Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cutting, Conditioning & Transporting Flower Arrangements

 I love cut flowers.  I am glad this year I have enough to look at and to cut...which was the goal.  I, oftentimes, give cut flowers as gifts.  Let me preface, I am no expert on this..so if you have feedback, it's welcome but this is what I do.

 Below is an arrangement for my Mother-in-Law as a thank you.  She prefers white flowers but I did not have enough in bloom so her second choice is peach.  The below arrangement is my interpretation of peach (and what I had available for cutting).  I chose roses that were just about to open versus fully open so that it had a longer vase life.  If they are fully open, they won't live as long.   Also, put in spirea, bougainvillea, and split leaf philodendron.
If I know I am going to cut flowers, I make sure they are watered.  Yesterday, it rained so that took care of the watering.  I, typically, cut the flowers in the evening.  Try to do it in the morning or the evening, I believe one time of the day has more sugar and the other time, the flowers have more water.

I cut the flowers at an angle.  I, usually, put a can of Mountain Dew in the container.  I try to make sure there are no leaves inside the fluid of the vase because I think it causes fungus or bacteria or something.  I, also, like the color of Mountain Dew.  If I don't want it to be green, I use Sprite. DO NOT USE DIET SODA.  I made that mistake only once.  But the sugared sodas have citric acid and sugar and a bunch of other stuff that prolongs vase life.

I, then, condition the flowers (or at least that is what I believe I am doing).  Ideally, you want to put them in the fridge overnight.  In this case the arrangement was too big.  So I put them in a dark bathroom.  I am certain there are books on the subject but I know you want to keep them in a dark cool place after cutting.  Preferably, overnight.

Now, how did I transport them in my car?  I usually use a bucket.  In this case a five gallon bucket and I put a garbage bag in it.

This can be placed in a seat and belted.

I put the arrangement in the bucket, but how do you keep it from bouncing around in the bucket.

I usually use left over styrofoam.  You can use most things of bulk but this has been the most convenient   Remember not to leave them in the heat (ie run the AC) because like most things a hot car will kill anything.


Randy said...

Beautiful job with the flowers. I love roses, but I have SUCH a problem with black spot in my area. :0(

Lea said...

Lovely cut-flower arrangement!
Re: your comment on my blog - I read a lot of blogs all around the world, and yes, it seems that everyone is experienceing a late Spring. Or in the case of the southern hemisphere - Summer is hanging on, and the cooler Autumn weather is late in coming to them.
Have a wonderful day!
Lea's Menagerie

NellJean said...

Your MIL must be delighted to get lovely arrangements from your garden.

I believe conditioning comes before arranging. I have Martha Stewart's 'Arranging Flowers' book and Chet Davis' 'Cutting Gardens' from the Burpee series.

It's probably better to put flowers in a cool room than in a frost-free refrigerator that dries them out.

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

@Randy..I have a black spot problem too...esp with the humidity and cool nights. Yesterday when I was cutting them, I saw aphids. Some people are organic gardeners and I see the merit. However, I first gave my roses a "shower" with the hose to knock off the bad leaves. Today, I am giving them their second feeding of Bayer All in One. I do spray but I feel that the Bayer works better systemically..between that in the aphids...it's time to give them a dose.

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

@ Lea...we are relative neighbors...I read on Friday is suppose to get to 49 degrees....in May!

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

@ Nell, you are probably right about conditioning before arranging. Oftentimes, I will have a bunch of mason jars in the fridge with the cut flowers. However, right now space is at a premium. Three teenagers, two adults and one fridge....I have been considering getting a mini fridge for such occasions.

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

@ Randy, I just saw your blog...we live in the same area and have a lot of other similar characteristics..I will enjoy reading your blog, I suspect...

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

Couldn't find a follow button..ah well..I'll just put it on my blog list.

HolleyGarden said...

What a gorgeous arrangement. I love the way you put them in a bucket and buckled them in! I have never thought of that! I usually just drive one-handed while I precariously hold the arrangement in the other hand, or onto it in the passenger seat, hoping it doesn't topple over. I'm going to use your method from now on!

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

Not sure how I stumbled on this concept either but it works...well...I think I know...I am horrible driver (ADHD) and so the last thing I need is another distraction....the bucket (five gallon, mop, whatever works well..but you do need a filler... Styrofoam from box packing is perfect...and the arrangement does not move one bit....

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

OH...@Holley....I got Art of the Formal Garden...and I hated it at first but now I am on the pergola chapter...don't know why I don't like it...it is really good...I don't think I like the name "formal" but I am more formal..than I allow myself to think..I believe.

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Onine Florist said...

Truly awesome..love these Arrangement of Flowers !!