Miles of Flowers
Who doesn't love bunches of flowers? I do, but they make me uneasy. Flowers accrue carbon miles just like food does, and most of them are flown around the world, acquiring frequent flyer miles like nobody's business. But why this lust for flowers out of season? A local tulip farm exports tulips to Holland in our spring, their autumn. But do the Dutch really require tulips in Autumn? Could they not acquire a taste for chrysanthemums and rosehips instead? And isn't it rather unimaginative to need to decorate with say, roses, all year round?
However, when a dear friend turns up at the door with a bunch of flowers, do I rant madly at them? Hardly. I thank them profusely, and then husband the precious things to eke out their pretty lives as long as possible. First, I add a teaspoon of sugar to the slightly lukewarm water in their vase, to keep them fed. I trim all the lower leaves, so there are none in the water to go slimy. I cut an inch from the bottom of their stems to give them a fresh, uncalloused surface to drink from.
Every few days I change the water, and remove the spent blooms. Eventually, I have to take out a number of stems, recut those that are left, and put them in a smaller vase. I even remove individual brown petals if the rest of the flower is still nice. The flowers in the photos are the very last remnants of a lovely autumn bunch brought by a friend when my grandpa died, so they have lasted 22 days now, and they are still making me happy, albeit much reduced in number, and in much shorter vases!
And, excellent news - one of the greengrocers I go to is stocking bunches of local flowers. I can have any colour I want - as long as it is a chrysanthemum!