Episode #310- Water: Nature’s Life Force
Today on Life In Bloom, we’re immersing ourselves in something vital to flowers – and all life – water. We’ll visit a flower farm with extensive water reclamation, create some water-centric arrangements, and enhancing water to increase the vase-life of flowers.
“People are no different from flowers. If you water them, they flourish. If you are not nice to them, they shrivel up.” – Richard Branson
On this episode of Life In Bloom we’re turning our focus to water, essential for all flowers – and people for that matter. Water is vital not only for growing flowers but also for enjoying them in your home as well.
There are many ways to extend the life of any bouquet or arrangement and many of them revolve around water. Just as you release water vapor as you breathe, plants and flowers do as well – although the term transpire is more appropriate than breathe. Water continually evaporates off the face of the flower, so making sure there’s always plenty of water available to your arrangements is key.
Let’s look at ways to use and enhance water for the best performance of cut flowers.
Prep Water for Flowers
One of the essential things that I do for maintaining flower arrangements is having water on hand that is ideal for the needs of the flowers. That means using the little packet of flower food and having it on hand and ready at all times…
Look for these valuable little sachets of Flower Food- and even think about asking for some extras- or buying some to keep in your flower arranging supplies- (You can buy some here- www.uBloom.com/BuyChrysal ) There are UNIVERSAL packets that work for any type of flowers- Bulb Food packets that are for any flower that comes from a bulb (think Tulips, Iris, Daffodils, Hyacinth, and Lilies- all come from bulbs or corms)… and then there are specialty packets for Roses and other types of flowers! If you want an all in one- the Universal Packet is your go to!
Measure the proportions correctly
There are directions on the back of the packet and it’s important to measure accurately- there was a very good study- done several years ago- that showed us- that if we OVER DOSE or UNDER DOSE the flower food- it does more damage than good- so be sure to measure your flower food- and follow the directions from the manufacturer- on the back of the packets!
Cold water is best – so store the mixture in the fridge.
Contrary to what many think- COLD water is best for flowers- NOT Warm- although it’s a wide spread rumor- Warm water contains more Air- and the temperature helps increase bacteria production- so using cold water- water that is ICE cold is best- or water that is refrigerated helps your flowers last longer. I suggest mixing up your flower food- in a water bottle or other recycled container- and storing in the frig- so that it’s ICE COLD and ready when you are – for flower arranging…
Adding ICE – is not recommended- unless you measure the ice with your water- BEFORE adding the flower food- so that you are not diluting the solution- you create with the flower food- so IF you want to cool it down with ICE- be sure to measure your water and ice together- and then add the appropriate amount of flower food needed!
Label your bottled mixture
I always label the flower food that I make and place in the frig- not that flower food consumption would hurt anyone- it’s just not that tasty- and you wouldn’t want to encounter flower food- when you were expecting fresh ice cold water… heheh!
Most flower food packets contain sugar, acid, and bleach. Sugar gives nutrients to the flowers, acid maintains the pH level of the water, and bleach reduces the amount of bacteria and fungi in the water.
This is one of my favorite projects- and it’s a super popular project- in fact – I create a video back in the days of JTV – for Youtube- that is one of our most viewed videos on my Youtube Channel- If you want to watch that Popular video- here’s a link: How to create Submerged Flower Arrangements! – It has almost 3/4 of a Million Views- Like I said it’s popular!
Submerged flowers- are fascinating- because the water magnifies the size of the flower- and there is something magical about a flower that is somehow- submerged below the surface- it’s like scuba diving with flowers! The secret to this project is the flower frog- the classic style of pins- that are set in metal- this apparatus holds the flower in place and also gives it weight- so that it can stay underwater- when submerged.
Fun Fact- Flowers Float- so that is why you need the weight- if you didn’t use the flower frog- or something of equal weight the flower would simply float! Also it’s highly advised to use ICE COLD Water- and even distilled water- for this project. I also skip the flower food- because the added sugar that typically feeds the flower- to make it bloom bigger- enhance color and make it last longer- actually starts to degrade the flower petals when the flowers are submerged.
Remember how I always encourage you- to remove any leaves that will fall below the water line???? Well- when the flower is under water it starts to degrade immediately and thus it will deteriorate very quickly- a submerged flower only lasts about 18-20 hours- so you want to make these right before you are going to enjoy them… while short lived- they are certainly a conversation starter- and will WOW your flower friends- and neighbors!
You can watch the complete project- that is used for this segment- on uBloom- here’s a link- https://ubloom.com/blog/2014/08/24/how-to-arrange-flowers-submerged-flower-arrangements/
And here’s another project (From my JTV days) – on uBloom- that has a magnificent arrangement- and a SINGLE ROSE Submerged below it… https://ubloom.com/blog/2015/10/25/arrange-flowers-submerged-rose-centerpiece/
A Visit to Kendall Farms
I visited a southern California flower farm that takes water conservation very seriously – for many good reasons… My friend Jason Kendal and Troy Conner- are cousins- and they run Kendall Farms- in California- where they raise Wax Flower, Sun Flowers and Protea!
A devastating fire- changed their farm- and today they are ec0-conscious – environmental flower farms- with an amazing story!
You can see my entire visit – I made to Jason and Troy- when we created the CA Grown Experience on uBloom.com- watch the flower documentary we created for Kendall Farms here: https://ubloom.com/blog/2011/08/08/the-ca-grown-experience-on-ubloom-visits-kendall-farms/
It’s also the first place that I rode in a Helicopter to see a flower farm operation- that was a real trip for someone that doesn’t do heights very well. It’s all in the video above- and you can take a visit to Kendall Farms- and see how they grow flowers!
More about my flower farming friend Jason Kendall here- (COMING SOON!)
I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone watching – I enjoy flowers — obviously at home – but also on-the-go. Whenever I’m traveling I try to pick up a bouquet to enjoy in my hotel room. And, no, I don’t travel with a vase in my luggage. An easy way to enjoy your bouquet is just to trim off the top of a water bottle. If you’ve picked up a larger bouquet, a hotel room ice bucket is also a great container to hold flowers offering plenty of water to keep them hydrating and looking pretty for when you return to the room…
I love all types of flowers- and when possible- I love FRAGRANT Flowers in my hotel rooms- it’s easy on my mind and spirit to wake up and go to sleep with the smell (and sights) of beautiful Flowers! Remember that some types of flower fragrances can encourage good sleep and rest- Lavender for example- and coming back to a room that smells of Freesia, Lilies, Garden Roses or even Gardenias- can be a welcome treat at the end of a long work day!
As mentioned before in the Submerged flower segment- flowers Float- that’s a fact- so taking advantage of that attribute – is a fun way to arrange flowers… We shared a fun project for just a few flowers- in this PRETTY Video on Social Media- you can watch it here: https://fb.watch/5XAbd0qrse/
This project- is super easy to do- and you can float just about any kind of flat shaped flower- and make a magical centerpiece- with just a few flowers- and maybe even a floating candle. It’s all about the flowers in this fun Floating Flower project!
Featured Flower: Snowball Viburnum
- - Snowball Vibrunum grow on a bush and work well as a cut flower.
- - This large shrub grows into an upright dense mound.
- -The three-inch clusters of snowball flowers start out apple-green and morph to white, eventually fading to a rosy color, as do some hydrangea shrubs.
- - Leaves are three-lobed and similar in look to that of maple trees.
- - Leaves may turn reddish-orange in the fall.
- - This shrub has graced gardens since the 1500s.
- -Snowball viburnum is also known as the guelder rose
- - Snowball viburnum prefer evenly moist soil
- - Viburnums need pruning right after the flowers fade. If you wait too long, you could lose next year’s beautiful flush of flowers
here’s links to additional information- about Snowball Viburnum!
Read more at Gardening Know How: How To Tell Snowball Bushes Apart: Is It A Snowball Viburnum Bush Or Hydrangea
Flowers on Ice (cubes and ball) #Recipe in Bloom K
I’ve featured ice cubes with petals on other episodes – it’s a fun way to dress up any beverage. But let’s take that to another level. Have you seen these giant ice cube molds? This one creates a large round cube and I thought it would be great to encase an entire boom within…
Get the entire Recipe- and directions here- (COMING SOON!)
Helpful hint- Use Distilled water- as it will FREEZE clear- and not get cloudy!
Fill an ice cube tray with about a 1/4 inch of distilled water…
Place flowers – (Use organic edible flowers- you want to be sure they are safe to consume and won’t add any pesticide or unwanted toxins to your cocktail or beverage)- face down into the water- you don’t want so much water that the flowers are floating! You simple want the weight of the flower to push the face into the small amount of water- in the tray!
Freeze the flowers and small amount of water for about 3 hours… in a regular freezer…
In the mean time- place your distilled water into the refrigerator to get it nice and cold…
After the flowers and small amount of water has frozen- get your COLD Distilled water ready- then pull out the ice cube tray and immediately fill it with cold distilled water- and return it promptly and without delay to the freezer again…
Having the distilled water cold- will prevent it from melting the ice- and loosening your flowers- you want the frozen water to hold them in place for the second freezing…
Allow to freeze for several hours – even overnight- then you can take out the ice cubes and place them in a container or zip lock bag- in the freezer for you next Flower cocktail hour or party! You can make dozens if you’re having a big party- but it’s a good idea to keep them in the freezer until you want to place them into the beverages- the flowers will stay vibrant and colorful for about 3 weeks in the freezer! ENJOY!
I hope you’ve found our tips about the water depended on by all flower bouquets and arrangements useful – and that you’ll enjoy cut flowers for longer. For Life In Bloom, I’m J Schwanke.