Archive for March, 2011

WHY DON’T MY FLOWERS LAST???

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My dear, dear husband had a dozen roses delivered to my door once. It was my birthday. I was SO happy! The very next day every single head was hanging. Talk about depressing! We hadn’t even paid for them yet – Doug had used his credit card. Needless to say, I never received a bouquet of roses after that. I had to become a florist…

My point is this. Times have changed. We now know WHY those rose heads dropped and there is no reason for that to happen any more, barring a sick rose. Your roses should last at LEAST a week if they’ve been properly cared for by your florist.

Once a flower has been cut, the cells nearest the cut will close. On roses this happens within 5 seconds! Yes. 5 seconds!! When the grower cuts his roses (usually most GOOD growers) they are immediately put into water. They are then taken out in warehouse,  iced and air expressed to the wholesaler.The wholesaler gives the flower a fresh stem cut and placed in water. When the florist gets the flowers, usually about 3-4 days later, the flowers should receive another cut and placed immediately into a rehydration solution. This solution opens up the cells so the flower can absorb water and nutrients as well as killing bacteria. After this step they should be placed in fertilized water and put into a cooler. (NOTE: A cooler is ESENTIAL!. It slows the growing process down appreciably, extending the time you will be able to enjoy the flowers.)

Out of every dozen or so, one or two flowers will droop. There is probably air in the stem up closer to the head. Stick a pin in the bulging part just under the head and place in warm water. Hopefully the rose will bounce back.

Remember. Not all florists follow these proceedures. They may do part of this or none or all. You should feel free to ask your florist how they treat the flowers when they receive them.

When you receive the flowers USE THE FLOWER NUTRIENT PACKET! Why? Because the flowers are still taking in nutrients and the powder will also kill bacteria that would close the flower cells. Follow the directions on the packet.

Remember. All flowers have different lengths of life. An antherium can last over 4 weeks. An iris may last only 1 day after flowering!

Don’t expect perfection. When a flower dies, remove it, replace it , make adjustments. Just enjoy the flowers!!!


Our Little Guy!!!

My husband and I never thought our children would marry, let alone give us grandchildren. Well, wonders never cease! We have the most wonderful son-in-law, a 21/2 year old grandson and a 3 month old baby girl.

Our “Little Guy” is the joy of our life. Since he comes to visit all through the week he usually ends up “helping” me with the flowers. Anyone who has contact with children or has children in your life read on if you don’t already know the following.

At first Little Guy would pick up the “sticks” as I pruned the flowers, readying them for an arrangement. He was quite happy to merely place them in a bucket and rearrange them. Month by month he became more observant. He started using the leftover oasis, placing the pieces in a low sided container. Then he discovered how his “sticks” went easily into the oasis foam. Wow! (He actually said that.)

Now, at 2 1/2 years, he’s completing arrangements of his own, complete with colorful aluminum wires, feathers, shells, rocks, anything he can find around the shop. And, of course, flowers! He’s our budding genius – of course!! Yours can be too!!!!

Have a great day, Pipper


COLOR – COLOR – COLOR

Red, white and blue – you immediately think of the 4th of July. Blue – boys. Pink – girls. Black – mourning. White – brides. Color brings up emotions, connect us to things in our lives, our cultures. (White is actually a sign of mourning in Japan.) Different cultures, different meanings.

Let’s reduce our focus down to flowers in the home or an event you’re planning. It’s been the trend lately to use only one color in an arrangement. Inevitably, I see only one species of flower: all pink tulips, all white calla lilies, all green hydrangeas.  Boooorrrreing. ( An exception: Ikebana.) Instead, if you really must use only one color, use a variety of flowers. The different textures, sizes and shapes raise the interest level 100%.

Don’t be afraid of color. You instinctively recognize color combinations that are unappealing. (Most people do…) In Renaissance times any and all colors were placed in the same arrangement. Just look in any museum or a book  or, heaven forbid, go on the internet!

When you put an arrangement together or order from your local florist, consider the placement of your flowers. Try this: your flowers from Valentine’s Day are reds and hot pinks. Place them against the yellow wall in your kitchen. Then try the carmel color in your bedroom. How about the muddy gray/brown in your living room? The background color makes all the difference in how you feel! (This thought leads to maybe you need to do some repainting…)

In many homes here on the island, people have followed the “paint your walls a neutral gray color” trend. Whoever started this needs to have theier head examined. I’m a northwester, I love the gray skies and rain! But to bring that dull, dark color into your home? No thanks! Whether you suffer from depression or not, you will get it or worse. Use light colors, bright colors, cheerful colors!!! Let the sun shine in.

And this leads to recent studies which show how colors affect our emotions, help reduce stress, energy levels improve, depression can all but disappear, creative juices flow. I have to admit this though. I had a client ask for an all black arrangement! I had to use floral spray to blacken all the flowers and greens – everything! Even the vase was black. The recipient laughed uproariously!