Saturday, February 12, 2011

Love Is In The Air

Love is in the air because I love flowers when there's a few feet of snow on the ground, the temperatures are in minus or single digits and there's still a couple of months until Spring graces us with warmth.
The coming commercial holiday, Valentines Day, is almost certainly a day for flowers.  Perhaps not bought by a sweetheart ~ I'm not above a quick trip to secure some flower love for myself. 

Fresh flowers bought in the middle of winter require no other care than a fresh bouquet picked straight from our gardens.  Only a little more care making sure they aren't nipped by being exposed to the cold air while making the trip from flower vendor to our homes. 

The Chicago Botanic Garden reminded me about flower care for fresh flowers and I'll give a brief summary below.  You may want to visit the Garden's web site - OH MY! OH MY! the offerings are a wonderful feast for all things garden, creative and beauty.  How fortunate we are close enough to visit their gardens several times a year.  
To keep cut flowers fresh, place them in room-temperature water as soon as possible. With a sharp knife or pruners, make an angled cut and remove 1 inch from each stem. Make this cut while the stem is under water. Cutting on an angle increases the surface area for water intake. Add floral preservative to the vase water.

Most preservatives contains an acid (to neutralize alkaline tap water) and an ingredient to discourage bacteria. Remove all foliage below water level. Cut flowers prefer a cool, humid environment and should be kept out of bright light and away from heating vents. Mist the air around the arrangement and change the water daily. Do not place cut flowers close to a bowl of fruit or vegetables since the ethylene gas emitted by ripening fruit can damage the flowers, as can cigarette smoke.

If healthy cut roses suddenly develop drooping heads, it may be due to air bubbles trapped in their stems. Float the entire stem in a sink full of warm water. Trim another inch from the stem, cutting on an angle below water level. Try to gently straighten the drooping flower head as the flower and stem continue to float and the cut end of the stem remains under water for at least one-half hour. When the flower head hardens to a straightened position, the roses may be placed back in the vase.

“Flowers are love's truest language.”

~Park Benjamin

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