Before your flowers arrive with you, each bouquet, bunch or bucket will have been be gathered from the loveliest flowers growing at the time in my garden or plot in North and South Hinksey – on the Market’s doorstep. Many are at their very best the day you buy them and others, in bud, will bloom a few days later. They will give you at least a week of interest. Some flowers will have gone over by the end of the week, while others will keep going for much longer.
The flowers are cut in the morning or evening when they are least affected by the sun and are put straight into a clean bucket of water. When I get them home they are left for at least 4 hours to rest and condition and usually over night. Some stems are treated before this to ensure longer vase life: roses and shrubs have the bottom of their woody stems cut and then dipped in boiling water for 20 seconds to help them take up water more easily.
Here are some tips which can help them last longer once you have them:
Make sure when you put them in your vase that all foliage below the water has been removed and aim to change the water once every couple of days.
You may not want your bouquet to shrink too much, but cutting a little bit off the stems every few days will help them take up water better and last longer.
Place your flowers out of direct sunlight and make sure they are not next to a fruit bowl as ripening fruit, particularly bananas, can make them go over more quickly.
Dead head and remove individual flowers when they go over. Many, like cornflowers, age and fade beautifully.
Add a homemade flower preservative if you like – lots of recipes on the web – or just enjoy them while they are vibrant and fresh; then compost them and start over again!
Like to order flowers outside market times? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org