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~To have ideas is to gather flowers
To think is to weave them into garlands~
~Madage Swetchine~


flower Choose flowers that are almost mature as they will ensure a longer cut life.

flower Cut flowers in the morning or early evening when the plant's moisture and nutrient content are highest.

flower Immerse the stems immediately in a deep container of very warm water. Flowers that grow from bulbs prefer cool water.

flower Place flowers in a dark, cool spot before arranging in vase to allow time for conditioning.

flower Re-cut the stems about 2 inches underwater using a sharp knife. By cutting stems under water, the stem is sealed with water and air cannot clog the stem cells.

flower Cut stems diagonally to prevent them from resting flat on the bottom of the container.

flower If foam is used, make sure it is saturated with water.

flower Use a clean vase with fresh warm water.

flower Mix a floral preservative in the water.

flower No foliage should be below the water line in the vase.

flower Keep flowers away from excessive heat or cold, direct sunlight or draughts as will increase transpiration or wilting.

flower Refresh water every 2-3 days
Misting the flowers, helps to prolong their life.



flower Stems of flowers like poppies and poinsettias exude a milky sap when cut. They should be dipped in boiling water for 30 seconds, or by plunging the stem into ice water as soon as it is cut or by searing the cut end with a flame. Then place the stems in warm water.

flowerSpring bulbs have soft stems and should be arranged in shallow water.

flowerLilac, roses, forsythia, viburnum, wisteria, chrysanthemum have hard or woody stems. The ends should be crushed or split several times with a hard knife before hardening for 24 hours. Mashing woody stems does not increase water intake but makes it easier to insert such stems on a pinpoint.

flowerAsters, snapdragons, dahlias, marigolds, calendulas, stocks foul water quickly and require frequent refreshing.

flowerTo ensure long life for your flower arrangement or display, cover the blooms with wax paper or loose plastic bags to reduce transpiration. Store the arrangement in a cool dark place out of drafts for 2 or 3 hours then unwrap and display.




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Copyright Pinkie D'Cruz 1998

Saturday, 17 July, 1998


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