Interflora provides advice on making flowers last longer
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Bright flowers are one of the most rewarding plants to grow in the summer months and are easy to cut and be enjoyed in the home. While cutting fresh blooms and placing them in a vase will look good for a few days, Nem Vorkapic, head of floristry and design at Floward explained that there is more to it if you want a professional finish. Here’s how to cut and arrange your own bouquet using garden plants.
A vase full of flowers is enough to brighten up any room in the house, and it doesn’t have to cost a penny if you use your own garden blooms.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Nem Vorkapic, head of floristry and design at Floward said: “August is a great month for gardening since many brightly coloured flowers bloom including Anemone, Aster and Craspedia, providing you with plenty of options to lighten your home.”
Plucking a handful of blooms from each plant is one way to craft your own mixed bouquet, but what’s the key to keeping your vase full for longer?
How to make a garden bouquet
The first step to making the perfect bunch of flowers is to pick the right plants.
Nem said: “If you’re lucky enough to have these growing in your garden, I recommend picking the plant ‘Garden Pinks.’
“They’re popular in cottage gardens, and they look great in front of borders and in pots.
“In addition, they’re a delicate yet vibrant pink that can light up any room.”
Some species are known as ‘cut and come again’ flowers and will thrive after being plucked from the soil. Sweet peas and zinnias are good examples of this.
These flowers are both colourful and elegant, making them a “fantastic choice for your August bouquet”, according to Nem.
In addition to choosing the right varieties, colours should also be considered as you build your bouquet.
Nem explained that a mixture of complementing tones and varieties will “intensify” your vase display, while a single shade or flower will create a more uniform look.
In a complementary arrangement, yellow complements violet, green complements red, and blue complements orange.
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Make a clean cut for a healthy bouquet
Cutting the flowers correctly is crucial to prolong your indoor vase display.
All flowers and leaves should be cut around one inch from the bottom of the main stem, using a clean and sharp pair of secateurs.
Nem said: “It is vital to make the slice at a 45-degree angle as it helps to expose more surface area for water absorption, and help the stem to stand on a point allowing water to contact the sliced surface.”
It is important to remove all foliage on the lower plant that may become submerged in water before placing the stem in the vase.
This is done to inhibit bacterial growth, which could otherwise reduce the flower’s life or cause odours in the water.
Layer the flowers
Layers are key when it comes to positioning your flowers, and every bunch should begin with foliage at the base.
Nem said: “Next, start adding your smaller flowers, in a circle and rotate the vase as you go to ensure the arrangement is symmetrical.
“Finally, add your big blooms at the lower level of the bouquet for a natural finish and to avoid damage.”
How to make cut flowers last longer
Most flowers will stop growing as soon as they are cut, so it’s only a matter of time until the blooms die off.
To slow down the decline in your homegrown bouquet and “nourish the flowers”, Nem recommended:
- Changing the vase water regularly to avoid bacteria build-up
- Use sugar water to stimulate new blooms to open – (two tablespoons of sugar diluted into a glass of warm water)
- Adding two tablespoons of white vinegar to the vase water to limit bacterial growth
- Using lemon-lime soda combined with water in the vase
- Remove all lower leaves from the flowers to ensure that none end up in the water
- Always cutting one to two inches from the stems at an angle
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