A floral display is instantly gratifying: colour, shape, texture, smell.
In cultivated gardens, flowers provide that burst of exuberance. With arches and garlands, they enhance the surrounding buildings. At home, cut flowers bring joy, refreshment and a sense of renewal. It’s no surprise that flowers have so often inspired fabric designs and wallpapers.
I am not a great fan of traditional flower arrangements. Only true experts can assemble flowers to their maximum effect. Japanese women study for weeks how to display one single flower.
Having cut the flowers then comes the choice of container. The wrong one can totally spoil the display. One can choose a crystal vase (a bit Hyacinth Bucket – pronounced Bouquet), an antique jug, a terracotta pot, a metal container, a simple wooden box, or even a jam jar.
I like a bouquet and its container to look as natural as possible. I remember upsetting one of my guests who brought me a beautiful single rose, which I placed in a milk bottle. Hey, I thought it looked good!
Here are some suggestions which might inspire you. Some very simple, others OTT.
My TIPS to keep cut flowers fresh –
1 Make sure your vase or container is clean.
2 One generally recommends changing the water every other day, I don’t. Instead, I drop a couple of teaspoons of bleach into the water. It keeps it clean for four or five days.
3 Remove all the leaves that will sit below the water level in the container.
4 Trim the stems at a 45 degree angle. Repeat the operation a few days later.
5 Mixing new flowers with old ones will dramatically shorten the life of the new ones.
6 Never place flowers near a source of heat, or on a sunny windowsill.
7 Standing flowers next to a fruit bowl can also reduce their life.
8 A smoker’s home also reduces their longevity.
The flowers of India
Flowers make a room – and you – smile.