In a Vase on Monday: Cutting Flowers in the Rain

It’s raining.

Or as I like to say, It’s *RAINING*! 

San Jose had the second driest December on record, dating back 124 years. 

I love the rain under any conditions, but today’s January storm feels downright celebratory after such a dry start to our winter. What better day to go out in the garden to clip some blooms while soaking up the negative ions that make us feel good.

I’m joining Cathy and Cathy today for a regular feature they call In a Vase on Monday. Cathy, at Rambling in the Garden and Cathy at Words and Herbs faithfully post a vase of flowers from their garden year round. It’s not always easy, especially when you garden in Bavaria, but these two are an impressive pair.

My vase features something old and something new, pretty fringe and a cat, too.

A year ago I received a bottle of blush wine in this charming, cat-shaped bottle. It sat untouched for a year as I’m not really a fan of pink wine.

Wine bottle turned vase

Wine lovers, please look away now.

I poured the pink wine down the sink, rinsed the bottle, and voila, a pretty glass vase.

Okay, you can look now.

The something old comes from my cherished green asparagus fern. In 1988 I bought a pair of ferns for 79 cents and kept them on my nightstand in my one-bedroom apartment for two years. I moved and the plants moved with me. By the time we bought this house 21 years ago, my sprawling fern could no longer be contained. It’s now growing happily along the back fence.

If that plant could talk, eh?

Cuttings from my asparagus fern

Something new is the fresh-fallen rain drops. Isn’t it amazing how everything looks lush after a decent rain?

Cat vase in the rain

The pretty pink fringe you see comes from a few branches of my Loropetalum chinense or Chinese fringe plant.

Pink and green leaves and small fringe-like blooms

It’s a nice complement to last year’s hydrangea blooms, currently faded to shades of cranberry and pink.

Last season’s hydrangea, faded to cranberry and pink

The cat speaks for itself. =^, , ^=

The cat vase on our dining table (the runner is hand-felted by my friend Randi)

I hope you have a terrific week. If you need me, I’ll be outside enjoying the rain.

How to Revive Cut Flowers

I originally published this tip in October 2012. It continues to garner multiple views each week. I’m sharing it again in case you missed it.

Hat-Pin Trick

gerbera daisy with pin

Hat-Pin Trick

Cut flowers, especially those with hollowed stems, often droop after a short time in water. Why? Because the stem is no longer siphoning water.

Simply insert a pin or needle all the way through the stem of a drooping flower, about one-inch below the bloom. Carefully remove the pin and return your flowers to a vase of water. Within an hour or two, your flowers should be standing tall. I’ve used this trick successfully over the years with Gerbera daisies, roses and tulips.

Gerber Daisies hat pin trick

Gerbera Daisies Revived: The yellow flowers perked up; but the orange ones did not.

Rubber-band Recovery

If for some reason the hat-pin trick fails, here is plan B. Gather the flowers into a loose bunch and slide a rubber-band over the stems and up to the neck of the flowers. Wrap a second band around the bottom of the stems. Return to the vase, and enjoy your perky arrangement.

cut flowers rubber-band recovery

Rubber-band Recovery in Action

Edit your Collection

I don’t know about you, but I like to get as much “life” from my cut flowers as possible. Most mixed bouquet flowers have varying shelf-lives. Some blooms fade within a few days while others can last up to a week, maybe longer. Instead of dumping the entire bouquet, I change the water and return the flowers that still have life. As those fade, I’ll cut the healthy flowers down by a few inches and display them in a smaller vase. If I have nice greens, I’ll see what’s blooming in the garden and I’ll mix the two together. I make a game out of it to see how long the flowers will last.

Do you have any tips or tricks you’ve used to preserve the life of your cut flowers? Please share in the comments, below.

Drooping Flowers and the Hat-Pin Trick

Hat-Pin Trick

gerbera daisy with pin

Hat-Pin Trick

I’m not sure where I picked up this handy piece of advice, but it works…most of the time.  Cut flowers, especially those with hollowed stems will often droop after a short time in water. The reason: the stem is no longer siphoning water.

Simply insert a pin or needle all the way through the stem of the drooping flowers, about one-inch below the bloom, then carefully remove it.  Within an hour or two, your flowers will be standing tall. I’ve used this trick successfully over the years with Gerbera daisies, roses and tulips.

Gerber Daisies hat pin trick

Gerbera Daisies Revived: The yellow flowers perked up; but the orange ones did not.

Rubber-band Recovery

In the event the hat-pin trick fails, move on to plan B.  Gather the flowers into a loose bunch and slide a rubber-band over the stems and up to the neck of the flowers.   Wrap a second band around the bottom of the stems.  Return to the vase, and enjoy your perky arrangement.

cut flowers rubber-band recovery

Rubber-band Recovery in Action

Lift and Separate

I don’t know about you, but I like to get as much “life” from my cut flowers as possible.  Most mixed bouquet flowers have varying shelf-lives.  Some of the blossoms are spent within a few days while others can last up to a week or more.  Rather than dump the entire bouquet, I change the water and return the flowers that still have life.  As those fade, I’ll cut the healthy flowers down to a few inches, and display them in a smaller vase.  If I have nice greens, I’ll see what’s blooming in the garden and I’ll mix the two together. I make a game out of it to see how long the flowers will last.

Do you have any tips or tricks you’ve used to preserve the life of your cut flowers?  Please share in the comments, below.

Halloween Countdown

Nautical Pumpkin

Nautical Pumpkin

Eye Candy

Look who else has cut flowers this week: