As little restraint as I have at a plant nursery (only curtailed by the amount of space I have in my car that day), I have even less at a fresh market ( bundles take up such little space don’t they?). And the fresh markets in New Orleans are as lush as the ones I have shopped in Europe- local, abundant, colorful, and educational. Case in point: delicate purple tulips, and a powerful sturdy-stemmed spiked-leaved seed-podish creature from another planet I had the good fortune to be introduced to today- Leucadendron galpinii, or the twigs of Silver Leaf bush.
I love to arrange cut flowers, and have quite a nice collection of containers. I let the flowers dictate the organization and the vase. With this selection, I choose a clear glass container that I lined with a single frond of variegated ginger plant (Just roll-up tight and plop in. The leaf will open and adjust to the circumference of the container) and added the stiff stems of the Silver Leaf around the edge of the opening, filling with the tulips from the center. I enjoy the ‘tension’ between the almost ‘architectural’ twigs holding back the soft stems of the tulips. A little yin and yang.
I do have a few secrets- 1) Put a capful of regular flavor Listerine in your container water. You know- the old fashioned, horrible tasting, mouth eating original flavor. It provides everything your cut flowers need (sugar, antibacterial, anti fungal). I promise you’ll thank me. And, 2) when using tulips, which will droop, cut a small slit, following the stem grain, below the flower head. Tulips bend because, once cut, they will take-up a continuous amount of water and the flowers become top heavy. If you provide an outlet for excess water, they won’t!