Everyone needs to put our arms around our flowers by personalizing them. Not only flowers we pick or purchase ourselves, but also flowers we may receive as a gift. Simply check whatever happens to be blooming in the garden at the moment or what is in stock at local flower shops or farmer’s market.
Choosing Flowers in the Garden:
If you have a cutting garden, you are lucky indeed! Growing your own flowers gives you complete control over how and when you cut them, plus you have the satisfaction of knowing you have nurtured them along the way. It is always best to cut flowers early in the morning, just after the dew evaporates, or late in the afternoon when the sun is just about to set, because hot sun can hasten wilting.
Use the sharpest florist’s scissors or pruning shears possible. Blunt blades may damage stems. Carrying a bucket of tepid water out to the garden is a good idea too. As you cut your flowers, you can give them a quick, refreshing drink – and they can stay in the bucket until you are ready to work with them. A bucket is the easiest way to carry them inside too.
Choosing Flowers at the Florist:
If you do not have a garden, there are lots of other places where you can find fresh flowers such as nurseries, roadside stands, and farmer’s markets – even grocery stores. You will probably find the greatest selection from your local flower shops because stoking flowers, after all, is their business. It is great fun to shop around and see what is available.
Many florists nowadays go to great lengths to bring you the finest, freshest flowers in season where many import flowers from abroad too. So even if you want to bring your mother or best girlfriend a bouquet of tulips in November, do not fret! Check your florist or look online. You will probably be able to buy or order exactly what she wants.
Most florists receive shipments of flowers at least three times a week or more. At busy times of the year (especially around holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or Mother’s Day), they will receive packages of fresh flowers every day. When flowers arrive at the shop, they are immediately transferred to buckets of cool water to rehydrate them after their journey. After inspecting every flower for freshness, the florist discards any that looks as if they are beginning to deteriorate.
To prepare the healthy flowers for sale, the florist starts the process called conditioning. Conditioning strengthens the flower stems so they will be more receptive to taking up food – in the form of floral food or preservative – and water.
To help flowers absorb nutrient-enriched water, the florist slices off the bottom inch of each stem, at a 45-degree angle, under water. This cut exposes more of the pitch that lies under the skin of the stem to water than if t were cut straight across. Next, the florist removes all leaves (and buds) that would lie under the water line in the bucket. Waterlogged leaves rot quickly, which hastens the deterioration of the entire flower.
After changing out the old, cool water for fresh, tepid water (plus floral perspective), most flowers are placed in a cooler kept at a more-or-less constant 34 to 38 degrees so that they will not open prematurely. Tropical flowers may be maintained at a slightly warmer 50 degrees or -depending on the species – at room temperature. Ideally, the flower shop is fairly cool and humid.
Flowers make people feel good. Flowers help us celebrate meaningful moments in our lives. They help us connect with each other, whether to bring a smile or dry a tear. Flowers say things we may not be able to find the right words for. They bring out the best in us.
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