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Living With Flowers

Let's face it, if money was no object everyone would love to have flowers in their house. Having fresh flowers in your life doesn't have to break the bank and with a little care you can enjoy them for days or even weeks.

Buying Flower Tips:
Look for flowers that look hydrated but are still closed or just beginning to open. This one is a biggie. Flowers that are fresh from the farm as just beginning to open and bloom. Blooms often open in order from top to bottom.

For example: Lilies. They are multiple buds. The ones at the bottom open first and then as they expire out the higher ones open. Buy them with the buds are either closed or just beginning to open and you'll get two weeks out of your flowers.

Other tips are to look for fresh looking foliage. Stay away from leaves that are yellow or even brown. Remember, there is always going to be a certain amount of imperfections in flowers, they are real and not fake but try to find ones that truly look fresh. Learn to tell the difference between flowers that are fresh that have not bloomed yet and ones that have bloomed and already on their way out.

Tips for making cut flowers last as long as possible:
Fresh water!! I'm shocked how often I see old, bacteria ridden water in peoples homes. Change the water daily, it only takes a minute and really keeps the flowers fresh. Remember, if you would not want to drink that water, neither will your flowers!

Remove foliage below the water line. This causes what you see above. Take a few minutes and strip the leaves off before you put them into water. If you are purchasing your flowers at a florist, most likely this has been done being flower shops generally do a better job of prepping their flowers when they arrive from the farm.

Fresh cuts! When you first get your flowers home, be sure to take a 1/2" off the bottom, preferably at an angle. Using a good pair of scissors is fine. Don't get caught up in the cutting underwater and using a knife, the two things that throw consumers off. Studies over the years show that if you use a sharp scissor, cut on a angle and put right into water will draw water just fine! Don't make it harder then it needs to be.

Sunlight is a no no. Preferrably  try to keep your flowers out of sunlight and away from heat. Many years ago a customer told me her flowers died right away. I later found out that she had them on her radiator because she thought the warm air was good for them. Um.... No!! Our coolers are kept at 37 degrees so anything above that is stressful to them. Why make it worse by putting them in a hot area? Keep them the coolest you can and they thrive longer for you.

Lastly, remember, different flowers have different vase lives. Even how long roses will last vary on color and variety. White and lavender usually don't last as long as reds, yellows and certain orange roses. If you love iris, that's great but rememeber they only last 2 or 3 days in a vase, shorter if you are buying them in full bloom. If you are looking for flowers with long vase lives stick to flowers such as alstroemeria (my personal favorite), regular daisy poms (I often bring these home and get two weeks out of them), carnations and mini carnations and even Asiatic lilies that have many blooms will give you color in your home for weeks. Even fresh tulips can give you a full 5 to 7 days if you keep trimming them down and don't forget to change their water. These are truly great investments for everyday living. Having a dinner party? Splurge on hydrangea, stock, or other more delicate blooms. It's like a wedding, we get flowers to be at their peek of beauty, we don't worry as much about if they will look great a week from now. It's all about the day!!
I hope these tips help you and that you live with flowers in your life. If you haven't shopped at your local florist recently, try stopping in. If everything looks fresh, reasonably priced and their service is good, perhaps they might be worth the special trip when you need flowers.

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