|Take the bucket of water into the garden with
you. Use a sharp pair of cutters and cut the flower stems
on an angle - a slanted cut allows a better intake of water. Remove all
foliage from the lower portion of the stems that will stand under the
water line. Place the flowers immediately in the water.
Never overcrowd flowers. Allow enough air to circulate between each
flower head. Too many flowers crowded together in a bucket may cause
the petals to become squashed and bruised. Place the bucket in a cool
dark place and allow the flowers to have a long drink before being
arranged. When picking short-stemmed flowers, use a smaller container.
Conditioning Flowers and Foliage
Allow flowers to have a good drink for four to
five hours, preferably overnight before arranging. This step is called
conditioning. It allows the stems to fill up with water and the flowers
will become crisp. These flowers will last twice as long as those that
have not been conditioned properly.
Bought flowers should be placed in warm water as
soon as possible. Remove the wrapping paper, as paper can bruise the
flowers and cellophane can cause them to sweat.
When cut flowers have been left out of water for any length of time,
cells start to form over the cut ends of the stems, which will prevent
the stems taking up water readily. To remove this sealed portion, snip
off about 2.5cm (1") from the stem ends and then place them in water,
preferably with preservative added and allow the flowers to have a long
drink before arranging.
You may be given flowers when you are away from home. It may well be
several hours before you are able to place them in water. The best way
to keep flowers fresh is to place them in a strong plastic bag with
some water in the bottom. Secure the bag with a rubber band.
Another method is to wrap flowers in damp newspaper. If travelling by
car, place the flowers in the coolest spot. As soon as you get home,
recut the ends of the stems, place them in water and allow them to
condition for several hours before arranging.
A flower preservative helps destroy bacteria in
the water. Flower preservatives such as "Flourish" are available in
garden centres or supermarkets. Another alternative is to use a capful
of household disinfectant bleach in the water. If a preservative is not
used, the water needs to be changed and the stems cut on an angle
daily. If a preservative is used, the stems do not require recutting
and water needs changing only about twice a week. Flowers like
freesias, spray carnations and liliums have lots of buds. By using a
preservative in the water, it helps develop the buds so they will open
Special treatment should be given to certain
flowers to give them the longest life possible. Flowers with woody
stems do not take up water readily. Woody-stemmed flowers include
lilac, hydrangea, and rhododendrons. To help break down the thick
fibres, you can split the ends of the stems upwards for about 5 cm.
(2"). After this treatment, place the stems in a container filled with
warm water with preservative added and give the flowers a long drink
before arranging them.
Floral design, floristry and florist
courses. Floral design diploma courses.
International floral design school. offers correspondence floral design
florwer arranging home study courses through distance learning. Learn
corsages, flower arrangements, basket designs, European floral designs,
traditional and contemporary floral designs, gift boxes of flowers,
funeral tributes, bridal bouquets, wedding designs and posies. Flower
shop management and retail florist training. Study floral design and
floristry for an exciting career or as a hobby. Our professional floral
design course and flower arranging classes will teach you hundreds
of floral design tips and techniques. View photos of different styles
of floral designs and floral arrangements.