I kill plants. Even the most hardy of flora cannot survive in my custody. I’m currently trying to nurse an orchid back from the brink. It brought much needed colour to our hallway for less a month. It is now just a bare stick in a pot.
I regularly buy cut flowers to brighten up my kitchen and as pretty props for my product photoshoots. I pick up a bunch from Tesco when I’m doing the weekly shop. They have a great variety of bouquets, which usually live for around ten days.
Here’s an example from my Instagram page, from a couple of months ago.
Genuinely – I really do buy all the flowers you’ve seen on the blog from Tesco, although I don’t think I’ve ever credited them.
Time to put that right.
Tesco invited me to a florestry workshop in advance of Valentine’s Day. Having been to their cake decorating workshop last year, I knew they’d put on a fun and informative evening, fuelled by Champagne.
The workshop was hosted by florist to the stars, Jamie Aston, and Tesco’s head florist, Michelle Buck.
Jamie effortlessly demonstrated two beautiful displays for us to copy. Michelle, who is clearly passionate about her job, taught us how to look after our flowers and keep them looking fresh for longer.
We were then let loose on several dozen roses, orchids and loads of other varieties supplied by Tesco, the names of which I can no longer recall.
The Champagne flowed, as did the conversation, while we arranged our flowers with Jamie’s guidance.
Here are Michelle’s top tips for keeping your flowers looking their best for longer.
1.Check for freshness – Always check the water that the flowers are standing in. It must be fresh and not smelly or gunky. Check the leaves on the flowers and make sure they are not yellowing or wilting.
2. Give them a trim – Once you have removed your flowers from the packaging remove lower leaves and recut stems with a sharp pair of scissors.
3.Cut the stems – Cut your flower stems at a 45 degree angle. This creates a larger surface area for the flowers to drink.
4.Use a clean vase – Always make certain you clean your vase. A simple wash in hot soapy water and a little bleach will eliminate the bacteria lurking within.
5.Give them a nice home – Never leave your flowers in direct sunlight or in draughts.
6.Keep away from fruit – Keep fresh flowers away from ripening fruit. It gives off a gas called ethylene and will cause your flowers to lose their longevity.
7.Keep your head up – If your roses ‘neck’ or bend after a couple of days, they could have an airlock in the stem. Simply cut the stem and place into boiling water for about 30 seconds. Then recut the stem, as the hot water will have damaged the ends and place into cold water. This should destroy the airlock and you should notice the heads lift after around 30 minutes.
8.Avoiding stains – Try to remove lily stamens so they do not stain furniture or clothing. If you do manage to get lily pollen on your clothes do not rub it, simply take a piece of sticky tape and dab the pollen away.
9.Bleach for longevity – Gerberas are quite susceptible to bacteria. If you do not have suitable flower food, you can use a tiny amount of household bleach in the water.
Here are my efforts at florestry:
I’m writing this blog 10 days after the event and my roses are still looking fresh.
It was a lovely, relaxing workshop. What do you think of my efforts?
Much love, Vx
[Disclosure: Thank you to Tesco for inviting me to the floristry workshop and plying me with Champagne.]