The Most Cost-Effective Way to Have Fresh Flowers

BY ROXY ALLNUTT

“I must have flowers, always and always.” - Claude Monet

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2 OCT - 2022

It’s CC’s resident florist back to chat on another important flower topic, how to afford ‘em.

Our flowering friends contain the key to mood lifting and space sprucing, all within their deliciously delicate petals. More importantly, science says that flowers can have a significant influence on our health, reduce stress and bring peace of mind. With their beautiful colours, flowers activate chemicals in your brain. Enter dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin (the happy chemicals). So is it as simple as putting a vase full of flowers on your table to calm your nerves? I strongly urge you to test the theory for yourself.

But despite our obsession with these beautiful moments of nature that we have the privilege of bringing into our homes, the flora isn’t considered valuable. Perhaps their cost and short lifespan deem the purchase unnecessary—especially when a trusty houseplant can provide the same mood-uplifting benefits. But, in my slightly biased opinion, flowers can provide so much more.

Because of this, and the fact that my life is surrounded by flowers, I vowed my bedside table to a year of flowers. Yes, a commitment made much easier by a florist with an unceasing flow of flowers. Oh, and another catch... along with everything else rising in price, flowers have become a serious luxury. But let me tell you, hundreds in your city are doing this practice, and I have the tips on how they do this in the most cost-effective way.

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My favourite garden rose find

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Isadia

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Nail Your Timing

Okay, so we want your fresh flowers to last as long as possible. The best days to buy flowers from a florist are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. These are most cities' flower market days. These markets host all the flowers picked fresh the day before and are the hub for the industry. If you are supermarket buying, this differs slightly. From my nosiness at the wholesale markets and a constant eye continually monitoring the quality of my supermarket’s flowers, I suggest buying on a Friday. If you are buying imported bunches (they should be labelled), always buy them later in the week as the shipment arrives midweek.

Cheeky tip, at most dairies and supermarkets, flowers are put in dark buckets to hide nasties in the water. So while a bunch may look fantastic on top, just lift it out of the water and assess for stench or browning. If you notice a rotting smell or see some discolouration, just pop them back down and move on.

Selecting Right

I mentioned purchasing long-lasting stems earlier, which is a great way to go if you want a constant flower buzz in your home. Flower life can range from five days to ten. Some even go for four weeks. The rule of thumb is that a fresh flower should last ten days - comfortably. The softer the stem, the less life it is likely to have. The spongy bunch of hyacinths aren't going to go as long as an anthurium with a firm and stark stem, and that's just the way nature plays us. I have made a directory below for you to refer back to when you go on your flower hauling.

If you are an absolute diehard for tulips and sweetpeas, think about your priorities, and if you are out all week at the office, picking up a small bunch to love over your weekend may satisfy you entirely. Or, if you tend to be out all weekend, something that will get you through the recovery week may be your best fit.

3-5 Days - Poppies, Sweetpeas, Foxgloves, Flox, Dahlias
1-2 Weeks: Roses, Cosmos, Chamomile Daisies, Tweedia, Tulips, Stock, Freesia
2-3 Weeks: Zinnias, Gerberas, Snap Dragons, Hydrangea
3-4 Weeks: Chrysanthemums, Carnations, Anthuriums, Orchids/Cymbidiums, and Alliums, Proteas, Pin Cushions, Gypsophila/Baby's Breath

If in doubt, just chat with your florist. They’ll know the exact lasters and even can tell you the number of days left in each stem. Just ask!

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Flower Nurturing

Your flowers are less demanding than most of your plant babies, which is a plus. The best place to store your stems is somewhere out of the sun. The cooler the temperature, the longer your stems will last. Cutting your stems at an angle creates more surface area for your flowers to drink from. Also be sure to remove any greenery in the water, this stops the water from rotting.

Refresh the water every other day. Cooler water is better. When doing this, giving them a trim will provide them with an extra sip of life, so there is no harm!

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Rose Tinted Flowers

Going Minimal on the Stems and the Vessel

With flowers being so beautiful on their own, minimal arrangements can be stunning and cost-kind. Going to a florist over a supermarket means you can pick as many stems as you fancy (supermarkets are pre-bunched).
Cut the stems at different lengths to create a fuller look in your vase. You can even go dramatic with one super tall and another short. Then, add one at a time to the vase in supportive, opposing directions; don't overthink it!

Use a narrow mouth vase. The smaller, the better, and nest your pretty picks somewhere special. The bathroom, bedroom, and living room are all excellent hosts.

Something like this below shouldn't cost you more than $25. Happy flowering!

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