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How to keep your flowers fresh for longer

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If you’re lucky enough to receive flowers from a loved one, you want to keep the bunch looking good for as long as possible.

Cut flowers are best kept in a cool place out of direct sunlight inside. Avoid air conditioner blasts or fans that will dry them out. If it’s really hot, you can even spray them with a water atomiser to refresh them.

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You don't have to be a florist to arrange your own flowers. Photo: Getty
You don’t have to be a florist to arrange your own flowers. Photo: Getty

The MOST important thing is to re-cut the stems. After being out of water, flowers seal off and even when they are re-wet, they fail to drink. If you cut off about 2cm of the stem and quickly place them in a case of clean water, they are able to take up water again.

The next thing is to keep the water clean. The best way is to change it daily, but some people add a few drops of bleach instead. Recutting the stems again after a few days will also help keep them fresh. Don’t put sugar or anything else in the water.

Make your own arrangements

If the flowers are not arranged in a bunch when you get them, tips for DIY floristry include:

• Put the greenery in first, followed by the taller stemmed flowers then lastly add the smaller stemmed, delicate pieces.

• Alternatively, you can cluster similar flowers together (grouping) to create a modern look. Don’t be afraid to raid your garden to personalise your flowers.

Use glycerin or florist's wire to preserve your own flowers. Photo: Getty
Use glycerine or florist’s wire to preserve your own flowers. Photo: Getty

• When you place your flowers in their vase, consider a few added extras. If the case is glass, add a lovely twist of ivy, a tropical leaf, some glass pebbles, rocks or apples for an adventurous touch!

Making it last

If you’re wanting to keep your flowers longer, you could consider drying them or using a preservative like glycerine.

To dry your flowers, use florist’s wire – thread this into the flower head. Turn the end down like a hook, and push it back into the flower head, then wrap the wire back around the stem to support it.

Next, hang the bunch in small clusters upside down using a rubber band for bunching. Use some string to tie the bunches onto a drying rack or even clothes hanger. Leave them in a cool, dark and well ventilated area.

If you want to try glycerine, which leaves the blooms more realistic and pliable, smash the stems with a hammer then place the flowers into 6cm of water, with 1/3 glycerin mixed into it.

Getting Your Message Across

If giving flowers to someone, be inventive. Photo: Getty
If giving flowers to someone, be inventive. Photo: Getty

In the Victorian era, people loved sending secret messages to each other in posies. Known as “tussie mussies”, these sweet bouquets contained flowers and herbs that symbolised different virtues and characteristics.

So ditch the babies breath and camellia leaves. Try something else.

Rosemary means “don’t forget me”, daffodils symbolise “unrequited love”, gardenias mean “secret love” and myrtle is a view to marriage.

If you’re sending roses, the various colours also have multi-layered meaning that perhaps you didn’t realise. White is healing and purifying, peach stands for peace and spirituality, pink is friendship, orange unsurprisingly is wild energy and yellow can be congratulations or get well.

The most common choice, red, represents passion and lust, hence red roses on Valentine’s Day.

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