pátek 24. října 2014

In praise of the common blossom






Like most patriotic natives, I have to work on the garden. Once you start gardening there is always something to do. I help take care of a regular size allotment where we grow mostly fruit and some vegetables. Our annual harvest includes plums, raspberries, some pears a few peaches, arugula, beans, potatoes zucchinis and pumpkins. This year there has also been a TON of apples. Summer and early fall often mean many trips to the garden and endless hours of home cooking pumpkin soup and other produce from the garden. Although I am not a diehard fan of gardening there is one great pleasure I derive from it and that is flowers.





 From spring to the first November frosts we have an almost steady supply of flowers from the garden. These are not heirloom flowers with high highfalutin names but very ordinary blossoms that grow well in all conditions but make a welcome decoration in any room.







I am not sure what these are called but maybe they were brought from France

 We start in spring with tulips ,then marigolds, peonies are a major part of our summer as are gladiolas, garden carnations  and different varieties of dahlias which along with roses stay up till late fall.


One of the last roses this year


These flowers do not generally last very long , a few days maybe , a week at most ,but that is the ephemeral beauty of fresh  blooms. Even though these flowers will never last as long a mass cultivated one there are still a few things you can do to prolong their lives. I tend to avoid different kinds of chemical stimulants as in my experience they only work for store bought blossoms.



  



A bouquet after a few days



 
To start you should always cut the stems at an angle with a very sharp knife to prevent any splintering of the fibres. This way the flowers can get more nutrients and also they don’t directly stand on the “cut” when put in a vase. The only exceptions are carnations where the stem should be broken off at the   node and not cut. It also a good idea to take off any leaves on the stem which might be submerged in water, otherwise the leaves will rot and pollute the water.  Remember to keep a few leaves on the flower for photosynthesis.

             


 An essential part of displaying the flowers has become the gathering of vases and other vessels to put them in. In my case I stick quite strictly to clear glass containers if which I have in different sizes and shapes. Bottles and long necked vases are great for single flowers, cleaned out champagne bottles are  particularly good  as they  have a heavy base  and do  not fall over easily , small flowers or broken off blooms are put into tiny  vases  as I almost never want throw away a flower ,everything else goes into regular  vases  with necks tall to support a whole bunch of flora .The only “vase mistake  ‘’I have made to date was buying a ball shaped crystal vessel  where everything just falls over the brim.
 



A red pon pon


 No matter what you put your flowers into, what they really need is clean water, ideally changed every 2 or 3 days, also avoid putting them in direct sunlight in summer.



Recently I have also begun to appreciate dried flowers for winter decoration, although that is a different story.