Getting the most out of your flowers and foliage

One of the things I talked about on my Instagram account this week was the different ways of getting the most out of my flowers and foliage. When you receive a bouquet or an arrangement, there will always be flowers that go past their best quicker than others and it can be tempting to just discard the full arrangement. However, this does not need to be the case. Here are some of the things I do to maximise bouquet and vase life.

Before You Start

First thing is to separate the arrangement into the different types of flowers and foliage. By doing this it will become obvious as to what is a definite must go and what is a ‘this has a little more life in it.’ 

For example, this bouquet pictured (above) looked very sorry for itself but when you separated it, it was only the roses that were really past their prime.

Next step is to recondition what you have left. I usually give the ends of the stems a clean by putting them under a tap and giving them a gentle rub to remove any sludge that may have built up. I then remove any browning foliage and give the ends a fresh snip at an angle to maximise water uptake. You should now be left with a series of piles of flowers and foliage, ready to organise into different displays.

Creating a display for your door

You may find that some of your foliage is starting to dry. Eucalyptus is lovely when dried and can still be used in arrangements. For this arrangement I used all of the old foliage and then added some snippets of fresh foliage and thistles to create a wintry feel. All you need to do is arrange it like you would do a bouquet, with a flat back, tie together and then hang it upside down. This should continue to dry nicely and is a beautiful alternative to a wreath.

Creating a vase arrangement

Alternatively you can arrange into a vase. A jug type vessel usually works well as it will help support any drying/delicate stems. If you replace the water daily and keep it away from heat (avoid radiators and close to fires), you should get at least another week out of it. I’ve had eucalyptus last and still look fresh for over a month before. And don’t forget you can ‘upgrade’ these displays by adding fresh blooms, removing as and when they past their best.

Small is just as beautiful

If after conditioning your flowers and foliage you find you have small snippets left over then make sure you don’t discard. You can create wonderful small arrangements using bud vases which I find work perfectly on a bedside table. 

I hope you’ve found this useful and my top tip for the Christmas season is to invest in foliage. Never underestimate the impact foliage can have on its own. If you are doing any pruning or tidying then do make sure you keep hold of the snippets, they can look simply stunning in arrangements and also as proven above, last well.

With love and stay safe, Flowers and Lifestyle by Margot –

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