Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Flower Shop

The Flower Shop

The flower shop at Countryside is a pretty dynamic place, just oozing with creativity and bustling with activity. After a busy Christmas season, there is a bit of down time before gearing up for Valentine’s Day. One event that keeps them busy until then is the annual "Kathy and Judy Convention." Kathy and Judy host a talk show on WGN. Countryside advertises on their show and they enlist our help in decorating for their annual convention. This year’s theme is "Las Vegas." Our designers have spent the past several weeks developing and creating center pieces using Las Vegas buildings and attractions.

I can’t believe how much snow we’ve gotten in the past few weeks, or how cold it has been. I don’t know about you but spring can’t get here fast enough for me. One thing I like to do at this time of year is bring a little color into my house with fresh cut flowers. Because I am such a Scrooge with the thermostat the flowers last longer and it is just nice to come home to fresh vased flowers on the table.

As a country, Americans spend less per capita on cut flowers than do Europeans. One reason for this is the perception that cut flowers do not have a long shelf life. A few simple steps will help the flowers last longer. First, buy your flowers from a reputable florist. Most florists offer mixed bouquets that can be brought home and vased fairly inexpensively. Second, when you get them home give the stems a fresh cut under water. This helps open up the vascular system of the flower so that it can continue to bring up water. Make sure that you remove any leaves that will be in contact with the water in the vase. Any leaves in the water will lead to bacteria growth that will shorten the life of the flowers. Use the flower preservative that came with your flowers and change the water everyday. You may need to re-cut the stems at some point as well.

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