Why are summer flowers more fleeting? It’s a combination of the heat, the weather and the varieties of flowers available. We do our best to bring you the freshest seasonal flowers available by buying locally and sourcing flowers straight from the grower so you can get the optimum vase life out of your cut flowers. Because we love using seasonal flowers and creating garden-esque bouquets it means we want to be using more than just commercially available flowers in our arrangements. So for that reason they might not always be the most long lasting, but the colours are more striking, they often have more fragrance, hold more interest and they’ll often be fresher.
If your flowers are looking a little droopy then here are a few tips:
Hydrangea: Can be rehydrated by immersing the whole flower head in water for 30 mins (this also works for Snowball tree in late Spring). Hydrangeas actually last longer and dry better picked later in the season than those picked in December/ early January.
Dahlia: Place the stems in hot (not boiling water) and leave to cool (works for many others including hydrangea, lambs ear and sage too). Sadly the bigger dinner plate sized dahlia like the cafe au lait types, while stunning just don’t last as long as the smaller ones but we feel they’re too beautiful not to use in our bouquets (so we hope you understand). Unlike many other flowers dahlia won’t open up much in the vase once cut, so the buds are unlikely to bloom. We’ve found the pompom type tend to have the longest vase life.
If you’re picking your own flowers then we suggest picking in either the morning or evening (when it’s coolest) and putting the stems straight into a bucket of water. But if you’re receiving a bouquet, it pays to help your flowers last by recutting stems before putting them in a vase, keeping them out of direct sun, checking the water level frequently and changing it often.
And if the heat is just too much for your flowers then we suggest drying them by tying a rubber band around the stems and hanging them upside down somewhere warm and dry, not in direct sunlight with good airflow. We’re currently drying dahlia, hydrangea, celosia, daisies, amaranthus, poppy seed heads, sunflowers and scabiosa.
Because we lost a lot of dahlias last year due to rot (we hung too many together in bunches with not enough airflow around each bloom) this year we’re drying them as individual stems poked into chicken wire (it works well for those big headed dahlia). We’ve had similar problems with roses rotting too, so now we prefer to get them started in the oven (90 degrees for about an hour, but turn them to make sure they don’t get too flat on one side) and then hang them up to dry fully.
If you’re drying amaranthus take note of how it hangs as if you dry it upside down it will dry straight, so to keep the lovely, natural, hanging tendrils you may want to dry it in an empty vase on a shelf.
Here’s a link to this week’s newsletter if you want to print out a few of these tips.