First of all – Happy Garden Day, coming up on Sunday 9th May. This day is about celebrating our green spaces whether inside or outside and the hugely positive impact it has on our mental health. Now I maybe not donning a flower crown (I’ll give you Millie instead), but I am going to be spending some time out in my garden and celebrating everything that is wonderful about gardening.
Hope you’ll join me and you can find out more over at https://www.gardenday.co.uk/
Does anyone suffer from the ‘fear of cutting their cut flowers?” I can confirm that I do, and I can tell you that the fear is real. However, I quickly got over it and last week took the opportunity to cut some of my cut flowers and bring some of that Spring joy inside. One of the things I learnt last year was the importance of knowing when to harvest my flowers, as well as looking after them properly once I’d brought them inside. It became very apparent that cutting too soon caused some of my blooms to wilt and others not to even open. While I’m no expert, I thought I would share with you what I’ve learnt along the way, just in time for us reaching for the secateurs!
Keep it clean
Keep it clean
One of the most important things when cutting your flowers is to ensure you cut with a clean pair of secateurs. One of the things I talk a lot about, when looking after flowers, is the importance of clean water, as bacteria in the water will have a huge impact on your flowers’ vase life. It’s the same when cutting your flowers – you want to keep the cut as clean as possible and make sure your utensils are sharp. Your flowers have spent so much time and energy into growing, you don’t want to then undo all their hard work by damaging their stems.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
The time of the day you cut your flowers is incredibly important. I’m a morning person, so I like to get up and give my garden a morning inspection and water if required. This also tends to be when I cut my flowers. You can either cut in the morning or evening – it doesn’t matter which, but it is advised to do either of these two times, as this is when flowers and foliage are at their most hydrated. If you cut flowers in midday, then they will wilt faster and struggle to bounce back.
My biggest tip when you go out to cut your flowers is to take a jug of water with you, so you can pop them straight in for a drink.
When to cut
So, I discovered that if you cut a dahlia that hasn’t opened, it won’t open when you put it in an arrangement. The general rule is to cut flowers when they are one third to halfway open. However, with a dahlia you shouldn’t cut until it’s at least three quarters of a way open. A great book that is a rather fabulous encyclopaedia on when to cut is Floret Farm’s – A Year in Flowers by Erin Benzkein. I highly recommend it.
What do you do with them once you have them?
Make sure you remove all foliage that will fall below the waterline as this will increase bacteria formation and in turn cause decay and potentially impact the ability for the stem to take up water. Also make sure the vase/bucket you are transferring the flowers into is clean – think clean enought to drink from and then leave them to rest. I tend to leave them overnight to give them a good opportunity to have a drink, however, don’t panic if you don’t have time, 3-4 hours will suffice.
Once arranged make sure you keep your flowers in a cool spot, away from heat, bright light and ripening fruit and vegetables – the reason why being they may emit ethylene gas that can shorten their vase life.
With love and stay safe, Flowers and Lifestyle by Margot –
Find out more about me – www.flowersandlifestylebymargot.co.uk