|Flowers have always been a token of love and appreciation. Radha Prathi tells us how to retain the beauty and freshness of bouquets and ensure the picturesque effect lasts longer.|
|There cannot possibly be a soul who would not like to receive or give flowers as a token of appreciation. Yet there are occasions when one is flooded with flowers, more than you ever hope to handle. The easiest way to deal with them would be to give them away to other flower lovers in your vicinity, yet many of us meet our own petty side when we are in the company of the pretty blooms. This is because we like to have them around as long as they last as they remind us of all the good will and wishes we have acquired from our near and dear ones.
If you decide to hold on to the flowers there are a couple of things that you must bear in mind before you launch into flower management. Apparently the flowers must have left the parent plant at least a day before they reached the florist and must have taken at least another half a day before they reached your hands. Even in the quickest of journeys a bouquet generally manages to have some senior flowers wilting away while there are several junior buds yet to bloom. Since the stalk of these flowers are usually left immersed in water and later on bound and wrapped in plastic sheets, they tend to emit a revolting smell as rotting of the stalks must have set in.
When you realise the basic facts about bouquets it will be easy for you to manage them without much ado. Here are a few tips which will help your flowers with a little patience and creativity.
Unwrap and untie all the flowers and the green foliage from their original arrangement and segregate them into longer lasting flowers, buds and the ones which will not last very long. Then check the lower ends of the stalks for weakness or rotting and cut them obliquely in one stroke with a sharp knife. Your flowers and greens will get shorter after the exercise; hence pluck out the leaves at the lower ends so that they will not rot when placed in the water all over again. If you have a garden or potted plants at home you could supplement the required green leaves from your own resources.
Once the ground work is done, bring out all the flower vases and fancy bottles and mugs you want to rearrange the flowers in. Once you figure out the number of receptacles you need, place an ice cube in each vase and fill it with boiled and cooled water.
Add a very miserly pinch of sugar and salt to the water in the flower vase, or half a Dispirin tablet, never mind if it has crossed the expiry date, to keep the flowers nourished. Add a drop of any flavour of food essence used while making sweets to supplement the occasional absence of fragrance in the flowers.
Do make it a point to change the water on alternate days. You can alter the arrangement once every two or three days as the flowers will deplete as and when they wither away. Make sure you replace or remove the wilting flowers on a daily basis otherwise they are likely to spoil the show.
Do not discontinue cutting out the portion of the stalks immersed in the water when they commence rotting. You could always rearrange the shorter flowers and foliage into different flower vases which will give it a different rearranged look.