Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sherri's Helpful Hints

Growing Your Own Cutting Flowers

Ornamental Grasses: These are great to fill out, add texture and height to your floral arrangements.
Try: Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum').

Large Blooms: You can make a beautiful and full display with fewer flowers.
Try: Sunflower 'Soraya' (Helianthus annuus).

Foliage plants: These have bright green leaves and add dimension to gardens and floral arrangements.
Try: Love-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus).

Fast growing annuals: You will have more color in your cutting garden and bouquets.
Try: Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba).

Bright petals: These will brighten up a dark corner with a full vase of colorful blooms.
Try: Zinnia 'Benary's Giant Bright Pink' (Zinnia elegans).

Delicate flowers: These help add dimension when you have larger and smaller blooms to make the perfect arrangement.
Try: Angelonia

Trimming Flowers to the Perfect Length for the Vase

1. Place all the flowers in a line on a countertop. Lay the vase next to t he flowers and use it to determine what the flower height should be. Cut the stems so the bottoms line up with the bottom of the vase.
2. Stretch a clear plastic hair tie around the flower stems and place them in the vase filled with water.

Making the Right Presentation

Cut Hydrangea stems short and put them in a small, ceramic pitcher for a sweet arrangement for a bedside table.

Hide the floppy leaves of Muscari in a wide, cylindrical vase of frosted glass.

Highlight the vivid color or basic carnations: Cut all the stems the same length and mass them in a modern white square vase made of glass.

Trim most of the leaves off roses and arrange them in an urn-shaped vase that will keep the stems tight and sllow the flowers to open fully.

Maximize the impact of an orchid by floating it in a shallow bowl of water. This also works for any large-scale bloom that opens to a relatively flat shape. For extra drama, you can add a drop of food coloring.

Use a tapered vase for tulips. It will keep the stems tight at the bottom and allow the flowers to open at the top.

Emphasize the vibrant color of anemone flowers - show them off in a tall, cylindrical vase that will creat a flower pom-pom at the top.

Helping Your Arrangements to Last Longer

1. Keep arrangements out of the sun - too much sunlight will cause the flowers to wilt.
2. Trim all foliage that falls below the water line. Leaves that sit in still water will breed bacteria, which can damage the flowers.
3. Check the water in your vase daily and add more when needed. If the water looks cloudy, remove the flowers, trim the stems and put them back into the vase with fresh water.

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