Maximize the Joy of Fresh Flowers


Pastel cut flowers in a glass vase

 

Mother’s Day is this weekend, and that means flowers will be flying off the shelves.

 

In fact, “one-fourth of the flower and plant purchases made for holidays occur at Mother’s Day,” according to the Society of American Florists.

 

If you’re the lucky recipient of flowers, here are some tips on how to make your bouquet last longer.

 

Fresh blossoming flowers at at the florist shop (roses, ranunculus, tulips, carnations, mattiola,)

 

Clean vases are a must.

If whatever container you’re putting your stems in isn’t clean, bacteria will continue to grow and kill your flowers. Experts suggest scrubbing the vase with a mixture of 1-part bleach to 10-parts water before rinsing.

 

If a whole leaf is submerged underwater, tear it off.

When leaves remain underwater, they decompose and bacteria grows. You must keep bacteria at bay if you want your flowers to last.

 

The colder the water, the better.

When you want to cook vegetables, you steam them with warm water until they wilt and soften. Think about it like this, if you use room temperature or warm water, you’re causing the flowers to soften. The colder the water, the better your results.

 

Cut stems at a 45-degree angle.

When you cut flower stems with scissors, you are constricting the straw-like tube that allows nutrients to reach the top of the flower. Use a Swiss Army knife for soft stems and a pair of bypass cutters for woody stems. Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle.

 

Measure flower food precisely.

Avoid taking the easy route and dumping flower food into the vase with your flowers. Too much flower food will poison your flowers, and too little flower food is somewhat pointless. Use the directions on the packet of flower food to follow the correct food-to-water ratio.

 

Fresh water is key.

Every two days, or when the water gets cloudy, replace the water in the vase. With each water change, it’s recommended to clean the vase. Use the same recipe as above.

 

Source: ProFlowers

Not Your Average Pumpkins


It’s the time of year when pumpkin-filled porches are seen in every neighborhood anticipating the welcome of trick-or-treaters. Adorn your stoop with something different this Halloween and draw inspiration from these unique pumpkin decorating ideas.

 

Craft pumpkin painted white and decorated with pink flowers

Unicorn Dreams

Using a few basic craft supplies (think acrylic paint, clay, a hot glue gun), customize any pumpkin into the dreamy-eyed face of a sweet mystical creature or your favorite  pet.

 

beautiful painted pumpkins of white and gold color on halloween

Glitz & Glam

With a little glue or paint and a lot of glitter, have fun mixing designs and colors for pumpkins that sparkle.

 

Pumpkin with a beautiful autumn flower composition

Autumnal Bouquet

The easiest pumpkin you’ll ever carve requires slicing off the top, clearing the insides, inserting flowers and you have a pretty pumpkin bouquet — it even makes for the perfect centerpiece well into November.

 

Happy halloween! Pumpkins on white background.

Chalk It Up

With a coat or two of chalk paint, you can swap out Halloween messages and spooky silhouettes for days.

 

Halloween autumn display

Spray It Gold

A can of spray paint and a cardboard box are all you need to make simple, chic pumpkins in any color scheme — but isn’t everything prettier in gold?

 

Colorful pumpkin.Art background for Halloween concept,

Melted Magic

Just as it sounds, melt wax (or crayons) in your favorite color combinations for a unique work of art. A bit trickier than the rest, but worth the extra effort.

 

Black and rose cold colored pumpkins

Constellation Creation

Get creative with paint designs by doodling your favorite constellations and add a ribbon or two for good measure.

 

beautiful painted pumpkins of white and gold color on halloween

Gorgeous Gourds

Mix and match your favorite glitter and metallic paints for stylish, hand-crafted cuteness.

How to Make Your Bouquet Last Longer


Colorful roses background. Beautiful, high quality, good for holidays, valentines's gift.

 

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and that means flowers are flying off the shelves.

 

In fact, Valentine’s Day is the “second-largest holiday next to Mother’s Day for the floral industry,” according to 1800Flowers via Fortune Magazine. It’s estimated that Americans will spend $2 billion on flowers this year, according to GoBankingRates.com.

 

If you’re the lucky recipient of a bouquet of flowers, here are some tips on how to make your bouquet last longer.

 

1. Clean vases are a must.

If whatever container you’re putting your stems in isn’t clean, bacteria will continue to grow and kill your flowers. MarthaStewart.com suggests scrubbing the vase with a mixture of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water before rinsing.

2. If a whole leaf is submerged underwater, tear it off.

When leaves remain underwater, they decompose and bacteria grows. You must keep bacteria at bay if you want your flowers to last.

3. The colder the water, the better.

When you want to cook vegetables, you steam them with warm water until they wilt and soften. Think about it like this … if you use room temperature or warm water, you’re causing the flowers soften. The colder your water, the better your results.

4. Cut stems at a 45-degree angle.

When you cut flower stems with scissors, you are constricting the straw-like tube that allows nutrients to reach the top of the flower. Use a Swiss Army knife for soft stems and a pair of bypass cutters for woody stems. Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle.

5. Measure flower food precisely.

Avoid taking the easy route and dumping flower food into the vase with your flowers. Too much flower food will poison your flowers, and too little flower food is somewhat pointless. Use the directions on the packet of flower food to follow the correct food-to-water ratio.

6. Fresh water is a must.

Every two days, or when the water gets cloudy, replace the water in the vase. With each water change, it’s recommended to clean the vase. Use the same recipe as above.