Arranging Summer Garden Flowers

by Maureen Laning

The spring and summer months offer a bountiful and diverse selection of flowers from our own gardens.  From the lilac and peonies of spring, to the zinnia, dahlia, sunflowers and hydrangea of the summer. With each week that passes, nature provides us with a beautiful new crop.

When arranging blooms from your garden there are a few guidelines we follow at Bedford Village Florist that will assist you with the longevity of your flower arrangements.

  1. Pick blossoms that are not fully developed.  If they are already “blown” open, they will not last once picked from the vine.  Clients continually ask me why my peonies last longer than the ones in their own gardens.  When I am purchasing them, they are still in a bud stage — showing color, but no petals.
  1. Do not pick in the heat of the day.  It is best to pick in the morning prior to the intense heat of the afternoon, this will allow your flower to be stronger.
  1. “ Condition” your flowers to the best of your ability. When we receive flowers at the shop, including local product, we put them through the following conditioning process:
  • Any foliage that will end up under water is removed. Sometimes we    remove all foliage to allow the most water to be absorbed by the blossom.
  • A solution of Floralife® (cut flower food) and tepid water is prepared. If you are using delicate or quick opening flowers (i.e.: tulips) use cool water.
  • You should be able to get Floralife packets from your local florist. Using a home remedy such as sugar, aspirin or bleach not designed for flowers does not ensure proper proportions or chemicals.
  • Cut the stems on an angle, preferably with a sharp knife, which allows for the most surface area for water absorption.
  •  Place the stems immediately in water.  If a stem is out of water for any amount of time, it should be re-cut and then again immediately placed in water.
  •  The final step of a florist would be to refrigerate overnight. This is not recommended nor required in a home refrigerator.
  • Keep you flowers as cool as possible.  The cooler the room, the slower the flowers will develop, and the longer they will last.

By following these simple guidelines you should get the maximum life from your flowers. Enjoy!

For more information about flowers and events go to

One response to “Arranging Summer Garden Flowers

  1. Good tips — but I would rather leave it to the professionals, then I can be assured the arrangement looks PERFECT!

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