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:

The Dulcet Sounds of a Fountain

Landscape designers call them “water features” and they can cost a pretty penny.  Our water feature is a faux stone fountain, purchased 15 years ago for $79.

Moving water soothes the senses.  It masks the uglier sounds of the suburbs like traffic or noisy neighbors.  If your lucky, it attracts wildlife, stopping by for a drink.

garden water fountain


Even though we have an indoor water fountain for the cats, two of the four kitties prefer to drink from the outdoor fountain, green algae and all.  Squirrels hop on and off on occasion and I’m pretty sure the visiting raccoon washed his little hands in the splash after turning our lawn into a muddy mess.

Our small and unremarkable water feature brings serenity to the garden.  If you are lucky enough to live near the ocean or a lake, you’ll know exactly what I mean.  If not, consider investing in a bird bath, a small fountain or your own creative version of water in motion.

Here’s to peace and serenity.

Tweet-tweet: Self Watering Gadgets

Watering Hole

Unless you live in Kauai, Hamburg or Seattle, you probably have to water your outdoor potted plants.  This holds true for indoor plants that don’t get the benefit of seasonal rain.  It’s a fine line between over-watering which can drown the roots, or under-watering which can quickly kill a summer annual.  The mix of shallow roots and rising temperatures dry out plants.  Mulching helps, but plants still need a regular drink of water.  Further, seeing water pour out of the bottom of the pot on to the deck or walkway is a water-conservation no-no.  What to do?

We’ve been experimenting with various self-watering devices, a misnomer since you still have to fill the reservoir with water.  Our first self watering gadget was a glass globe about the size of a baseball.  It came with a porous clay reservoir that you staked into the soil.  After filling the glass globe with water, you quickly upended it and inserted it into the reservoir. They looked pretty, but presented two problems.  The opening was narrow and hard to fill from a watering can.  When I carried them to and from the sink, I worried I would drop them.  Once full, you couldn’t set them down.

Next, my husband came up with the idea of using plastic apple juice containers, the ones that are about the size of a large apple.  The opening was larger and they had a flat bottom.  They worked, but they didn’t look nice after several weeks in the sun.  When empty, they were light enough to be knocked out of the container by a squirrel…or a gardener… and often ended up under the shrubs.

Pictured below are our current watering stakes.  The ceramic bird has a built-in reservoir in the back made of clay but molded into one piece.  The stake remains in the soil and you add water from the top.  Isn’t it cute?  The verdict is out at this point.  I like the ease of use and the little pop of color but I’m not convinced that one per pot is enough.

The baby bird or BORDY, is also molded in one piece but you add water through the mouth.  For some reason it reminds me of a dolphin more than a bird.  What do you think?

Do you have a favorite self-watering gadget?  Please share in  the comments, below.