Thursday, May 28, 2009

flower power with staying power

when buying flowers for a special occasion, it's important to time your purchase right. here's what my experience has dictated: IF you are working with flowers like mums, daisies, sunflowers, orchids, etc, you will be buying them looking pretty much how they will look for the rest of their lives. therefore, it's best to buy them the day before your event, cut their stems on a slant under running water and immerse them in cold water immediately. overnight, they'll sort of settle into their positions in your arrangement, the air in the water will settle and you will get a comfortable, beautiful arrangement.

if, however, you are using flowers that open increasingly over time such as roses, peonies, tulips, lilies, etc, my recommendation is to purchase them a few days before you need them, and try to get an assortment of closed to semi-closed blooms so that by the time you use them they will be semi-open and open. below are roses on a saturday that i had purchased the wednesday evening before. i kept them packaged as they came with their stems immersed in cold water in a large soup pot in a dark, cool place (downstairs powder room) and didn't cut and arrange them until the morning of my event. not only did they look gorgeous that day, they continued to for the next 2 or 3 days with one water change in between.

on another day, i learned the hard way that the peonies pictured below, so open and incredible looking, were a little too open - the magenta one started shedding its gauzy, frondy petals moments after i placed them in the vase, though the other two stayed fresh for another day or so. all in all, i got about 10 minutes of enjoyment out of them, which is a very expensive 10 minutes, as peonies are priced. perhaps a couple days sooner would have been better for these, and as you can see from the pictures below, there are many stages of open-ness between the way you often see them sold and the full-glory bloom pictured here. but are they gorg or what?

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