Grow a great cutting garden

Tips for making cut flowers last. Plus, a painter's palette of blossoms worthy of a wedding bouquet

  • Print
  • |
  • Email
  • A fresh-cut bouquet combines pink asters lavender delphiniums delicate pink spikes of Psylliostachys suworowii blue false sea holly Eryngium planum purple statice and blue scabiosa.

    Fresh-cut bouquet

    John Granen

    Click to Enlarge


Keeping cut flowers fresh for weddings is especially demanding; they have to look good through a couple of hours of photography, as well as the wedding and reception. The key is proper hydration, says Catherine Mix.

Here's her system for making cut flowers go the distance:

  • Harvest flowers two days before the event, and choose blooms that are about three-quarters open. Do it early in the day while the air is still cool; plunge the stems immediately into a bucket of cool water.
  • Recut stem ends under water, then keep stems immersed in a bucket of water for 24 hours in a cool, shaded place. Use water alone or add a drop of bleach to keep it clean longer. If you're working with hollow-stemmed flowers such as dahlias or mignonette, invert them one at a time, fill the stem with water, stop up the end with your finger, then plunge the stem upright back into the bucket.
  • Arrange flowers in a water-filled vase for maximum life. Or arrange them in floral foam, which provides more design control but sacrifices some vase life. 


Insider Guides

Places We Love!
Enchantment Resort
For a most soothing Sedona experience, tuck yourself...