Fresh flowers bring natural beauty and vitality indoors during what can feel like a very bleak time of year. They make an excellent addition to your Christmas decorations, but central heating can cause them to wither and dry out faster than they should, which is disheartening if you have spent a lot of money on them. Thankfully, there are inexpensive fresh cut flowers which are pretty enough for Christmas and hardy enough to last several weeks.
The humble carnation is vastly underappreciated for its value as a cut flower. Not only does it come in a rainbow of colours, but the petals also do not fade or drop quickly. Frilly-edged carnations are a particularly good way of injecting a splash of colour and filling out a bouquet of more expensive blooms, but they also look fantastic on their own.
Chrysanthemums are another wonderful flower to add bulk and colour either with other flowers or in an eye-catching display on their own. Both carnations and chrysanthemums are readily available in red and white so are perfect for Christmas floral arrangements. Equally beautiful is the deceptively delicate Alstroemeria. Though these can be red, it is more common to find them in soft shades of pink and white. They look startlingly beautiful in an arrangement with silver twigs for a frosty, festive decoration.
Even the best quality blooms will struggle to survive in dirty water. Start by washing your vase out with boiling water and a teaspoon of bleach to kill off any bacteria before filling it. You can add a sachet of commercial cut-flower food or a tablespoon or two of white vinegar which makes the water too acidic for bacteria to grow easily.
Always buy the freshest flowers you can and get them home and in water as quickly as possible. If you have time and space, wrap the bottom of the stems in wet kitchen paper and put in the fridge for several hours to chill. Strip any leaves off stems below the water line in your vase to prevent them from rotting and making the water dirty. Cut the stems at an angle, so they do not lie flat on the bottom of the vase and can suck up water, and do this every few days. Finally, keep your arrangement away from heat to help it stay fresher for longer. If using florist foam for your arrangement, make sure you top it up regularly with water and remove any leaves that fall into the container.
Get creative by using willow twigs coated with metallic paint, glittery pine cones, or pretty Christmas ribbon. Florist wire covered with green florist tape can be attached to bows and baubles to give your arrangements extra sparkle.
Rosebud Florists at 209 Perth Road is a City Life favourite. So pop in and ask for Dilly, she’ll be happy to help with all your festive floral needs!