Monday, June 24, 2013

12 Tips To Consider While Buying Flowers

1. You buy more flowers for your mother than your lover. In fact, I sell twice as many flowers on Mother’s Day as I do at Valentine’s. But the person you’re most likely to buy flowers for is yourself.

2. You don’t want to know about the flower miles. Buy roses in April and they’ll have been flown in from Kenya or Ecuador. If you want home-grown varieties for Mother’s Day, stick to narcissi, tulips and tête-à-tête. Or go for chrysanths, which grow all year round.

3. I use cellophane for a reason. It protects the flowers, allows bouquets to be delivered in water and won’t go soggy.

4. Fruit murders flowers. It gives off ethylene, a gas that accelerates ripening. If you want to hang on to your flowers, move the fruit bowl and think twice before buying them from the supermarket (most flowers are sold in the fruit and veg section).

5. Do you like cold baths? Neither do flowers. With the exception of spring bulbs such as tulips and daffs, lukewarm water is best. It contains less oxygen, preventing bubbles forming in the stem and blocking water uptake.

6. There’s nothing wrong with garage flowers. It’s the conditions they’re kept in that are pants.

7. Your nose isn’t blocked. Most flowers are bred for show, not smell. If scent is a priority and you want something unusual, try waxflowers, mimosa, stephanotis or eucharis.

8. Daffodils are bad mixers and so are narcissi. Both give off latex, which kills other flowers. If you want a mixed bunch, add cut flower food for bulbs to the water or keep daffodils in isolation for 12 hours first.

9. The picture’s a guide, not a promise. If the flowers are unavailable, I’ll need to use a substitute. It doesn’t often happen because the designs are chosen, so they’re easy for any florist to deliver year-round.

10. The trick to making flowers last is to cut stems at an angle so more water gets to the flowers. Take off at least an inch but don’t crush them or use blunt scissors. Add flower food (not aspirin, bleach, or sugar) to the vase and strip off any leaves below the water, to stop bacteria forming.

11. Tell me if you’re taking flowers to hospital. I’ll know if they’re allowed (some hospitals still ban them) and I’ll arrange them in florist’s foam, so you don’t have to beg for a vase.

12. Some roses never bloom. Pinch the buds — if they’re like bullets, walk away. Drooping roses are just as annoying. If it happens when you get home, cut the stems and dunk in boiling water. Then leave in cold water for two hours.



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