If you know me well, you know that I go nowhere without an anti-allergen in my handbag – whether it be dust, dander or pollen, I am susceptible to the spring-time air, ridden with lots of particles, powder and dust, and I take NO chances.
Because of my profound love for flowers, I go about purchasing my weekly indulgence without qualm or question as to which varieties may make my eyes watery and breathing wheezy – I go with whatever looks most fresh, whichever suits my current mood and, quite frankly, whichever won't break my bank. And, I purchase any variety with the comfort of knowing I can rely on my anti-allergen in my (almost literally) back pocket.
But, my comfort and dependance on anti-allergy meds are not necessarily pertinent in everyone’s lives – I understand that taking anti-allergens can sometimes make you drowsy, cloudy and, well, make you feel unlike yourself.
Fear, allergy-ridden-flower-byers, no longer! For here is a list of beautiful blooms that will leave your eyes pearly white, with never an itch!
Although grown as a vine in hot climates and is difficult to find in your local NYC bodega, bougainvillea is an incredible plant to bring indoors. Growing up we used to have the flowers organically placed in ceramic vases all around the house.
As a child, I used to press the flowers, making my own stationary and letterhead with the beautiful pink petals.
Although not technically a flower, cacti are easy to maintain plants (or should I say succulents) that you can keep around your home without fear of sniffling. And, you don’t even need a green thumb in order to care for the plants; they are almost self-sustaining! Ok, not quite, but read here to learn how to care for your succulents.
Prevalent in the spring, hyacinths can be purchased as a bulbous plant or already cut. They are absolutely beautiful and delicate and are so incredibly fragrant. If you are caring for a bulbous plant, make sure to keep the soil moist but not overwater, and try to keep the flowers in a cooler room – the more heat, the quicker they will grow, wilt and in turn, die. If you are caring for already cut stems, place the flowers in a vase filled with cold water, and be sure to trim the stocks regularly.
One of my favorite flowers, they are quintessential New England summer staples. The cotton candy-shaped blooms are so special and incredibly unique – depending on the pH and acidity levels of your garden, they turn different colors!
Remember, when arranging the woody stems into a vase, submerge them in hot water and be sure to strip away some of the woody exterior and slice down the middle of the stalk.
My mummy’s absolute favorite, lilies are elegant and sophisticated flowers that leave you feeling equally as graceful and poised! When arranging your lilies, put on a pair of rubber gloves (or wrap your fingers in paper towel) and gingerly pluck the anthers, which contain all the pollen. Be careful not to drop them as they stain your clothing (and fingers).
Mums will forever remind me of summers spent in the South of France. My aunt, Tia Cristina, has a beautiful flower garden where she grows and then picks beautiful buds for her vases and tablescapes.
She always grows a variety mums, their bright colors light up my favorite little reading nook and are absolutely stunning as centerpieces in the outdoor dining area, a pergola covered in wisteria!
A staple in my home, orchids are dramatic plants that really demand no effort, except to be left in indirect sun and to be, essentially, forgotten about. Only do I water when I think, “oh! Its been a while,” and when I hydrate, I do so with no more than a few tablespoons.
If the red variety doesn't suit you, indulge in beautiful peach colored ones, or even lavender. Roses are so fragrant and delicate, it is no wonder why they have remained a classic and timeless flower. Before putting the thorny stems into a vase, consider removing a few of the damaged outer petals, this will make the flowers not only look more fresh, but will permit them to open up more!
One of my all-time favorite flowers, tulips make me so happy. Prolific in the spring, I tend to fill my home with vases and vases full of various varieties: fringe, parrot, striped and lily tulips. Don’t forget, they are bulbous flowers so you need to put them in a vase with cold water.
I never leave a summer farmers market without grabbing a bunch (or two) of zinnias. I love their organic look, especially on my rustic dining table. I like how no two flowers are like – the farmers tend to pack them in a rainbow of colors: reds, pinks, yellows and oranges all in one bunch!
For more tips of flower care, click here!