Flower CSA: Week 4, August 1st

In this week’s bouquet:

Amaranth:

IMG_9000.jpgIf left in the field, amaranth can grow quite large and and long. When it grows extra large, it’s really fun to use in large floral design installations!

Amsonia:

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Amsonia is a great foliage to use throughout the summer and fall, but also has really lovely, pale flowers in the spring.

Bupleurum:

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Dianthus:

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Celosia:

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Hydrangea (Pinky Winky variety):

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Joe Pye Weed:

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A favorite perennial flower of mine, and a perfect host for our pollinator friends!

Liatris:

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Lisianthus:

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Nicotiana: (in the tobacco plant family)

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Physocarpus: (also commonly called Ninebark)

IMG_8993.jpgA great dark foliage and perennial plant!

Yarrow:

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Zinnia:

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This week, take a minute to unwrap your flowers and cut your stem lengths at vary heights placing them in your vase. Here are a few simple floral design techniques to consider when making your arrangement.

STEP 1: Start with your foliage and create a base structure to build onto. It’s good to have some pieces shorter and closer to the vase and some kept longer reaching up and out. For every stem that you place in your vase, make sure all the leaves are stripped off any part under water. (to keep your water clean for as long as possible and avoid rotting plant material)

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STEP 2: Next, I took the largest flowers (hydrangea, joe pye weed and amaranth) and tucked them in and around the foliage. Again, varying heights is important. I tucked the joe pye weed and amaranth low and kept the hydrangea a bit taller.

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STEP 3: Then I tucked a pink stem of yarrow into the front of the arrangement because I thought it would like nice against the backdrop of the dark physocarpus and next to the purple-y pink joe pye weed. Notice the height of the yarrow is slightly different than any other heights around it. As you can see, I also put the salmon-colored celosia in the back keeping some height.

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STEP 4: For finishing touches, I dropped in the tall, skinny stem of liatris, in and around the bupleurum in the back. Then tucked my purple and pink stems of lisianthus low into the vase. Zinnias can be nice to make finishing flourishes with because not all of their stems are perfectly straight. In this vase you can see that both my stems of zinnia are somewhat curved at the top where the flower head connects to the stem. I tried to emphasize that nice curve by facing them sideways in the vase. Lastly, your nicotiana is a nice last stem to add a light, gestural shape to finish your arrangement. (in the photo, it may be a little difficult to see, but the nicotiana is in front of the hydrangea to the left of the yarrow)

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I hope you enjoy your flowers this week, and am looking forward to next week’s final week of bouquets!


A few words on cut flower care:

Flowers are a short-lived little pleasure. They require a lot of sun and water and care. (some a lot more than others) Then we cut them and they begin to die, and generally don’t look perky anymore after 3-5 days.

However, there are ways to extend the life of your flowers. Once you bring your bouquet home, I recommend taking a sharp pair of scissors and cutting of the very tip ends of your stems at a 45 degree angle, then dropping them in a clean vase of water. (at least 4-5 inches of water, depending on the width of your vase) In two days, do the same thing again. Give a clean cut to the ends of all your stems, wash your vase, fill with clean water and drop them in again!

Even after two days, you’ll notice that your water will be a little murky. The murkiness is bacteria that has built up as your flowers die and decompose in the water. Letting them continue to sit in this dirty water, will only speed up their dying process.

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