Con­tainer col­lec­tion

Col­lect an as­sort­ment of vases and con­tain­ers to suit dif­fer­ent flo­ral styles and en­vi­ron­ments.

NZ Gardener - 365 Days of Flowers - - Floral Design -

There is no need to spend a for­tune here – head to your lo­cal op shop and pick up bot­tles, cans, urns, ce­ramic vases and an­tique bowls (a small chip won’t mat­ter), coloured glasses – and any­thing else you can get your hands on -– in var­i­ous shapes and sizes.


Glass vases are sim­ple and el­e­gant, but you'll need to keep the water clean (you should do this any­way). A wider open­ing at the top ac­com­mo­dates more flow­ers. For just a few flow­ers, opt for an hour­glass vase: wide at the bot­tom, nar­row in the mid­dle and flared at the top.


Any­thing goes with rus­tic de­signs. Choose a ves­sel for an in­for­mal dis­play and, if it's not wa­ter­proof, insert a glass vase in­side to hold your flow­ers. This turquoise urn suits dis­plays with both a strong or soft colour theme. A colour wheel can help you choose colour com­bos.


Choose a white vase and you're half­way to cre­at­ing the clas­sic coun­try style. Buck­ets, urns and large pitchers suit this style, as do roses and big, blowsy blooms. Scrunched up chicken wire in­serted into your con­tainer will sup­port stems and keep them up­right.


Pick­ing from the gar­den? Place flow­ers in a bucket of water when pick­ing. Once in­doors, re­cut stems on an an­gle to ex­pose more of the the xylem tis­sue, which is re­spon­si­ble for the up­take of water. Woody stems should have an ad­di­tional 5cm ver­ti­cal cut at the bot­tom to as­sist with water up­take. Place flow­ers in a bucket of clean, luke­warm water (bulbs in cold water) with flo­ral preser­va­tive. Mol­e­cules move faster in warm water, en­sur­ing water flies up the stems to the flow­ers.


It's easy and eco­nom­i­cal to make your own flo­ral preser­va­tive. To a litre of water, add 2 ta­ble­spoons of le­mon juice or white vine­gar, 1 ta­ble­spoon of white sugar and half a tea­spoon of bleach. Place your bucket of freshly picked flow­ers in a cool room, out of di­rect sun­light, and leave for at least six hours, or overnight to con­di­tion them. Florists keep them at around 4°C be­fore ar­rang­ing, where the life of most cut flow­ers can triple.

To get the max­i­mum vase life from your flow­ers, keep your vases spot­less and con­di­tion flow­ers be­fore ar­rang­ing.


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