Flowers, especially roses have become a staple in my images. There is something to having an element of life in a still life that brings the story together. I hate to sound cliché, but I do love bringing home a fresh bouquet of long stem roses. While I add them to fresh water, after removing the leaves below the waterline, I think about how I can incorporate them in my photography. Any tips to keep them as fresh for as long as possible is welcome, and here are some great pointers from Tesco Head Florist Michelle Buck, that I have incorporated this past week. Who wouldn’t want this gorgeous bouqet to adorn their home for as long as possible.
1. Check for freshness – Always check the water that the flowers are standing in, it must be fresh and not smelly or gungy. 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 vases – dirty vases harbour bacteria, a simple wash in hot soapy water and a little bleach will eliminate the bacteria.
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 in to 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 cello tape and dab the pollen away.
9. Bleach for longevity – Did you know that 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.
This post was supported by Tesco. I have followed the tips, and the Forever mine dozen red Naomi roses bouquet is still just as beautiful a week on.