4 Tips for Spring Flowers

Posted by on March 31, 2012

Yellow Tulips

Welcome Spring! One of the best things about springtime is the abundance of fresh flowers at local markets and grocery stores. Why not treat yourself to some fresh bursts of color (and fragrance, depending on the bloom) the next time you’re out shopping. Here are 4 tips to make the most of any fresh cut flowers.

1. Buy in bulk. Look for spring blooms such as daffodils and tulips sold in bunches without the frills of filler such as baby’s breath or ferns. Many times, these “grower’s bunches” are lower in price since there’s less processing involved. Buy as many as your spending plan allows and, if possible, display the bulk of the flowers together. One of the prettiest, and easiest, Easter centerpieces I ever had was 3 dozen yellow tulips in a glazed Wedgewood reverse Jasperware vase. It was simple, yet breathtaking.

2. Keep it clean. No matter how many stems you’re displaying, the container in which they’re kept must be scrupulously clean to help keep bacteria at bay, which in turns keeps the flowers fresher longer. I keep a small bottle of bleach under the kitchen sink and wash each vase after use, so it’s ready for the next bunch of flowers.  Fill the vase with a hot water and add a couple tablespoons of bleach. Let it sit a few minutes, then wash it with a paper towel (or a washcloth that is bleach-resistant). Use a small bottle brush to get any grunge out of corners or crevices and rinse with hot water. If it’s a clear vase, check for any ring of crusty residue where the water line was; if so, a cloth moistened with white vinegar will clean it right off. Then, dry crystal or clear glass vases with a linen cloth to ensure a lint-free sparkle.

3. Cut them fresh. Fresh flowers must be re-cut when you get them home. This helps the stem take in water, keeping the bloom fresher longer. Cut the stem at an angle with scissors, or, if it’s a woody stem like lilac, smash the end of the stem with a small hammer (on a protected, suitable surface, of course).

4. Spread the love. Because you bought in bulk, there’s plenty of flowers to go around! Add a couple of stems to a bud vase on a night table or bathroom vanity for a pop of color. (You’ll still have plenty to display together for that “wow” factor in #1.) I have a small green vase of on my desk, so every time I bring home a bouquet it gets a new resident for a few days. It makes me happy to see flowers while I work.

Where could you use a little pick-me-up in your home? Add some flowers and see what it does for your mood.