By Millie Hurst
A vase of uplifting flowers instantly brightens up any living space, making it feel more inviting. You can impress guests with beautiful homegrown arrangements by planting the best cutting garden flowers at home – they need less space than you might expect.
After planting and tending to your flowers for weeks, you'll of course want them to last as long as possible once cut. While we all know to get any flowers into a vase ASAP, an expert says that when cutting flowers ourselves, a pretty wicker basket isn't the best idea.
Speaking on Gardeners' World, Helena Wilcocks, a florist from north London explained that it's best to put them directly into a bucket of water. ‘You want the stem to be quite long, and then you want to put it straight into the water,' Helena says.
'People think it’s nice to harvest some into a basket or something but it’s completely impractical. You want to get them into water immediately.'
She goes on to say that as soon as you cut a stem, just like if you cut your arm, it starts to close up. 'You want to get it straight into water so it has a proper drink. It really does keep the life of the flowers going much longer,' Helena adds.
Whether you're growing tulips, sweet peas or cosmos, you can extend the life of your flowers and enjoy them for that little bit longer by keeping them in water as much as possible. It's similar to the way flowers are always stored resting in large plastic containers of water in the supermarket or corner shop.
There are many other tips and tricks out there for keeping cut blooms fresh. Some say dropping a penny into the water helps, and some cleaning fans say you can keep cut roses fresh with lemonade. But stopping the stems from closing up and changing the water every other day are the key things to remember.
- See also: How to take rose cuttings - it's easy with our advice
If you have limited outdoor space, make sure you know about the best places to buy plants online. You could also enjoy the cheerful color of fresh flowers in a window box - check out our guide to the best plants for window boxes for a beautiful display.
The best thing about homegrown flowers is that you can make them personal, arranging your favorite blooms just how you like them - just keep a bucket or watering can handy.
Millie joined Gardeningetc in January 2021 as a news writer. When she isn't writing about gardening, she's tending to her small front garden. Her geraniums, dahlias and nasturtiums are looking lovely right now. She recently bought a bench for the garden and is loving alfresco lunch breaks and taking time to notice seedlings growing. She loves picking up some new plants at the local garden centre and is never without some fresh flowers at home.
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