Decor Mix

Fresh Flower Tips

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The only part about going food shopping that I like is at the very end, when I swing by the fresh flower display (Trader Joe’s and Stop and Shop really have the BEST fresh flowers for under $10 a bunch!).  A few weeks ago, an employee of the supermarket gave me a couple really useful tips about keeping flowers alive and looking good for longer…they’ve seemed to work for me  so far, so I’m excited to share them (plus my own flower arrangement preferences) with you!

First of all, my two favorite flowers to have around the house are roses (any shade but red, which I find reads too “Valentine’s Day — of course, if it IS Valentine’s day, or you really love red, go for it! I just find red doesn’t go with my home decor as well), and hydrangeas, preferably white.  Roses and hydrangeas seem to have the longest “shelf lives” and just look really fresh and bright.  When I bring them home from the supermarket (or florist, if I’m feeling really FANCY ), here is what I do:

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1) I get a really good scissor (kitchen shears I think these are called? They came in my knife block) and remove all plastic wrapping and set the “flower food” to the side.

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2) Next, I pull off all the leaves in the sink and get rid of the “babies’ breath” (how creepy is that name!?!?) The removal of all the leaves, even though you may think it adds fullness or color to the arrangement, this is the most important step to making your flowers last! The leaves use up alot of the water, plus, I really prefer just one color per arrangement– you get much more of a clean, purposeful look, in my opinion.

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3) Now, it’s time to trim the stems.  The florist told me that flowers will last longer if the stems are shorter…easier for the flowers to drink up the water? (Very scientific, I know.) I usually use a vase (mason jars in this case) about 6-8 inches high and cut my stems accordingly, on an angle (again, to promote easier water consumption by the flower!)

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4) Lastly, I fill my vases up with tap water, add the mysteriously magical “flower food”, AND a PENNY to the bottom of each vase (this is the final “trick” from the florist– not sure about the science behind it…something about copper reacting with the water…but she swears by it, and my flowers have been lasting about two weeks!)  I arrange the flowers in an even bunch, all about the same height, just an inch or so above the height of the vase– again, the flowers are the main event, not the stems!

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So, the same goes for my white hydrangeas: remove all leaves, trim stems at an angle, add flower food and a penny to the water…and really, all I have to do is change the water every few days, and I have fresh, bright, beautiful flowers for about two weeks!

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(You may notice that they hydrangeas pictured above seemed almost yellow-ish and not very poofy…that’s actally how I like to pick them from the market because it means they haven’t reached full bloom yet, and are the freshest– given a few days, they grow poofier and more white!)

One more tip on the “vases” featured in these pics: neither of them are actual vases!

These gold mason jars are a super easy DIY…literally just bought metallic gold spray paint from Home Depot and sprayed down the jars in the backyard.   The silver “vase” seen above is actually a candle holder…meaning it used to be filled with wax.   When the candle finished burning, I just scraped the remaining wax out with a spoon, and filled it with water.  From now on, when I stock up on my candles at Homegoods, I try and pick out candles that come in pretty jars that I know will look good as vases later!

There are a few places in my home that I always put my flowers: living room coffee table, front hall/foyer, kitchen table, bookshelf, and bathroom vanity– they make my day every time I see them 🙂

Hope this  inspires you guys to add some long-lasting,  fresh flowers to your decor mix!



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