Sunday, 15 April 2012

Flowers (Part 2)

Well, I spoke to my wonderful Friend Gemma from beautiful Fluert in Monkseaton (if you're passing I strongly recommend checking out their stunning window displays). She gave me a ton of advice on flowers, so much so that I'm going to divide it over a couple of posts!


I used a question/ answer format and there are still more to come but if you have any specific questions you'd like me to ask her, please feel free to pop them in the comments box at the bottom.


What should you look for when picking fresh flowers?
Flowers such as lillies must always be closed to ensure they will last longer. The head of more structured flowers, such as roses, should feel hard as this means they are fresh. The best way to check any flower is by the greenery; it should look healthy and green as that's the first thing to go.

Even if the flower head seems fine, always check the stems. Avoid any flowers where the stems are turning brown, soft or slimey.  Obviously there are many different flowers, some with woody stems and some types already have soft stems such as calla lillies, but older stems will be easy to identify as they will seem slimey and the stamen inside will be brown.  


Another good indicator is the way the flowers are kept in a shop: they should be in clean water as this shows they have been looked after (dirty flower water gives off a foul smell so you can normally tell if it hasn't been changed frequently). Also, avoid flowers that are all crammed into the pot, each stem should have a sufficient amount of space so it's not crushed.


Avoid flowers that have had exposure to extreme temperatures. Flowers that have been too cold or too hot will have crispy greenery, especially in lilles where the heads will look slightly brown and be soft to the touch- they will probably never open! As flowers should be kept in a cool atmosphere and shaded from sun, those displayed outside/ in the window are best avoided. Flowers left outside to the elements such as rain frost or direct sunlight will be damaged so it's best to avoid these and better to select your flowers from inside of the shop. 


Which flowers last the longest? 
The longest lasting flowers are carnations and crysanthemums but all flowers last if cared for and the water is changed regularly. Flowers such as: anthuriums, cut orchids, calla lillies and proteas can all last up to 3 weeks. Another tip is to opt for some really lovely greenery such as large fatsia leaves which are sturdy and glossy, adding a bit of 'wow' to arrangements. There are too many palms to name them all but they do the same job. Personally, I like to use greenery as it adds character and longevity to an arrangement, it's not technically a flower but it frames the flowers if used correctly. Finally, bamboo is fab at lasting.



Which flowers are best for a gorgeous scent?
Flowers which are the most scented are the white and pink oriental lillies ( yet the orange, pink and yellow asiatic lillies don't smell at all). Garden roses have a sweet smell, are very beautiful and natural in appearance but they aren't as long lasting. Orchids have a very sweet smell (although I personally dislike the smell but love the flower). The best scent in my opinion is stocks but again they are not long lasting but just lovely all the same! Another pretty flower is freesia which is very scented when in bloom.

I always explain to customers the longevity of flowers to assist them in making their selection and a good florist should be able to do this for you. They should help you work through a range of factors such as: appearance, colour scheme, occasion, scent, longevity, budget etc to assist you in your selection.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Gemma for taking time to answer these questions. In my next installment I'll cover things such as how and where to keep your flowers once you get them home.

Remember, you can ask any specific questions for Gemma in the comments box.

Today we're having a thrilling day tidying before we go back to work tomorrow, hope your day holds something more exciting!

Happy Sunday everyone xxx

27 comments:

  1. Wow, what a wealth of advice! I will keep all this in mind for my next trip to the flower shop!

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  2. What lovely tips!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for your sweet comment!
    Please feel free to follow via GFC. But no pressure, just a gentle invitation. :)

    xoxo
    ~Natasha Fatah~
    ~Natasha Fatah~

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  3. I love flowers! I'll have to send this to my boyfriend. ;)

    -Lindsey
    Et tu, tutu?

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  4. Thank you so much for the tips :) I LOVE fresh flowers and now that I have my own house I buy them all the time. I always get so disappointed when they don't last that long and I spent money on them! I will remember this :) xoxo

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  5. I love florists, the smell when you walk in is beautiful. I don't often buy fresh flowers and my husband wouldn't dream of buying them, but this post is very useful nonetheless.

    CJ x

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    Replies
    1. I know what you mean about the smell, Fleurt is like a zen haven, except Mother's Day or Valentine's Day when it's bedlam!x

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  6. Yay!! Love this idea for a series & am bookmarking like mad-- fantastic idea & smashing grand advice~*

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  7. Awesome tips and info.!
    Love fresh flowers!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  8. thank you so much for the tips! ps: I love flowers very much!!

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  9. Hello Rachael!
    I am just checking out your blog now and I love it! Thanks for the awesome flower tips!!
    Getting me ready for Summer!!
    Happy Sunday!
    -Liz

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  10. Loved the Q&A!
    Thanks for all the info.

    ***new follower***
    Check out my blog at:
    http://theseaofvintage.blogspot.com/
    xoxo,
    khinyatana

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  11. Thank you for sweet words on my blog:) Well when it comes to men and romantic stuff they have everything to learn:) haha
    I want to follow you..but I dont see twitter or facebook?
    Have a awsome week.

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis

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    Replies
    1. I'm rubbish and haven't set up on Twitter. Feel free to follow on blogger though : ) x

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  12. Nice and interestig post, I know now something more :)

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  13. beautiful post!!i'm following your blog!!if you like mine,do the same!!!
    Freaky Friday

    Freaky Friday Facebook Fan Page

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  14. Hey, nice post!!!Do you wanna follow each other?
    www.xxtherese.blogspot.com

    xoxo (kisses and hugs) therese

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  15. I appreciate the flower advice. Much needed. Sorry your Sunday was about cleaning. I have been there once or twice (or a million times). Yesterday I was fortunate to be visiting people. But the work has waited for me. ;)

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  16. Such a cool idea for a post! Helpful information I never knew, thank you :) Hope you are having a lovely Monday!
    xo Hannah

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  17. Nothing like a bunch of blooms. Loved this post x

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  18. Great floral tips! I love them, but never know what to do with them!

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  19. I'm at the theatre tomorrow night but I'll try my best to get the next flowers post sorted over the weekend.xxx

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  20. Ooh, these are priceless tips! Thank you so much, I'm a dumdum when it comes to most flowers :s

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  21. Thank you for sharing these tips! Love this post and your blog too! :)

    Visit mine if you have time! :)

    xo,
    ochibernadas.blogspot.com

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  22. Thanks for sharing the great tips, they are really useful!

    Lucy Loves To Blog

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  23. Thank you again for sweet words:) I have some more inspiration for you in my new post:) I wish you a great weekend.

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis

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  24. Thanks so much for sharing such wonderful tips u really covered everything . I love flowers but always seem to rot quickly on me. I know bit more thanks to ur post kisses from dublin Xxx Leo.

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