Thistle save you a buck

With Valentine’s Day around the corner I thought I would write a piece about the proper procurement of flowers. What to look for and how to get the best bouquet for your buck.

Starting with the obvious, if you are buying flowers for someone special then it’s best to know either their favourite kind of flowers are or at least some of the symbolism behind the flowers that you plan on buying. (Red is love, yellow is friendship etc.)

The first thing that you need to know when shopping is that the best flowers are kept cold. For every minute outside in the heat they lose longevity. You should never buy from the side of the road. They will only last a day or two and are often of a very poor quality. Rather shop at a florist or any grocery store that keeps their flowers refrigerated.

You should look for tightly closed buds among your bunch. That way you get to benefit from the moment they blossom. They might not look good at the moment, but once the buds open they will look beautiful and stay that way for days.

Once you’ve bought your bunch get a vase and fill it a quarter full with water (or until it will cover the stems). If your bouquet came with flower food then drop that in the water. If not, crush up a vitamin C tablet and mix that with the water.

Before putting the flowers in the water you need to trim the stems (just a few centimetres off the bottom). A fresh cut will allow the plants to absorb water more easily and cutting at an angle (45 degrees) allows more surface area to be exposed. Once trimmed, immediately put the flowers in the vase.

If some of the outer petals look tough or wilted you can remove these to freshen up the bouquet and allow the flowers to open up more. You can also set a couple of flowers aside and remove the petals to spread out over the dinner table or bedroom for some added romance. (Note: rose petals can leave marks if pressed into white fabric)

Ordering flowers online has become increasingly popular nowadays and it is great for surprising someone, at work for example, as delivery is included. The downside is that you only get to apply your discerning eye after it has been delivered.

Now that we have covered the basics, financially speaking Valentine’s day is the worst time of the year to buy flowers as prices are hugely inflated. But the heart wants what the heart wants…

If you are going to buy blossoms for your loved one at least you now know how to make them last!

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