Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cut Flowers, Branches, and Foliage: Bringing Early Spring Into The Home

Cutting flowers from the garden is a beautiful way for me to bring the garden into the home. The flowers that we grow in the garden are incomparable to the ones at the florist or the supermarket. I thought this year I would keep of record of good cutting material--flowers and foliage. Almost anything can be used for arrangements, but often I overlook plants until I see a clever arrangement put together by someone else. So, please share with me the plants you like to cut and the combinations you enjoy.

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1. Cut Flowers
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I mainly have spring bulbs for cutting. These include snowdrops (first picture), crocuses, daffodils (first picture), hyacinth (second picture), and early tulips. All of the bulbs will last at least a week in water, if cut when they are just about to open except crocuses. Crocuses are short lived as a cut flower, lasting only several days. Daffodils I do not mix with other flowers because the sap which oozes out of the stem poisons other flowers. I have read that if you soak daffodils in many changes of water for many hours it renders them safe to mix with other flowers. I haven't taken the time to try this, so I don't know first hand how well it works.
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The other flowers in my garden are hellebores (third picture), periwinkle, violets, and pansies (fourth picture). The violets and pansies are good for tiny vases. I will use antique shot glasses or small maple syrup bottles we've collected from Cracker Barrel.
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2. Cut Branches
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I cut my trees and shrubs also. Now I have cherries, pussy willow, serviceberry, forsythia, quince, cornelian cherry, and redbud. Magnolia flowers are wonderful to float. I don't cut branches from magnolias because they tend to throw up long vertical branches if pruned. Floating in water, the flowers only last one to two days, but to see them up close I appreciate their beauty all the more and I can pick a few everyday that they are in bloom.
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3. Foliage
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I love the freshness of the early spring flowers. Often I make vase of only one type of plant all together. However, if I want foliage filler, I have celandine poppy, pussy willow, and bleeding hearts. The celandine poppy is one of the few perennial plants that has a lot of leaves. This is a member of the poppy family, so sear the stems before placing stems in water. Bleeding hearts have both beautiful leaves and flowers. The flowers have not yet appeared, but throughout its three month stay in the garden I use bleeding heart leaves as filler in vases.
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4 comments:

jodi said...

Good descriptions of the freshness of spring flowers and foliage! That's exactly it--they also stand out so bravely and cleanly against the mess (in my yard) that is a heap of beds after a long, long winter. I'm still awaiting daffodils, though they are up down in the valley and even going down the mountain on a sunny, south-facing slope. A few more days of mild weather like we've had, and ours will be open. Isn't spring wonderful!

Term papers said...

I also love the freshness of the early spring flowers. Often you make vase of only one type of plant all together. Good to read The celandine poppy is one of the few perennial plants that has a lot of leaves. This is a member of the poppy family, so sear the stems before placing stems in water. Bleeding hearts have both beautiful leaves and flowers. The flowers have not yet appeared, but throughout its three month stay in the garden you use bleeding heart leaves as filler in vases.

lbc flower delivery said...

Oh! Those flowers caught my attention. It seems you have a great flower gardens. How I wish I could have a cool garden like yours. Keep it up!

-yumi-

flower Philippines said...

Oh! I love those beautiful flowers so colorful. I also try to collect flowers and put it in a cute vase. I enjoyed reading your article. It makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing.

toni

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