Tag Archive | cut flowers fresh

Cut flowers (almost) for free

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Nothing brightens up a room or makes a more personal gift than a bunch of fresh flowers. They can be costly, though – I mean really costly, both financially and environmentally. Small arrangements can easily sell from £25 (and up) from a good quality florist. Sadly, the pesticides – often used in greater amounts than on edible crops – and transport miles involved in creating these displays can be considerable, too. Dictated by the demands of the global cut-flower industry, much of this material, despite being 3D-printer perfect in appearance is also boringly uniform. With stems so straight and petals so flawless, they are indistinguishable from plastic, and smell just about as fragrant.

But if you get your species choice right, cut flowers can be among the easiest of all crops to grow. Capable of coming back year after year from just a single purchase of seed, they are far cheaper, too, some arguably free. They will have a stronger scent and longer vase life to boot. It really is win-win all round. Even if you have the smallest plot, there are options to give you months of colour and fragrance. Here are a bunch I am sowing and planting right now…

Sweet peas will offer up months of floral harvests if you keep picking them regularly. Now is still a good time to sow them up north, but if you are in the south pots of seedlings can be picked up at very reasonable prices from garden centres everywhere.

If it’s nose appeal you are after, be sure to check for the word “scented” or “fragrant” on the packet, as not all varieties are scented. My favourite rose breeder, David Austin, has created an astonishing array of varieties far more delicate and olde-worlde looking than any “Dulux-coloured” types sold in supermarkets, all of which are selected for gorgeous scent.

Lavender is easy to propagate from seeds and cuttings and will produce dozens of fragrant flower heads per plant every summer.

In late summer, you can’t beat the blouse, bang-on-trend blooms of dahlias that will churn out a continuous flow of flowers right up to the first frosts. If you pot up a packet of tubers right now, the new growth can be used to make fast-growing cuttings, giving you loads of plants for free. A similar deal is the case with microcosmic that will form a growing clump if left to their own devices, providing more and more flowers each year. Both these blooms have an excellent vase life, lasting well over a week indoors.

For More Information:- James Wong

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If your green thumb is getting itchy, tend to your houseplants

Caroline plouff

There is a note of desperation in the voices of my gardening friends right now along with wistful looks out the window as yet another snow flurry sweeps through. Spring is not going to come easily this year.

So we are going to have to look inside for our green fix for a while longer and play with the next best thing; our houseplants. As the daylight lengthens, this is the perfect time to spruce them up and get them ready for their yearly adventure on the patio or deck.

Start by checking the plants for water. Most of our houseplants go semi-dormant in the winter so they don’t need as much to keep them alive. With the return of longer days, they are starting to wake up and will need a good drink. Small plants can be set in the sink while larger ones can be put in the bathtub or shower and given a long slow drink to re saturate the soil. Once they have had their fill, let them drain the excess water away before returning them to a brightly lit place to finish drying off.

Resist your first impulse to water more and fertilize. Plants need much less food and water during the winter in order to remain healthy. Only feed your plants when there is active growth; this pretty much eliminates the need for fertilizer during the coldest and shortest days of winter. If fertilizer is necessary, it is best to only use about half as much as the directions call for. Once spring and summer arrive, go back to full strength. NEVER feed a plant that is very dry. If the plant is dry, water it well and then feed it a couple of days later. Plants that are stressed should not be fed and if there is ever a doubt, just skip the feeding. Plants will do much better for much longer without food than with too much food.

Sometimes we forget to water until it’s too late. If the soil has dried out completely and is shrinking and pulling away from the edge of the pot, it is unlikely to get properly dehydrated with regular watering methods. The best thing to do is fill the sink or a pail with tepid water and plunge the whole pot under water. It is really best if the water is over the surface of the soil. If it floats, hold the entire pot under the water surface or weigh it down so it remains submerged. Leave it submerged until it stops bubbling. Drain and if the plant is wilted, set it in a cool shady spot to recover. Remember that plants don’t need as much water in the winter as they do during the summer. Keep an eye on your plants and adjust their care accordingly.

Re potting can be done at any time, but the best time is just before growth begins, which is in spring for most houseplants. Here are four signs that a plant is ready for reporting: New leaves appear slowly and are very small compared to older leaves; soil dries out very quickly or water runs down the inside of the pot without soaking in; roots are growing out through the drainage holes or are appearing above the soil’s surface in the pots; or roots are so tightly coiled that when you pull the plant from the pot, you see all roots and no soil.

If you’ve stored dahlias and other tender bulbs in a cool spot for the winter, check on them now and then and remove any that are moldy or rotted. Also they may begin sprouting prematurely if they’ve been a bit warm, and then you’ll need to pot them up and grow them indoors (in as cool an area as possible, but not freezing) until spring. If you let the stems grow without being planted, the bulbs will soon die.

If you just need some color to brighten up winter days, consider a pot or two of forced bulbs (if you didn’t start your own), or some cut flowers. Buy cut flowers in bud, just opening, for longest life. Keep cut flowers protected on the way home from freezing, and put right in water containing a flower preservative (available at most florist shops and garden stores).

For More Information:- Pat Munts

How to Get the Most Out of Your Flowers

caroline-plouff

The best thing about flowers is that they’re beautiful, the worst thing about flowers is that they die. But there are precautions you can take to make sure your bunch will last as long as possible. For advice, we enlisted stylist Therese Mousse, who is responsible for turning Sydney’s The Grounds of Alexandria into a secret garden this month, with floral arrangements filling every nook and cranny — making the space even more of an Instagram’s dream.

Therese is big on using flowers in multiple ways and getting every bit of life out of them, so together we came up with a six-step plan for flowers you’ll be able to enjoy for much longer than a few days.

1. Have an Open Mind

If you go into the florist with your heart set on a certain kind of flower, you might not walk away with the freshest (most long-lasting) bunch. Go in looking for the most beautiful flower in the store on the day, and know some flowers (like Australian natives) have a longer vase-life.

2. Look for Warning Signs

Like searching for a firm avocado, there are a few signs that a bunch is on its way out. Slimy stems, brown leaves, or wilting petals are a no-go zone.

3. Do Your Home Prep

“A tip Silva, our on-site florist at The Grounds, has given me and which works really well,” says Therese, “is to cut 2 cm off the bottom of the stems, on an angle, before placing them in water.”

4. Feed Your Flowers

You know those little satchels that come with the flowers? Yep, use them. If you’re sans satchel, you can DIY your own flower food. Just mix 950 ml water with two tablespoons of lemon juice, one tablespoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of bleach.

5. Do a Day 2 Water Change

“Another tip from Silva,” says Therese, “is to change the water on the second day, trimming a little bit more off the stems at an angle again.”

6. Give Them a Second Life

It’s time to say a proper goodbye when no amount of stem trimming can hide the petal wilt, but Therese says flowers can get a second chance at styling life. “When they have finished their life cycle as a fresh visual piece, rather than chucking them in the green waste, they can be hung up high and dried! Creating the look couldn’t be simpler. I take cut flowers, tie some string around them and hang them upside-down behind a door to dry out (they won’t get in the way there). After a couple of weeks they’ll be ready to make a grand entrance in their new life as a great styling piece.”

For More Information:- Alexandra Whiting

Five Tips To Make Cut Flowers Last Longer

What would Valentine’s Day be without a beautiful bouquet of flowers? In addition to chocolate, cards and dining out, flowers — particularly roses — are among the most popular gifts.

Flowers of all shapes, sizes, colors and aromas can make popular gifts this February. Prolonging the life of beautiful blooms is a priority for those who want their Valentine’s Day arrangements to endure for as long as possible. Florists and other experts differ with regard to the best methods of preserving flowers. Here are some ideas to try.

Trim stems before immersing in water

The natural emollients and sap in the stems of flowers may cause a film to form over the bottom of the stem after it is initially cut. This can reduce the flower’s uptake of water. To alleviate this, cut the stems once the flowers are home. A 45-degree angle allows for the absorption of the most water. You can recut them at each water change as well.

Clean vases of bacteria

Be sure that vases or other vessels you use to hold flowers are completely clean. Bacteria can cause the flowers to decompose prematurely. Use a diluted bleach and water solution to clean vases thoroughly between uses.

Watch flower placement

Sunlight and heat may dry out the blooms. Prolong the life of flowers by placing them in the darkest, coolest area of the home.

Treat the water

To preserve flowers, do your best to reduce bacteria, provide a food source for the flowers and manage the pH so that the uptake of water will continue to be strong. Sugar can be an adequate food source.

Gardenia, a floral arrangement and gardening resource, tested a variety of methods for preserving flowers and found much of the same results across the board.

These included vinegar and sugar, conventional flower food, bleach, aspirin and a penny. The bleach, aspirin, copper penny and vinegar work as antibacterial agents. The sugar and the plant food help nourish the blooms. In the trials, most of the blooms remained strong for three to four days.

For More Information:- Thechronicleherald

How to Keep Cut Flowers Fresh

how-to-keep-flowers-fresh

Sure, flowers make great gifts, but we also consider a bouquet one of the best ways to treat yourself after a long day or spruce up a room in a snap before a party. Ideally, your blooms will continue brightening up your space—and your mood—for days to come. However, it seems blossoms always look perky and bright at the store, then begin to droop the minute they land in a vase at home. Luckily, Los Angeles florist Jenn Sanchez knows the secrets to keeping cut flowers looking fresh long after you buy them. Read on for her tips and tricks.

Pretend you’re at the grocery store

“When shopping at the market, it’s important to inspect the product before purchase,” says Sanchez. Take a close look at each bloom, just as you would an apple in the produce section. “Flowers like garden roses should have firm, partially closed heads and mostly vertical, upright stems. Fully open roses are typically on their last leg and will not survive more than a day or two after purchase.”

Give the flowers a drink

“Immediately after bringing flowers home from the market, allow them to drink and rehydrate.” Remove the ends of the stems, cutting them on an angle, and place the blossoms in a vase full of fresh, room-temperature water. Then display your arrangement in a cool spot that’s not in direct sunlight.

Then give them another

“Unless they’re locally sourced, most flowers are shipped overnight and left out of water for significant periods of time,” says Sanchez. “By the time they are purchased by you, they are dehydrated, and after initial care, they can consume a lot of water. Be sure to check the water level the next morning and top off the vase as needed.”

For More Information:- Lindsey Mather

How to Taking Care of Fresh Cut Flowers

Cut flowers are best to decorate your home. Flowers gives you immense pleasure and lift your mood. You can’t resist yourself from the beauty and elegance they have. People love to have cut flowers to decorate their home but they need to know, how you can take care of them so that they can last as long as possible. Cut Flowers comes in dozens of varieties to range from fun to delicate and elegant. When you are selecting cut flowers such as calla lilies, tulips, spray roses, orchids or tropical varieties, it becomes important to know how to take care of the flowers once they arrived. Following are the tips to take care of your flower section.

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Know Where to Cut
Cutting about ½ inch from the bottom of the flower stem after it is bought will help to keep your cut flowers fresh and allow the water to easily absorb. As long as stem will be hydrated, it will keep the cut flower fresh for days. Cutting is the technique which varies from flower to flower like in, carnation cutting just above the leaf nodule to get the most benefit. The stem should be cut to the maximum surface area is formed. More is the surface area the more will be the supply of water and nutrients to the flower. You can cut the stem underwater to prevent bubbles from entering into the veins of the stem.
Use the Right Water Temperature
Place the flowers in a vase. Use the warm water as it contains less oxygen than cold water. Using distilled water is the best for cut flowers. Water should be replaced after 2-3 days.  You should spray the flowers with a mild mist of water daily. Use cold water for bulb flowers such as hyacinths, tulips, and daffodils.
Feed the Flowers
You can get small plant food packets from the florist and nurseries. This food provides nutrients to the flowers. Pour some of it into the vase when you place the flowers. If you do not have plant food alternative you can use is sugar, a few tablespoons of lemonade or even a tablet of aspirin.
Use the Right Vase
Never place the cut flowers in metallic containers as they reduce the effect of flower food. Daffodils should be placed in their own vase as the stems of these flowers give off a substance that is toxic to other flowers.
Check the Temperature
Flowers stay fresh in the light and at the temperature of 65-72F. High temperature can deteriorate the flowers faster so keep them in a cooler room. Lower the temperature, longer the flower will remain fresh.

Elegant Azaleas Stunning Impact in Your Garden

Caroline Plouff
Exquisite azaleas can incorporate a stunning impact in your nursery. I have a powerless pink azalea with darker markings on the petal edges that is impeccable with gainful sprouts from the base of the plant to the end of every branch.

I acquired this evergreen azalea the past spring and transplanted it this winter into a greater compartment where it softened out up an a lot of new improvement stacked with sprouts for the spring outline show up, the primary concern missing is fragrance. The inspiring news: azaleas can bloom for a couple of weeks.

Two years back, I planted a Red Bird Azalea that stretched out and I expected to transplant it after it duplicated in size in one year. A couple of varieties are tinier and more negligible and it respects pick the right size for your nursery range.

When I was energetic, we lived in Chamblee, Georgia close Atlanta. At our new house, my Dad planted a couple of azaleas in the front yard and they looked fantastic with their cranberry blossoms each spring. The azaleas grew well under the pine and dogwood trees in the right environment, in the shade with acidic soil.

This spring, I included eight new azaleas for compartments all through my front and yard. Azaleas slant toward shade or tree spread with acidic soil either in the ground or compartments. I have them in compartments for the house, on the portal porch, on the deck, and on the yard. For whatever period of time that they have some shade, they become amply.

Azaleas are either evergreen or deciduous plants; my plants are evergreen, giving green quietness amidst different blooming plants in my greenery fenced in area.

In the midst of planting, I incorporate soil changes organized especially for azaleas, common acidic azalea sustenance, sea development regular fertilizer, water. These common planting systems ensure sound soil, strong leaves and roots, beneficial blooms, and solid improvement.

Prune the plants not long after they grow to keep away from decreasing one year from now’s buds. You can prune a bit of the branches each other year to ensure buds for the accompanying spring. Mulch your plants a couple creeps significant with pine straw, leaves or bark.

By outfitting azaleas with their most cherished environment, your plants can make boundless sprouts and strong foliage for you to acknowledge in your yard nursery setting reliably. As a shrubbery, azaleas give formal foliage reliably or you can prune them in an all the more accommodating, extending style.

Possibly I can help you with your nursery blueprint or holder developing to have an impact at your entranceway, yard, or deck. For your business or private property, I will set up a game plan for your microclimate to make your section all the additionally inviting with a sentiment spot and brilliance.