Tuesday, March 1, 2016

In the shop: how long do spring blooms last?

I hear it all the time.  "cut flowers only last a couple of days".  This is so untrue I sometimes can't decide whether to protest or just laugh at what I know to be an absurd and false statement. Cut flowers do last well.

As a general rule I tell people they can expect 5-7 days from a bouquet of fresh flowers, but I know from experience that many of our bouquets last closer to 7- 10 days.  There are factors that determine how long flowers will last for you that I can't always control.  For example, if you set them in bright sunlight in a super warm house and never ever add any water so the vase is dry in a couple of days, then yes- those cut flowers will only last a couple of days, but so would you in similar circumstances. Or if you take home flowers from an event that we do, such as a wedding or party, then those arrangements have been deliberately "aged" to get them to the most beautiful and full period of blooming, which means you are getting them already at the 4-5 day stage. So yes, those cut flowers "don't last" for you.

As an experiment, I set some spring blooms into a vase in the shop and left them for a week.  The only care I gave them was to top up the vase a couple of times, once at 3 days in and again at 6 days.  That was it- no recutting. 

spring blooms day one of experiment

Day one:
Snowball viburnum, parrot tulips, regular tulips, hyacinth, ranunculus and anemones.  Fresh and tight, not showing a lot of colour. Let's see what happens, shall we?

spring blooms day two

Day two:
See how everything has lifted up?  Heads pointing to the light!  The anemones and tulips are showing so much more colour than yesterday.

Day Three:
Notice the tulips and anemones are getting taller? That orange double tulip in the back is getting plump and rose like.

Day Four:
The tulips are opened, the anemones look like poppies and the yellow rannunculus are getting plump and full.

Day Five:
See how much fuller the arrangement looks today?

Day Six:
Isn't it amazing how the flowers have shifted and twisted around over the days?  I turned the vase around for this shot so you can really seen how open the orange tulip is now.  The anemones are starting to turn their petals backwards and their pollen is getting very "dusty" which means they are almost finished

.Day Seven:
This morning I pulled the orange tulip out, the edges were brown and brittle.  The yellow tulips look almost done today but still pretty.  And the ranunculus are in full swing.

Day Eight:
On the eight day the anemones, tulips and hyacinth are all finished, so I pulled them out.  But the snowball and rannunculus are still looking gorgeous!

A vase of spring blooms for a full week of enjoyment.  I think I'd call that "lasting"! And just imagine what could have happened if I'd actually followed the "rules" and refreshed the water and recut the blooms a time or two?

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