Why wait for a special occasion to bring fresh-cut flowers into your living space? On any day, during any season, flowers bring color and sweet fragrance to your home. Sure, it’s wonderful to receive flowers on your birthday or at the holidays, but you don’t have to wait for your BFF or your significant other to get the hint—you can buy yourself flowers any day of the week.
Fresh flowers are an affordable way to “decorate” any space that needs a lift. With just a few simple tips, you can make the flowers you bring home look great and last.
Best places to buy fresh flowers.
Farmer’s markets are my favorite place to buy fresh-cut flowers. Buy them on your way out of the market—after food sampling and shopping—so that they won’t be out of the water for too long.
These days, more and more grocery stores and even big discount stores are carrying flowers. Save your money and skip the arrangements. Instead, opt for a bunch of daisies or mixed wildflowers and arrange them yourself at home.
Cutting the flowers.
Once you get your flowers home, you’ll want to cut them to open up the stems, so that they can “drink” the most water. (By the way, most florists use lukewarm water, which is more easily absorbed by plants than cold water.) Use a sharp knife or floral scissors, but not regular scissors, which can tear up the stems. Cut at a 45-degree angle; this provides the most possible surface area to absorb water.
Choosing your vase.
Perhaps the easiest way to arrange flowers is one per tiny vase! Take a look at this video for some inspiration. If you like the bud vases in the video, you can find them at most craft stores. For larger vases, a real treasure trove is your local thrift shop. I like alternatives to standard vases: for example, mason jars, a tall coffee cup, pitchers and even fish bowls can make great-looking vases.
Simple tips for arranging flowers.
If you are putting just a few flowers in a vase, cut the stems to equal lengths. The more flowers in the vase, the more variation in stem lengths… this lets the flowers “lean” at different angles, like you see in this photo. Either way, be sure to trim the leaves off the part of the stem that will be under water.
You can add a penny, or bleach or even an aspirin to the water, but I have found that it’s most important to change the water every day. Keep it simple and fresh, and your fresh-cut flowers will last and last, brightening up any room in your home.
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