Flowers for Spring Bouquets: You Can Grow That!

The Pooley Puzzle combines flowers
that wouldn't get along otherwise.
It's slightly possible I have more vases than most people. I don't spend a lot of money on them because I find many of them at my local resale shop and at other bargain-hunter haunts. Those I buy typically come from public garden gift shops, and at clay artists I find while on vacation.

Whenever I have a few flowers blooming in the garden, I start bringing a sampling in for a stint in a vase. It doesn't matter if their stems are just 4 inches long--I have just the right vase.

Narcissus are famous for fouling the water the're in. Their stems give off a substance that will shorten the vase life of other flowers. It's recommended they have their own separate vase. But I love them mixed with other flowers.

One of the little combination vases I have is the Pooley Puzzle, which features a clutch of tubes that allows you to put different types of flowers, no matter what their vase life or reputation. In this vase, I was able to mix small and large-cup daffodils with blue and white Muscari and Grecian windflower (Anemone blanda).

A short-stemmed clutch of daffodils.
Luckily, I have hundreds of daffodils throughout all of my garden beds so I can cut lots. I've found it takes quite a few stems to fill a vase. I have a little pitcher that works well for holding shortened stems of daffodils. To make them look like a full bunch, I cut the stems around 6 to 8 inches long before arranging them in the vase.

Narcissus 'Berceuse'
Whether you like to cut bouquets or enjoy the flowers in the garden, make sure to choose early, mid- and late-season varieties. I have a few new varieties, including Berceuse, considered a mid-season variety, this year opening around mid-April.
This arrangement includes Hellebores, two types of Fritillaria, Viburnum and Epimedium.

One of the longest-lasting bouquets for mid-spring contains Epimedium, Checkered lily (Fritillaria), Lenten rose (Hellebores) and Viburnum. The first to burst its flowers was the Epimedium, but I just snipped the stems off and left the leaves, which remained as perky as the rest of the stems in the vase for a solid week. I changed, or at least topped off the water every two days.

Still on the plant, this stem consists of both fresh
and spent flowers, i.e. flowers that have dropped their
stamens.
Hellebores that are freshly opened don't last very long as cut flowers. I made sure to pick the those that had already dropped their stamens, after which they typically take on more of a green hue, but they're just as pretty. One thing I learned is that if you pick a stem of Helleborus that includes a spent flower and a bud, the bud opens slowly in the arrangement and stays fresh for a few days rather than several hours.


1 comment:

  1. Love seeing these flowers again as they have come and gone in my garden. I do like that puzzle vase. It would be very handy now. Plus I like the color.

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