Beau­ti­ful blooms

Select longer-last­ing flow­ers for cen­ter­pieces, keep­sakes

The Republican Herald - - WEDDING GUIDE -

Flow­ers may look beau­ti­ful in gar­dens and even when snipped and brought in­side to brighten up a man­tel or din­ing ta­ble. Un­for­tu­nately, cut flow­ers have a fi­nite shelf life.

While cut blooms can’t live for­ever, cer­tain va­ri­eties will out­last oth­ers. Choos­ing flow­ers wisely for wed­ding cen­ter­pieces or keep­sakes can help cou­ples en­joy se­lected flow­ers longer.

• Pe­onies: Pe­onies can last for about a week or two when brought in­doors. HGTV said to snip the stems when the buds are tight, wrap them in news­pa­per and store them in the re­frig­er­a­tor un­til you’re ready to ar­range.

• Zin­nias: These bright blooms can last for three to four weeks and are best har­vested in sum­mer. Re­lated to the sun­flower, zin­nias are avail­able in a wide range of col­ors.

• Chrysan­the­mums: Widely re­ferred to as “mums,” these mid­sum­mer to late-fall flow­ers can last be­tween three and four weeks af­ter be­ing cut. Mums can be used to fill out flo­ral dis­plays be­cause they tend to be in­ex­pen­sive but durable flow­ers.

• Cone­flower: The pur­ple cone­flower is pop­u­lar, but cone­flow­ers are avail­able in many col­ors aside from pur­ple. Cone­flow­ers at­tract but­ter­flies and are beau­ti­ful in cut dis­plays.

• Ra­nun­cu­lus: Ra­nun­cu­lus mimic the look of roses and dis­play layer af­ter layer of silky, crepe-like petals. These blooms can last a week or more in vases if they’re put in wa­ter right af­ter be­ing cut.

• Car­na­tions: An­other bud­get­friendly flower, car­na­tions are pop­u­lar from early spring un­til late sum­mer. Avail­able in many hues, they can be used in con­junc­tion with other blooms to cre­ate well-rounded flo­ral dis­plays that may last be­tween two and three weeks.

• Lilies: Lilies are tra­di­tional flow­ers that are beau­ti­ful to be­hold. Lilies are avail­able in var­i­ous sizes and col­ors and can be bought fresh year-round. Lilies of­ten last longer than a week af­ter be­ing cut. Look for lilies with tight buds, as such flow­ers tend to last the long­est.

• Gla­di­oli: The lovely flow­ers of the ver­ti­cal-growing glad­i­o­lus, which is some­times re­ferred to as the “sword lily,” are avail­able in yel­low, peach, pink, white, and other hues. These bulb-based plants can last up to two weeks af­ter be­ing cut and add va­ri­ety and tex­ture to flo­ral dis­plays.

Al­though ad­vice varies on how to keep cut flow­ers fresh the long­est, vet­eran florist Nic Faitos, se­nior part­ner at Star­bright Flo­ral De­sign in New York, who has pro­vided his flo­ral ex­per­tise for Reader’s Di­gest, said the best ap­proach is to keep vase wa­ter clean. In ad­di­tion, ProFlow­ers sug­gests keep­ing cut blooms in a cool room away from direct sun­light and heat.

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