Vase trends go min­i­mal­ist

Leaves are be­ing sac­ri­ficed for dra­matic ef­fect, says Peter

Amateur Gardening - - Your Gardening Week -

WHILE watch­ing a flo­ral artist demon­strat­ing his skills at the Trade Fair Aalsmeer 2018 in the Nether­lands, I asked why all the leaves were stripped from the stems. He told me the eye had to be at­tracted and fo­cused on the flower, and while leaves were fine in the gar­den, they were a dis­trac­tion in his works of art.

While I ac­cepted his ex­pla­na­tion, I must say I hate to see lovely healthy leaves re­moved and stout stems cut back to stumps – even worse when cut flow­ers are hung up­side down. When time and skill have been spent grow­ing a flower well, I like to see it com­plete and in a nat­u­ral po­si­tion. This Trade Fair held ev­ery Novem­ber is a mecca for pot-plant and cut-flower grow­ers, buy­ers and florists. The quan­tity of cut flow­ers was mes­meris­ing, as was the qual­ity, with thou­sands of per­fect rose blooms on me­tre-long stems on sin­gle stands.

Vis­i­tors to such events are look­ing for trends, and clearly this year one aim was to make flower ar­rang­ing easy and ac­cept­able to home­own­ers around the world. Ex­hibitor af­ter ex­hibitor had cut flow­ers staged in an ar­range­ment of one or two blooms in ei­ther a vase or a small dec­o­ra­tive con­tainer.

One ger­bera grower had found a small vase with a slop­ing base so the in­di­vid­ual flower was tipped for­ward to face the on­looker. There were also tips aplenty. For ex­am­ple, I was not aware that chem­i­cals in flower-ar­rang­ing foam short­ened the life of cut ger­beras. If used, the foam needed to be soaked for 24 hours and rinsed be­fore use. Fur­ther, one or two drops of bleach in the wa­ter for ger­beras were needed to pre­vent bac­te­ria block­ing the cut stem and gain­ing up to three weeks’ shelf life.

“Thou­sands of per­fect rose blooms on me­tre-long stems”

The tall, stout stems of these ger­beras in­di­cate last­ing qual­ity Vases with a slop­ing base tip flow­ers for­ward

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