Get the Most Out of Spring Flowers
How to trim, arrange, display, and extend the life of your blooms.
The most popular small blooms include lily of the valley (shown), snowdrop, grape hyacinth, scilla, crocus, and some varieties of narcissus. Snowdrops begin pushing up as early as February (hence their name), as do crocuses; the rest typically bloom between March and May.
- Cutting prematurely may result in a bud that never opens, says Meredith Waga Perez, owner of Belle Fleur, a floral-design shop in New York City. Wait until buds are in partial or almost full bloom.
- Cut stems in bunches and at an angle so there’s lots of surface area for absorbing water. Use a very sharp paring knife or scissors. Dull blades will crush the delicate stem fibers, making it hard for the flowers to take in water.
- Sure, bud vases work, but enlist unexpected containers: cordial glasses, tall espresso or silver mint-julep cups, or creamers. For wide, sturdy blossoms with thicker stems, like grape hyacinths, consider a ramekin or a sugar dish.
- For a quiet, sweet statement, try a single arrangement of three or four stems. For a bigger one, put thick clusters of a single bloom (such as lily of the valley) in mismatched containers and group them on a mantel or a side table.
- Keep flowers out of the sun and away from heat sources.
- Refill the vase with fresh water every two to three days, washing it thoroughly each time. Trim stems at least once.