I have to be honest, this time of year the flower market is billowing over with all of my favorite flowers. It truly feels like heaven when I step inside. The beautiful blooming branches that we wait so patiently for have arrived.This month Natalie and I decided to bring you a few flowers that we adore. They each have a little trick or cool trait to them that we wanted to share with you. Read on for more details on these beauties.
Sometimes my lilac wilts. Do you have any tips to keep it alive longer?
Lilac can be so finicky. Lilac have woody stems, so one technique to open their stems to access more water is to literally pound the ends with a hammer. You can also cut up the stems, but I prefer to hammer them. Most importantly, they need a lot of water. When you buy or cut them, put them directly in deep water. Find a tall vase and fill it to the very top and refill as needed. Keep the vase out of direct sun and in a cooler space. This should really help the lifespan of lilacs.
On the other hand, sometimes my peonies don’t open. What should I do to push them along in developing?
If your peonies are not opening up quickly enough, I have a few suggestions. If they are a very tight, hard ball, nothing other than time and patience will help you. If the ball is a little larger and the size of a very small apricot and not as hard, then there is some hope. Cut the stems (always cut all flower stems before you put them in water) at an angle, put them in warm (not hot) water, and put them in a warm space that is not in full sun. You can delicately start to peal the petals back to encourage them to open. This should really help.
Dogwood is so pretty. Why does it sometimes last a long time and sometimes die so quickly?
I think that this is one mystery I have not solved. I always make sure I put my dogwood directly in water, as it is much more sensitive than any other blooming branch. Even when doing that, sometimes it lasts for weeks and sometimes for just a couple of days. I think it is sheer luck! However, I do welcome any tips from readers, if anyone has any.
What is the fuzzy fruit on the green branches?
Those are almonds! I was raised in Northern California where almonds were one of the largest local agriculture crops (other than rice). California grows 80% of the worlds almonds, so you see a lot of nut orchards when you drive through the farm lands of the central valley. Almonds are one of the very first branches to bloom in the springtime, and by this point in the year they have sprouted their leaves and are showing the nuts. I think they are so cute!
This month’s features has me running out the door for a fresh arrangement for the house. Thank you Natalie for getting me inspired by what’s in season!
Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Photos by Claire Giffen