Joy DSouza, Web Producer
Friday, August 5, 2011 10:57 AM EDT
One of my favourite things about summer is seeing all the beautiful flowers in bloom. At my house, making a bouquet straight from the garden is a near daily occurrence (I'm lucky, I know). For those of who aren’t able to change up their arrangements quite as often, I’ve got a few tricks to help get the most of your summer bouquets, taking them through four different, and beautiful, incarnations along the way.
First incarnation: the initial bouquet
Fill a large urn 3/4 of the way full with water and add the usual packet of flower food. Trim the stems underwater on an angle and place in the water-filled urn. This should keep them for 3 - 4 days. Remember to replace the water daily.
Second Incarnation: a trim and dignified arrangement
Once the leaves start to brown, remove all the foliage, dead flowers or petals, transfer into a smaller vase and trim the stems to ensure only the flowers peek over top of the vase lip. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar to the vase water to give the flowers a little oomph! This should keep them for 2 - 3 days (replace water daily).
Third incarnation: the full bloom bundles
The blossoms should be fully opened at this point, but if not, blow into the centre of each to help force the petals open. Depending on how many stems are full you can create small bundles and place them in your powder room. This should keep for 1 - 2 days (replace water daily).
Final incarnation: the last buds
If you are lucky you may still have one last large blossom. Fully cut the stem of this last flower and fill a small saucer or cup with water and let it float on top. Take the wilted, but not dried flowers that remain and pull the petals from the stems. Scatter this across the table for a whimsical and romantic look. Or, if you're feeling truly crafty, you can turn your last flower into a fashionable hair accessory or suit boutonniere.
Do keep in mind that the days I've outlined are flexible. You could leave the full bouquet in one vase for 10 days without a single wilt, so keep an eye on it and try the sugar trick (I learned it from a florist and have been doing it ever since). It will magically give your flowers a boost, but be careful not to add too much as sugar can result in bacterial growth.