Sunday, March 29, 2009
Fresh Flowers, Recession-Style
I adore flowers and am lucky enough to work as a fill-in floral designer at a local florist a few times a year. Recently I visited a blog on which people shared what they could not give up in the recession. Many said “fresh flowers.” So I thought I’d post some ideas for enjoying fresh flowers without going broke.
Gerbera daisies (pictured above) are pretty reasonable, and you don’t need many to make an impact. However, they’re very susceptible to bacteria and need a very clean vase. Having stems wired at flower shop will make them last a lot longer. If they wilt, re-cut the stems and put them in deep, hot water for a few hours.
Lilies last up to 2 weeks, and often smell wonderful. Buy stems with lots of buds, and pick off pollen-covered anthers.
Alstroemeria last 1-2 weeks and are reasonably priced.
Carnations have been maligned as old-fashioned, but there are simply gorgeous colors, like the pale green “Prado” above. To modernize them, I like to display them in bunches without other flowers. They last up to 2 weeks, and smell good. Changing water is important.
Anthuriums can last up to 6 weeks in the vase.
Other ideas: Vases make a difference. If you have a wide-mouthed vase you’re going to need to spend more to make the flowers stand up and look arranged. I like to use several heavy-bottomed, skinny-necked vases and have one stem (like a gerbera) in each.
Also, think about where you spend the most time and have your flowers in the small spaces in those areas—like on a table by a reading chair; by your bed; on the kitchen table. You’ll get a bigger impact from a small arrangement than if you tried to decorate a whole huge living room with flowers. In my tiny house, this rule of thumb is a given.
Finally, remember these tips for preserving your flowers.
Always remove foliage that will be below the waterline. Otherwise bacteria can develop on it, and kill your flowers.
Change water frequently.
Cut flower stems at an angle with a sharp knife (not scissors) when you get them home. Recut them if you think about it every other day or so.
Putting the vase vase in a cool place or refrigerator at night will prolong vase life.
Keep away from fruit (flowers don’t like ethylene gas), heat, and sun.
Enjoy flowers! They add so much to daily life. Don’t they?