ARRANGING CUT FLOWERS IN YOUR HOME CARE OF CUT FLOWERS some simple steps to successfully preparing your material.
- The best time to cut flowers is when the day is at its coolest so first thing in the morning or in the evening.
- Take a clean bucket filled to a third full with fresh clean water with you to your cutting patch. Flowers dehydrate very quickly from the moment they are cut so it is a good idea to put them into water straight after cutting and let them have a good long drink.
- Use a pair of sharp flower scissors or secateurs for cutting stems to make sure the stems are cut cleanly and always cut stems at an angle, this helps them to absorb more water.
- Cut stems as long as possible but leave enough on the plant for further growth.
- Remove any foliage that would be below the water line as foliage left in the water can rot and bacteria can develop.
- Removing surplus foliage also helps the flower to hydrate as the water is then absorbed into the remaining foliage and the flower head instead of being absorbed into the lower foliage as well.
- It is better to put flowers with sap into a separate bucket of water , I quite often have two or three buckets of water with flowers divided up into ones with sap, ones without and one bucket for foliage. It is best not to arrange daffodils directly after cutting as the stems have sap. By giving them a good long drink in a bucket of water it helps to remove the sap that exudes from the stems when they are first cut. This also helps to keep the water in your chosen container clean and sap free.
- Some flowers need to have their flower heads supported whilst in a bucket such as gerbera or tulips, very gently wrap the heads with a collar of tissue paper.
- Last but not lease when arranging flowers always make sure that your chosen container is clean as dirty containers breed bacteria which will then reduce the vase life of your flowers.
ARRANGING CUT FLOWERS
When arranging flowers from the garden I favor a simple, natural and soft effect, leaving room for the butterflies and bees to fly in the same way as they would do in the garden. Flowers do not grow squashed up and bunched together and in my opinion the more natural garden flowers look in a container, the more stunning is the effect. My flower arrangements are a combination of styles, of old meets new, vintage Constance Spry meets contemporary modern, developed over many years using simple and easy to use techniques. I love browsing the charity shops for old jugs and pots and also really love glass containers and am a frequent visitor to the local glass factory seconds shop.
The hardest part of arranging flowers when you are starting out is knowing what goes well together, how many flowers and what size arrangement. There are no rules, only guidelines and as a guide I would suggest sticking to a colour theme for example shades of yellow and orange, shades of pink, cream and yellow and so on, these are called ‘Close Harmonies’.
Here are a few examples of my favourite colour themes:
Contrasting Opposites:- Red & Green; Blue & Orange; Violet & Yellow; Orange, Purple & Lime Green
Primary Contrasts: Red & Blue
Gentle Contrasts: Lime Green & Peach
Close Contrasts: Scarlet & Purple
Close Harmonies: Orange & Yellow or Orange, Cream & Yellow
Medium Contrasts: Purple & Green
Lime Green goes with anything and for that reason I grow Alchemilla Mollis and Bupleurum in my garden.
Cut only half a dozen of each flower to start with and aim for one and a half times the height of the container for the height of the arrangement. As with everything there are exceptions therefore this can only ever be a guide.
When setting out to arrange flowers in your home it is best to first have a think about where you are going to put the finished flower arrangement, what size you would like the arrangement to be and which container you would like to use. This way you are more likely to only cut what you need, it is better to cut too little and go back for more, after all that had work growing your beautiful flowers you do not want to cut too many and have some wastage.
A lot of people get put off by the whole concept of arranging flowers thinking, mistakenly, that it is difficult and time consuming. Please believe me it can be both quick and easy, nearly all the arrangements featured have taken no longer than twenty minutes and are simple to assemble.
How to make a grid using clear pot tape. When setting out to arrange flowers in your home it is best to first have a think about where you are going to put the finished flower arrangement, what size you would like the arrangement to be and which container you would like to use. This way you are more likely to only cut what you need, it is better to cut too little and go back for more, after all that had work growing your beautiful flowers you do not want to cut too many and have some wastage.
The jug with the blue rim and the little blue flowers was a charity shop find and perfect for what I had in mind for my spring flowers. As the jug is quite wide, and in order to achieve the light and airy effect that I prefer, I made a grid over the top of the jug using clear pot tape 12mm width, in the same way that you would make an apple lattice flan, as shown below. Make sure your chosen container is clean and fill three quarters full with fresh clean tap water.