I love decorating a Fresh Christmas Tree. Christmas Trees are cut and bundled on farms before they are delivered to the Tree Lots. We go to the Tree lot and search for the perfect tree for our Christmas. At the tree lot, I have the tree cut and placed in a tree holder that holds water.
When we get home, we place the tree where we can spray it heavily with water. We spray water on the top of the tree so the weight of the water causes the branches to fall naturally after being bundled. Allow the tree to dry overnight. Before decorating, put Christmas Tree Preservative and water in the stand.
We always used the trimmings from the Tree to decorate. I go to different Tree Lots to gather their excess trimmings. Spray water on the branches and shake vigorously. Remove the needles from the bottom of the branch before placing the branches in water.
Friends love the centerpieces I create for their tables. My children’s teachers each received a small Christmas arrangement. The centerpieces have Christmas greenery, candles, pine cones, red velvet ribbon and mixed fresh flowers.
Another use for Christmas greenery is to decorate Chandeliers. Add branches of Christmas greenery through the arms of the light fixture. Add tinsel and hang Christmas ornaments from the chandelier. Be careful to not have anything touch the lightbulb.
Use large branches of Christmas greenery on the fireplace mantle. Place stocking holders on the mantle in the greenery, add pictures from past Christmases or stand Christmas Cards in holders.
Decorating with Christmas Tree greenery fills the house with the scent of fresh cut trees. The greenery will last for weeks if kept from direct heat and misted with water occasionally.
How often do you pick up a bouquet of flowers at the grocery store? How often do you think about picking up a bouquet, but hesitate because you don’t think the flowers will last long?
The key is looking for the freshest flowers. How can you tell? There are many selections to choose. There are bouquets of mixed flowers and bouquets of similar blooms. Don’t hesitate to mix more than one bouquet.
Check the stage of each flower in the bouquet. Are the blooms totally open or just a little color showing? Is the pollen of the lilies solid on the piston or powdery? Are the rose blooms fully open or just the outer petals? Are the center of the daisy pompoms solid or are the outer rings popped? These clues help identify the age of the flowers.
Many flowers are delivered to the vendors dry packed. This process is created by the grower when the flowers are cut in different stages and bundled. These bundles are boxed and placed in cool temperatures to increase the longevity of the blooms. The key, is to process the flowers and allow them to drink water in a warm environment for about 24 hours.
When choosing flowers, look for flowers that are already in water. This means that they have been processed. Choose flowers to meet your needs. Are you using them today? How long do you need them to last? Of course, the longer the better. Do you need a centerpiece for a dinner party, or just to brighten the day? The longevity of the arrangement depends on the flowers you choose.
The internet has made it possible to view and purchase flowers from all over the world. Many know that flowers are available in most grocery stores, but don’t forget to check out your local florist. Many florists offer single stem purchases. Some sections offered include roses, carnations, pompoms, lilies, and Baby’s Breath. These are offered because of the availability, longevity, and price options.
When choosing roses, open outer petals are appropriate. We called the one or two rows of outer petal of the rose “the greenhouse petals”. These petals protected the rose. We would remove these petals before arranging the roses.
Carnations need to be fluffy. Tight carnations take a longer to open. As they process, they get fluffy and soft. Carnations are one of the longest lasting cut blooms.
Pompoms are a member of the chrysanthemum family. These are a great “filler flower”. They come in many varieties. They include daisy, cushion, snowflake, Fuji, button and many others. These last a very long time.
Lily selections may include Asiatic, Easter, Calla, Casablanca, Madonna, and Stargazer. Alstroemeria are members of the Lily family. These are much smaller blooms. Lilies need to be cleaned. To clean a lily, the pollen of the bloom needs to be removed to make the bloom last longer. The easiest time to remove the pollen is as soon as the bloom begins to open. If you remove the pollen early, it does not stain as much. If you wait until the pollen turns to powder, it will be hard to remove the stains.
Baby’s Breath is a cluster of small blooms. This is a great “filler” flower, but also is used alone to create hair wreaths.
Many of these flower choices are familiar, but look for selections that are different. Some florists pride themselves on offering the unexpected in flower selections. Selections may include tropical, dried, cacti, or exotic. Any one of these selections would be wonderful in an arrangement or single in a vase.
I just saw a beautiful bunch of flowers in the produce department. I just want to take them home. How do I choose the bouquet that will last the longest?
There are so many selections of flowers in the bouquets. There are bouquets of mixed flowers and single bloom bunches. When making a bouquet selection, look at all the blooms. Are all blooms open, or are some tighter than others? Many different varieties of flowers are available throughout the year. Ask the salesperson in the department the names of the flowers in the bouquets. Some of the most common selections could include roses, carnations, lilies,, alstroemeria, Pompoms, chrysanthemums, or Baby’s Breath just to name a few.
When selecting a flower, make sure the color of the bloom is bright. As the bloom ages, the color begins to fade. Also, if the color seems to be glossy, the flowers may have been frozen. When this happens, the blooms will not open.
A really fresh cut bloom may be tight with little color showing. This could be a good selection if there is time to let the flowers drink water for 1 or 2 days. This allows the blooms to open more. Process the flowers and allow them to drink water in a warm place for a day, then move them to a cooler spot. Remember, the tighter the bloom, the longer it needs to drink water.
Each bouquet of fresh cut flowers should come with a packet of flower preservative. The flower preservative is food for the flower and kills bacteria in the water. This is important to add to the water to extend the life of the flower. Follow the directions on the packet. Save any unused packets for future flowers.
Make sure your containers are clean before adding flowers to them. Water allows any contaminants to resurface. This will shorten the life of a flower.
Make sure your container allows a large amount of water. Water is the flower’s life source. Keep the water clean, add preservative, and don’t allow leaves below the water surface.
Process your flowers with warm water. They drink warm water faster. Make sure the water is warm, not hot.
These are just a few tips that will help one feel knowledgeable and comfortable when purchasing fresh flowers.