Lengthen the life of your cut flowers

In the mood to bring the bounty of the outdoors inside? The amazing colours,
fragrances and textures of your flower garden can easily be brought indoors,
arranged and appreciated throughout the summer and fall months.

Here are a few simple steps from FTD.com you can use to ensure that your
flowers last longer:

* Pick flowers in early morning or in the evening, when stems are fully hydrated
and not stressed from midday heat.

* Take a tall bucket with lukewarm water with you and immerse the stems as you
gather.

* Cut the stems on an angle with a sharp, clean knife or pruners, to allow
greater uptake of water through the stem.

* Once all the flowers are gathered, re-cut the stems underwater and strip away
any foliage that will fall below the waterline once stems are placed in a vase.

* Arrange the flowers in a clean vase filled with room-temperature water and
floral food.

* Place arrangements out of direct sunlight and away from any drafty areas.

Here are some other tips from FTD.com that will make creating a bouquet from
your flower garden an easy and rewarding task:

* Use a mixture of focal flowers like lilies, roses and peonies; filler flowers
like gypsophila, lady’s mantle and Queen Anne’s Lace and line flowers like
liatrus, larkspur and delphinium. Using these three types of flowers will make
your arrangement a dynamic piece of art you will be proud to display.

* A beautiful trend in flower arrangements is to include ornamental grasses,
such as wheat, zebra grasses and millet grasses to add texture and interest to
your garden and bouquets.

* Some of the foliage that you are stripping from the stems of your flowers may
be used as an ornamental green in your bouquet, adding another level of texture
into your arrangement.

* Choose interesting containers and vases with a touch of colour and texture to
bring out the beauty of your arrangement.

* Be aware that certain flowers will not re-bloom for up to two years after
being cut. This is mostly true for bulb plants, such as daffodils and tulips.

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