Monday, December 08, 2008
Thoughts on cut flowers
When my husband picks up cut flowers at the supermarket (providing I put them on the list), he invariably gets carnations, some type of mum/daisy, or maybe a couple bunches of “filler’ flowers. He’s going by price and his unfailing instinct for flowers that will last a while, thus providing the best value.
I can appreciate this, but after about a week of these invincible flowers I often find myself throwing them into the compost bin, regardless of their unwilted state. One of the reasons I can tolerate winter is that I have a great excuse to buy exotic flowers of all types. But even I have my limits. I try to keep to a middle ground, going for distinctive flowers that will last a decent amount of time. Here are my favorite choices:
1. Oriental lilies. These remind me of the ones I grow in my garden in summer and will always last at least 10 days to 2 weeks.
2. Spray roses. Sadly, no florist rose seems to have a scent these days, but the bunches of spray roses are attractive and have a more natural look.
3. Spider mums. If you must mum, these are very nice, especially cut short and used in squat crystal vessels.
4. Freesia. You have to like the fragrance, but these last a good, long while, and have a nice delicate, yet sculptural quality.
5. Flowering branches. These are not, strictly speaking, flowers (remember Michael Douglas asking for a dozen dogwood in The American President?), but I’m a sucker for just about any flowering branch, and they generally last a good while.
And here are the cut flowers that will just cause you heartache.
1. Delphiniums. Gorgeous. May survive long enough to be put in a vase. Or they may not even make the trip home.
2. Iris. Throwing your money away.
3. Tulips. It hurts me to say this, as I grow these by the hundred, but the ones sold in flower shops are usually pretty bad.
4. Protea. Ew. These look like they should be dead.
5. Gerbera daisies. I love the look of these, but they are apt to drop their heads almost immediately, and often need these dumb plastic straws to hold them up.
I wish there were more cut flowers available. (Snapdragons, phlox, blue orchids, blah, blah) But I also have my narcissus and forced hyacinths and tulips to keep me interested during the winter. Not to mention ordering more plants. The Select Seeds and Bluestone catalogs will be online in January!
Oh right, and I secretly love glads!