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I love writers vs photos. The writer was very explicit NOT to put leaves in the water when cleaning up the roses for display for #1 Traditional "Take each of the roses and strip off all the thorns, and the leaves that will sit below the waterline." Yet, the fourth photo of the finished arrangement shows the roses with their leaves (quite a few of them) below the waterline. mmmmm so which is it? Trim off leaves or leave them. :)

Since the writer only covered certain type arrangements, here are some more tips to keep them lasting longer than cut and put them in something with water.

If you want to make cut flowers last, make sure stems are covered by about 3-4" of water. The water should have preservative in them. Here's an easy preservative: Dissolve 3 tablespoons of sugar AND 2 tablespoons of white vinegar per quart of warm water. Of course, filtered water is the best, particularly for orchid and peace lilies, but tap or well water will also work.

Use SHARP pruning shears or knife and cut bottom of stem at an angle (about 45 deg) before inserting in water and every couple days there after. Why? Increases surface area for flower to absorb the water with preservative.

You can also buy packets of flower food which is powdered containing sugar, an acidifier to maintain water pH level and help stems soak up water, and a bit of bleach to reduce bacteria in water. Sprinkle it in moderation if there are no directions on packet.

If you want the best environment for your cut flowers, warm water temp should be at 100 deg F. Warm molecules of water move faster than cold and absorb better.

Flower preservative that is as effective as commercial flower food.

1 teaspoon sugar; 1 teaspoon plain ol' bleach; 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice and put it all in 1 quart of 100 deg F water. Mix and serve fresh.

Some other fun tips on preserving fresh cut flowers:

drop in a SOLID copper penny (if you can find one) - works like an acidifier decreasing pH of water

using scissors crush the flower's vascular system (I use pruning shears but if they aren't handy I use a small very sharp pair of scissors)

Immediately place cut flower in a bucket of water to keep their vascular system open. Otherwise, in a short period of time, it will seal up and prevent enough water to get to the flower head, shortening its life. How long depends on type of flower. I bring a small bucket filled with a couple inches of water with me to place my flowers and leafy stems/ferns as I cut them, meandering through my gardens looking for the "best" ones.

Enjoy your flowers. :)

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I am a modern, semi formal, country grandmother and I didn't find any of these styles attractive. Am I fussy or what?
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No, you are not fussy - you are you - a unique individual. :)

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