With spring right around the corner, we will be cutting flowers and bringing them in for arranging. One thing that always presents a problem is the short stems on some of them. A way to get around that is to insert the stem into a straw, then cut the straw the length you need. To be sure your stem gets water, slit the straw up from the bottom an inch or so and make small V cutouts a time or two along the straw toward the bottom.
Source: Real Simple magazine with a twist or two of my own.
My husband is always complaining about finding little creatures walking on the table after I put out a vase of flowers. So now, what I do is, I let the vase sit outside for about 30 minutes before I bring it in. By then all the little bugs have gone elsewhere. Also, when I arrange my flowers I do it outside with newspaper underneath for the cuttings. That way I can roll it all up and throw it out without any mess in the house.
When you buy fresh flowers, save the clear cellophane. Use the flower feed, if it is powdered, add an eggcup full of boiling water to dissolve it then top up with cold water. Then,scrunch up the cellophane and push this into the bottom of the vase, even on clear glass vases it will remain invisible. This acts as an anchor to position the stems into and help them to stay where you want them to be. The cellophane trick is also good if you have a vase that is too deep for your flower stems.
When you buy roses to help stop then from drooping, cut an inch or so off the bottom at a slant. Then using scissors or a craft knife, cut a slit in the bottom if the stem about an inch up. Think of the split at the bottom of an old fashioned wooden clothes peg and you will get the idea of what I mean, this allows the stems to draw up more water. If your roses have already drooped, wrap the bunch in news paper, cut the stems as I have said, put into fresh water with feed, and then put them somewhere dark and comfortably cool overnight, this sometimes works and they might recover.
I love fresh flowers and buy carnations every two weeks. (carnations last for a very long time). Since I usually get two large sprays from Costco, there are a lot of stems to cut, and to throw away.
While cutting the stems over the kitchen sink, I collect the tips. Then when I am finished, I just scoop the stems in which the flowers came. I am cautious of what I throw in the garbage disposal. Then I can just add the stems to the compost pile or toss them neatly.
This will not win me any prizes, but it sure makes my flower arranging easier!
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There are many used flower arranging books available at Amazon.com at a good price, or you might try your local library if you don't want to buy a book. I am a professional floral designer, and my advice is to shop at Wal-Mart for the best prices. You may have a floral wholesaler nearby, but generally they will not sell to anyone who does not have a retail license specifically designated for flowers, but it won't hurt to try. Hard to beat Wal-Mart prices, though. Good luck.