Archive for the ‘bouquet’ Category

Allium Friday, May 21st, 2010

Allium

Allium is the onion family. My decorative allium are blooming right now. They tend to show up after the daffodils, early tulips and hyacinth have all wilted and just before my bigger iris shoot up bloom spikes.

The orb-shaped head is actually a cluster of many individual little purple flowers.

Globemaster allium

They look just like a larger version of a chive flower. They should be planted like other bulb flower, in fall for spring-time blooms. They need little in the way of division, are adaptable to different soils and hardy to zones 3 or 4. The decorative ones don’t give off anything in the way of an oniony smell. They are great for cutting and my globemaster had to be since it bent right over on its 30″ stalk. (I think it had help) I’m just glad that it’s the first year I actually go a bloom from it. Previous years it sent up a bud shoot only to be killed off by frost. They take a while to open but once they do their unique bloom adds an ethereal note to any perennial bed. Definitely a good one to try.

Lovely lilacs Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

As stated in an earlier post, lilacs are hitting bloom time a little earlier this year. I still have strong daffodils and the lilacs are opening their sweet buds.

Last night, while watching Garden Line, a caller had asked how to get lilacs to stay fresh in a vase. Well, the panel looked at each other and little suggestion was given. Like with most flowers, cutting them in the morning (Dr. John Ball’s suggestion) and plunging them immediately into water will help.

Lilacs have woody stems. Mashing the ends allows for more water absorption.

I’ll elaborate: lilacs have deciduous, woody stems, unlike other cutting flowers like daffodils, daisies and zinnias for example. Woody-stemmed flowers benefit from having their ends mashed. This allows more surface area to take up more water – a key in keeping any cut flower fresh.

Other cutting flower pointers:

  • Save those packets of vase water fertilizers that come when you get a purchased bouquet and use a little of that in the water.
  • Overnight your vased flowers in the fridge and bring them out again in the morning.
  • Change the water daily with fresh, cold water.
  • Cut the flowers from their plants, then recut them under running water before plunging them immediately into a water-filled vase.
  • Recut the stems every couple days as they will heal over hampering water absorption.
  • A tiny amount of bleach can keep your vase water clear.