The hearts of flower lovers beat
faster in the summer when our gardens are abundant with blossoms.
Itís time to get out there and
treat yourself, while the flowers are in their natural peak
Following, therefore, is a
simple guide to the doís and doníts of flower arranging.
Do condition the flowers by
cutting the stems diagonally under water. This prevents air
bubbles from forming that can block water from being drawn up into
the stems. The diagonal cut allows a wider surface from which
flowers can drink.
Do remove the foliage from
stems, which will be under water. This will discourage life-
shortening bacteria from forming due to decaying foliage in the
vase water. Add the right amount of floral preservative to the
vase water (see instructions on preservative packages)
Do decide where you will place
your flower arrangement before you make it so that you can
determine if the finished piece should be tall or wide or round or
Donít use tall arrangements
for dinner table centrepieces. Pretty as your creation might be,
your guests wonít be able to see each other across the table.
Do select a container that is
appropriate for your decor and/or the theme of the arrangement.
Consider the material the container is made of: brass, silver,
glass, pottery, plastic; the shape, round, tall and slim, short
and stout; and the style: sleek and modern, ornate and nostalgic,
tailored and conservative, or free form and artistic.
Donít worry about old rules of proportion,
where one third of arrangement was occupied by the vase,
two-thirds by the flowers
If you like that style, go right ahead
and use it. But also consider arrangements contained entirely
inside the vase (this only works if the vase is glass!), or others
where the above-mentioned proportion are inverted.
Do make sure that container has
appropriate water-holding capacity in relation to the quantity and
size of the flowers. For example, if you squeeze a gladioli into a
bud vase, youíll find yourself replenishing the water every
Donít put so many flowers in
the vase that it is impossible for air to freely circulate inside
the container. Lack of oxygen is another reason why harmful
bacteria forms in vase water.
Do use tall vases for
arrangements that incorporate line flowers, such as gladioli,
Liatris, Delphinium, snapdragons and bells of Ireland.
Do use vases with a belly (such
as urns or ginger jars) for mass and filler flowers. Mass flowers
include lilies, tulips, daffodils, roses, carnations, sunflowers,
and chrysanthemums. Filler flowers are defined as statice, babyís
breath, waxflower and Queen Anneís lace.
Donít combine flowers which
donít naturally blend well. Consider their morphology, texture,
and colour. For example: bold, angular, shiny tropical flowers
such as birds of paradise donít combine well with softer,
delicate, ruffled flowers such as sweet peas.
Do change the vase water every
two to three days. While youíre at it, recut the flowers stems.
Both actions will considerably extend the lifespan of the
Donít set flowers in a drafty
or too warm place, such as in an open, sunny window or on top of
the TV. The drafts and heat will cause the water to evaporate from
both the vase and the flowers, leaving you with a wilted bouquet.
Source: Netherlands Flowerbulb Information