trim 2.5cms from each stem and make sure you cut them cleanly and diagonally. Jagged edges only encourage bacteria, which is detrimental to flower-life and a diagonal cut will ensure that your flowers have a larger drinking surface by making sure the stems do not lie flat on the bottom of the vase. Cut off any leaves that may be submerged in water and wear gardening gloves especially when stripping away thorns.
Flower frogs or pin holders (which are basically brass pins set into a lead base) are great to hold flowers in place to prevent them from leaning outwards. When flowers lean outwards they can present gaps in bouquets which some florists attempt to fill with more flowers or foliage, so using pin holders is a good money-saving tip. When you are buying your pin holders make sure you pick the right size according to the vase you will be using (5cm-10cm ones are the most useful) and use a water-proof florist’s tack to stick them to the base of your vases.
Presentation is Important
Simple presentation can make a world of difference when displaying flowers. You can use string or wire to tie flowers together for bouquets and effective wrapping using pretty paper, tissue or cellophane tied with ribbon can make a few nice flowers look amazing.
Feed Your Flowers
Sometimes when you buy flowers you will also be given flower food which contains sugar to nourish flowers, acid to help soak up water and an antibacterial agent to keep bacteria at bay. Make sure you use it because it really works. If you didn’t receive any flower food you can make your own by adding two tablespoons of sugar, two tablespoons of white vinegar and a teaspoon of household bleach to two pints of warm water. Adjust the ingredients according to the size of your vase.
Your flowers will last much longer if you place them in a cool room so make sure you move them to a cooler part of the house overnight in the winter when the heating is on. Keep the water topped up frequently and do a full water-change if it becomes cloudy. If this happens take the flowers out of the vase, change the water and run the stems under the tap before replacing them as this will remove any build-up of bacteria. Gradually remove any flowers that are fading and re-trim any stems that have turned black to help prolong the life of the other flowers.
Taking the time to buy healthy flowers can make all the difference and caring for them using a few simple steps will ensure they react positively. Flowers bring joy to any occasion so we should do our best to present them beautifully.