Thursday 30 May 2019

Preparing cut flowers for arranging

It's getting towards that time of year that gardens are full of beautiful flowers. If you have a lot of flowers in your garden then bringing them inside provides an extension of your garden. You may just like flowers in your home or need to make a floral arrangement for a special event. If you want to get the best out of your flowers you need to do some preparations first.

Plan your design – Will you be putting your flowers in a vase or arranging it in an oasis? You will need to get a good idea of the size of the arrangement in order to get enough flowers for it. Think of the time of year and the flowers that will be available and in their best condition. If you want flowers in your home you will want them lasting for as long as possible so choose flowers that will remain in bloom for a long period. For one day events you can be a bit freer in your choice but do take in account when you will be preparing the flowers.

Think of foliage – Pretty flowers will look fantastic in an arrangement but you can enhance them even more by adding some foliage. It doesn't need to be green but do choose something that will fit in with your colour scheme.

Where to source your flowers – Cutting flowers from your garden will be an inexpensive way of gathering flowers and will be very personal to you. However, you may not have the colours or quantity needed. To get the best flowers you will need those which have been cut only recently. You may be lucky to have a florist with a cutting garden to pick your flowers from. If not then pay a visit to a wholesale market. The choice will be unlike anything else you have seen before. Be aware that the prices may be quoted without VAT but it will be added on when you pay.
Conditioning – Get your flowers into water as soon as possible. Rather than tightly packing them straight into a vase put them into a bucket with plenty of fresh, cool water. Before you arrange them strip off some of the leaves and snip the ends off. Leave the flowers for few hours or overnight in the water with some flower food.

Once you ready to start arranging the flowers cut off any leaves that would be in the water. This helps to stop the amount of bacteria that could form in the water. Then cut off the required amount of the stem at an angle. The greater the surface area means more water can be absorbed.

Flower food – You can buy some ready made or easily make your own at home. Mix together 1tsp (5ml) of sugar, 1tsp (5ml) bleach and 2tsp (10ml) of vinegar in 2 pints (1.1 litres) of water.

Do you have cut flowers in your home? What do you do to prolong their life?

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