How is your valentine’s day?
If it’s anything like mine it tends to go without any reference to romance or commercialism. I don’t mind though because it saves me the pain of never getting a card when I was young and bringing back lonely memories. Even when my school introduced a policy of everyone in the class writing out a card for someone else and sending it through the internal mail, I never got one. ‘Lost in the post’ I used to think, or someone was collecting them on my behalf out of jealousy of my natural good looks and charisma.
I’m sorry if my story of love and romance is upsetting. I’ll give you a few moments to wipe away the tears.
Valentine’s Day Flowers
There are a lot of things we can buy for our loved ones or people we admire from a distance, most of them are either edible or soft and cuddly. I prefer the live presents though and I don’t mean a dog or cat –its flowers.
For centuries flowers have been the solution to some of life’s disagreements, and admissions of guilt as well as showing love and devotion. It’s an extremely complicated issue buying flowers for someone and only the most experienced florist can save you from buying a bunch that would be totally unacceptable for the occasion. Take funeral flowers for example. Apparently white carnations and gladioli are not really in keeping with romance. But what do I know? If they are mixed with other flowers their meanings could change although you’d always think you were in a funeral home if you smelled lilies, so again best avoided.
So if you have read this far I will assume you have got yourself a beautiful bunch of flowers from your loved one for this special day. You have assessed they are not being presented to you out of guilt or an apology and would like to look after them as long as possible.
I’ve come up with a few ideas to prolong that feeling of euphoria you must have tingling through your body (Much the same feeling you would get drinking a bottle of wine they might have bought ... or preferred)
- The flowers have probably come from a near perfect growing environment in Europe and will need acclimatising a bit. Try to keep them away from drafts and extreme temperatures, which can quickly dry out the flowers and cause wilting.
- If your flowers came in plastic, remove this after reading the loving card message sellotaped to the side.
- Ethylene gas is detrimental to many flower types so, daft as it might seem keep the display away from fruit bowls.
- This time of the year you would get away with the display in the window as the sun isn’t that hot. Summer would be different
- Most flowers will last longer under cool conditions so playing a few Barry White songs will keep them fresh and perky. This will also be advice for the fella too.
How to keep them fresh
Like relationships the plants will need to be kept fresh.
- I found cutting the stems with a sharp knife or secateurs (not scissors) underwater helps them suck up water better. Chop an inch or two off them when they are ready to be put in the vase.
- Keep your vase filled with fresh water and replace when cloudy.
- You might get a packet of white powder in the display. This isn’t for dipping liquorice in, it’s a water soluble plant food that you can add.
- Take off dead or wilting leaves and stems from fresh flower arrangements.
Changing the Water
- Remove any dead or dying flowers from the arrangement and spend a long time picking up the leaves and petals that have scattered themselves across the table.
- Clean the empty vase thoroughly with soapy water to remove any bacteria that could cause the fresh flowers to deteriorate even quicker. And rinse.
- Replace the water and mix in more flower preservative provided by the florist. I actually find plants do far better with rainwater and get some from the butt outside.
- Maybe cut the stems again to keep the waterways open.
Place back in their designated space and wait a few days until you have to do the whole thing again to keep the display looking fresh. Alternatively you could put the wilting, brown tipped display that’s clinging on to the memory of romance in the compost bin.
By this time next week Valentine’s Day will be a forgotten memory in the minds of your admirers and it’ll be business as usual, working, cleaning, cooking and other domestic chores whilst your admirers watch you from afar.