Secrets to Long-Lasting Cut Flowers

I hope that by the time you have read this book, you will have gained enough basic know-how and confidence to become a successful flower arranger.  For simple reference I have divided the book into two parts.  The first deals with the preparation and choice of flowers and containers together, the various planting tools,

All flowers and foliage will benefit if they are given a long deep drink in a bucket which as been almost filled with cold water.  First, the ends of the stems should be treated so that they will take up water more readily.  After flowers have been cut, they sap at the end of each stem dries quickly an forms a seal.

Soft stems, such as tulips, can take up water easily.  Cut each stem on a slant – never straight across as there is a problem that it will rest flat on the bottom and not drink up enough water.  Hard and woody stems, such as chrysanthemums and carnations, have greater difficulty in absorbing water.  Hammering woody stems is quicker when preparing them for them for the first drink of water.  Hollow stems need to be placed in water their tip ends always turn upwards which tends to spoil the final arrangement.

Dahlias and young spring foliage will benefit from hot water treatment and it is also possible to revive flowers which droop after they have been in an arrangement for a day or two by dipping their ends into boiling water.

When some stems are cut, they give off a white milky substance and they are said to be bleeding.  Young spring foliage, artichoke leaves, violets and hydrangeas, last better if they are completely submerged during the first drink of water.  If hydrangeas wilt after they have been arranged they can be revived by placing the flower heads in cool water.  It is best to use warm water for the initial drink as flowers seem to accept this more readily and are refreshed quicker than when cold water is used.