It’s not too late to pick up a few buds for your best gal or guy to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Roses, tulips or any bouquet of cut flowers will do the job. And, with today’s tight budgets, consider buying just a few flowers instead of dozens.
“Don’t spoil things by saying, ‘I couldn’t afford a dozen,’ ” says Sally Ferguson, who represents the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center in Danby, Vt. “One perfect flower is symbolic. It shows you’re deep, get it? If one perfect flower’s symbolic, two are mythic!”
At her Web site, www.savedbythebud.com, she makes other suggestions for Buds on a Budget, especially for the men, but women can get some ideas, too. For instance, instead of buying a vase for the flowers, use what you already have, such as an empty wine bottle. Jazz it up with a red ribbon or heart.
Cut flower tips
Here are some tips to keep the single flower or a big bouquet as fresh and long lasting as possible:
- Always use a clean container or vase. A dirty one allows bacteria to destroy the flowers.
- Strip off any leaves that will be in water in the vase. Submerged leaves will rot, create bacteria and speed up the deterioration of the flowers.
- Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle under water. This prevents an airlock from forming, which blocks the stem’s ability to take up water. This is particularly important for hollow-stemmed plants, such as tulips.
- Keep the flowers out of direct sun and away from heat sources. These will speed up the deterioration of the bouquet. Flowers will last longer if placed in a cool spot.
- Use floral food if it comes with the flowers. Change the water and food every three days. Re-cut the stems when you change the water. Do not use floral food with cut bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils.