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A Botanist's Bliss

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A Botanist's Bliss

Cristina Soriano

Yesterday I went to the most wonderful place in New York City – The Flower School New York. To me, it is heaven on earth, an idyllic oasis in the middle of the city. The serenity and understated beauty of the school felt like a breath of fresh air, and it was so wonderful to be somewhere where the professionals were so agreeable and the energy so positive. I cant wait to go back.

Some of the herbs we used - mint, rosemary and bay leaves

Some of the herbs we used - mint, rosemary and bay leaves

I've seen fresh oregano before but thought these plants were especially beautiful. The begonia plant (on the right) is one of the best New York City apartment plants - they are low maintenance and do not require a lot of light. 

I've seen fresh oregano before but thought these plants were especially beautiful. The begonia plant (on the right) is one of the best New York City apartment plants - they are low maintenance and do not require a lot of light. 

Although I love flowers and am naturally at ease working with them, I decided to take a workshop course to advance my skills and to learn more about flower best practices.

Yesterday evening we worked using mostly herbs – rosemary, lavender, fresh bay leaves, mint, seeded eucalyptus and gumnut eucalyptus – but incorporating lisianthus buds as well. The arraignments were not only fragrant but were organically beautiful!

Can you see the sprigs of lavender? They remind me of the South of France!

Can you see the sprigs of lavender? They remind me of the South of France!

A few tips to help you keep your flowers lasting longer:

-       Floral Knife: all florists recommend using a floral knife rather than clippers to cut the stems (although they prefer that you are trained to use them as they are quite sharp!). The shears tend to compress and squish the stems, damaging the flower, rather than creating a smooth cut.

-       Flower Food: to prolong the life of your flowers, you should not add the flower food that comes attached to grocery bought bouquets, but spray some bleach into the water. The bleach eliminates any bacteria that will grow in the water, allowing the flowers to drink much more ‘pure’ water.

-       Deli flowers vs. flower shop flowers:  To my surprise, I was told that it does not matter where you purchase your flowers but how you take care of them. Although it is recommended that you put change out the water everyday, if you fill the vase with a few sprays of bleach, the flowers will last longer.

-       Don’t put apples near your roses!: Ripening fruit and vegetables emit a gas called ethylene that acts like a gaseous hormone that induces them to drop their petals.

-       Edit!: Although it may be tricky and seem like a waste (this is the hardest part for me), you need to be an austere editor when working with flowers. Cutting off excess leaves and buds are a crucial step to creating a perfect bouquet and one that does not look over stuffed. Making sure that no leaves and stems are submerged under water is also another critical step to prolonging the life of an arraignment. The leaves and other plant matter will contaminate the water, making it much more difficult for the flowers to drink.

I took home this gumnut eucalyptus. I thought it was so exquisite and unique looking. 

I took home this gumnut eucalyptus. I thought it was so exquisite and unique looking. 

 

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