Garden Flowers for the Vase
Cut flowers for the Home
A vase of fresh cut flowers in the home adds both a touch of class and a stylish atmosphere to an environment where we spend much of our lives.
By using cut flowers gathered from within our own gardens, attractive floral arrangements can become part and parcel of our lifestyle with little fuss and minimal cost. Focus on growing and planting perennials, shrubs and even trees that have flowers and foliage which will last well in water and you should be able to gather your own flowers from the garden for much of the year.
Many of the exotic flowers found in the floristry trade are grown under controlled environments and are unsuitable for cultivation in the home garden, however, there are many old time favourites and some newer types that thrive in the garden, providing bunches of pleasure and joy to grace your home. Certain types require special treatment in order to prevent wilting and to sustain them for an acceptable period in the vase.
The following are all fairly common garden plants that are easy to grow and yet are highly productive when one is out in the garden, seeking flowers for the vase.
Altroemeria hybrids (Inca or Peruvian Lily)
Anigozanthus hybrids (Kangaroo paw or Cat’s paw)
Heliconia hybrids (Lobster’s claw)
Hydrangea macrophylla hybrids (Christmas rose)
Lavandula varieties (Lavender)
Limonium perezii (Sea lavender, Paper flower or Statice)
Strelitzia reginae (Bird of paradise)
Watsonia species and hybrids
Zantedeschia aethiopica (White Arum lily)
Hints and tips to enhance the vase life of your cut flowers
- Use a clean vase, washed in hot water and dipped in a solution of sterilising agent or bleach.
- Fill vases up with fresh, cold water that has cut flower food added at the recommended dilution ratio.
- Remove any leaves from the stems that would otherwise be submerged in the water. (Depending on the plant type all foliage is sometimes removed from the entire cut stem.)
- Cut the stems under water prior to arranging, preferably at a 45-degree angle in order to maximise absorption surface area.
- Change the vase water every 2 to 3 days, re-cutting the base of the stem from time to time.
- Remove dead or spent flowers regularly, preferably before they start to decompose.
- Check water levels daily and top up if necessary.
- Replace the entire arrangement when the overall condition becomes somewhat tired and lacklustre.