We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Good tips. As someone who provides field-grown flowers to local restaurants, here's another tip for those who grow their own flowers: Cut blooms in the early morning and immediately plunge into water. Late evenings is the second best time to cut blooms. Most blooms do best in water that is air temperature, but some require special handling. Once cut, then follow Mrs. BD"s tips.
Great advice. I boil the sugar (one cup to a quart) and keep a stash in the refrigerator, then when needed, dilute it with hot water to room temperature. Add the bleach when arranging your flowers. Change daily, clipping a quarter inch (or less -- open pores) off with each change. I've had arrangements last two+ weeks. Many thanks to wonderful Japanese gentlemen who worked at my local botanical garden and spoke not too much English, but was a master teacher with a generous smile and much patience.
According to the European award-winning designer I inteviewed, you can also use lemon soda. Acid plus sugar?
BTW, I found MF several years ago searching for info on hostas. What a trip! Never a lack of info. Good job.
Add a little rum or vodka and you don't need to bother with sugar or bleach. Cut stems under a stream of water in the sink, keep tips wet and transfer into the vase (keep the ends from drying so the capillaries still work - alcohol also lowers surface tension). Agree about early morning or evening cut - you get the best production of volatiles for fragrance in your home - also avoid cutting just after a heavy rain. Warm water if you want to open buds, cold for preservation. Cooler home temps = longer shelf life.