If you’ve been following @TheSavvyGuide on Twitter, you might already have an idea
of what we’re covering today…
You guessed it, Mother Nature’s blooming beauty.
We all know a simple arrangement can do wonders for the aesthetic appeal of an interior; even people with allergies concede that flowers perk up the appearance of a space - between sneezes, of course. On occasion, though, I question my addiction to purchasing luxuries-with-an-expiration-date. We spend all of this time buying, trimming, gathering, assembling a creation; all the while knowing it may not last longer than a week. I took the liberty of tracking down a few experts this week to get their insider secrets on how to make these beautiful blooms last for as long as possible!
1. According to the award-winning event designer Preston Bailey, it’s important to change the water every day, even if it doesn’t look murky. “In truth, only water can revive an arrangement.”
2. Trim the stems every time you refresh the water. “The reason flowers die [prematurely] is because bacteria forms around the cut
and stops the flow of water into the stem, thus cutting off [fresh hydration] flow to the bloom,” says David Beahm, New York City event designer.
3. Remove the leaves from flower stems. David Stark of David Stark Designs advises us to, “be certain to clean all leaves and thorns from the blossoms to avoid submerging any below the water line of a vase. The foliage decomposes in the water, the flower “drinks” the sullied water, and that makes for a flower tummy ache.
Here is what else I found: It might seem common sense, but different flowers need different trimming techniques. For roses and peonies, cut stems at an angle. Hydrangeas on the other hand, require more water to stay fluffy, so trim vertically up the stem and give these ladies some legs.
One of my favorite spots for ordering fresh blooms in LA is the Empty Vase so I made sure to give Suzy there a call to get her opinion. When she and I chatted she mentioned that there are certain flowers that will naturally last longer than others. “Intergeneric and cymbidium orchids can last up to a couple weeks,” she noted.
If you’re not an orchid lover, Beahm provided a few other options: carnations, daisies, and chrysanthemums. He explained that these are, “bred for their ability to last even after they are cut because their inner cellular structure is fairly rigid; the petals and
the colors hold on. For that same reason, however, they are not considered very elegant and are quite commonplace these days.” If you prefer to go this route, here’s his expert suggestion to keeping it chic, “The secret behind creating a beautiful and long-lasting arrangement of these types of flowers is to keep it simple. Don’t buy a lot of varieties, because it just confuses the eye. Buy a lot of the same flower and mass them together for the strongest statement.”
Whether you toss some ice into your hydrangeas’ vase for a last-minute fluff-up, drop a tiny bit of bleach into your arrangement’s water to “prevent bacteria from forming” (Beahm), or give your flowers some fresh evening air to prolong their lives (Bailey), you are sure to have people asking for your secret to such long lasting blooms!
With a little help from the experts – cheers to nurturing our petals!