Monday, May 4, 2009

How to Be a Kitchen Sink Florist

Who doesn't love flowers? They add joy and beauty to any room, or even your office cubicle! Whether it's a giant bouquet of luscious hydrangea or one gorgeous long-stemmed rose in a beautiful hue, flowers are sure to brighten anyone's day.

But I often hear this same lament: "I'm not creative". Or, "Flowers just die when I get them home". Neither of these has to be the case, and with just a few beginning tips, you can be a successful kitchen sink florist!

The very first "rule" is to buy the best flowers you can find. No amount of care on your part will prolong the life of a flower that hasn't been properly handled before you. Your florist should be able to tell you about the chain of life...and the longer a flower has been out of water before it reaches you, the shorter will be it's life. Proper handling is vital! But, also understand that some varieties are just naturally more long-lived than other.

If you are using flowers from your own garden, be sure to harvest them early in the morning. Take a bucket of water out with you and submerge them immediately. If you pick your flowers at the end of a hot day, your flower will already be stressed.

Now, once you get those gorgeous blooms inside, what to do with them? First, find a sharp, clean knife. Cutting at an angle, take at least an inch off the bottom. Using scissors is not recommended, as the blades tend to crush the stem, limiting the water uptake.

You should have received a package of floral preservative with your flower purchase-use it! Serving two purposes, this little packet will both feed the flower, and limit the growth of bacteria. Immediately place your freshly cut blossoms in this prepared water.

Next, select your container. Anything can be used-employ creativity and forget 'rules"! A vase, a low bowl, a tea pot, an interesting can, a pitcher, even that pretty chipped glass you couldn't bear to toss -just look around your home and you are bound to find something that would work.

Once you've chosen your container, start arranging. Be sure to remove any foliage that may fall below the water line. This will decay quickly, creating bacteria that will prevent the flower from drinking.

Most importantly, keep your beautiful arrangement out of drafts, direct heat or light. Remember, your florist keeps flowers in a cooler for a reason: flowers like coolness, but not blowing air conditioning. (Having said that, it's never a good idea to store your flowers in your home fridge-fruits and veggies emit ethelyne gasses which drastically shorten a flower's life.)

With Mother's Day coming up on Sunday, why not share some time arranging flowers with Mom?

For more hints on being a Kitchen Sink Florist, or to place an order for stems you can arrange yourself, call Bloomers anytime!

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