I’ve always bought pre-cut flowers from local markets, grocery stores and flower stands, but I’ve never cut and arranged my own. When my mom told me about a local dahlia farm that was doing “fill a bucket for $15” for Labor Day and I knew I couldn’t resist!I went in blind, not knowing a thing about cutting flowers, but now that I’ve gone, here are five of my must have things for cutting all the pretty florals & arranging them when you get home!
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1. Boots, Boots, Boots!
I can’t say enough how important it is to have rain boots that are comfortable to walk in and that keep your feet dry! Going to cut fresh flowers usually involves wet fields, bugs, and lots of dirt! I love my hunter boots and say if you have the money to spend on them, buy a pair! Mine are a gorgeous maroon, but if I ever buy another pair, I’d totally go for black! If hunter boots aren’t really your thing, I’ve listed a few of my favorite pairs under $50, here!
2. Tall Socks
You’re probably thinking, “what on earth does this have to do with cutting flowers?”. Well, let me tell you. I came home with huge blisters of my ankles because I wore short, no-show socks. Flowers thrive in the warmth and need to be watered… this makes for a sticky situation. Take it from me wear your tall socks, friends!
3. Cutting Tools
Flowers like clean, sharp cuts. If you use a pair a scissors, chances are very good you’ll crush the end of the stem meaning the flower can’t drink enough water. When you’re at a farm or local flower patch bring your pruning snips or shears. These are meant for cutting flowers! I swear by the Fiskars brand of scissors and the pruning tools are no different. One thing I really love about Fiskars is not only are they super sharp, but they also come with a lifetime warranty for any defects. How great is that?!
Now for a little tip from Dahlia Acres!
- When cutting your flowers, be sure to remove any foliage that falls below the water line.
- Prepare the vase for your flowers before you cut your flowers (keep reading for fun tips!)
- Use your pruning tools to make a diagonal cut one inch about the bottom
- Cutting your flowers and changing the water every day to ensure a long life.
Some farms or flower patches may have a bucket for you to use, but chances are, you’ll have to take your own. If they do a fill a bucket for a marked price, take the biggest bucket you can find! There were people there with little mop buckets and I couldn’t believe they didn’t take a bigger bucket. I love my Lowe’s 5 gallon bucket, mostly because it was free (thanks mom!), but I’ve shared a few of my favorites here!
- Make the most of your bucket space by cutting off access foliage near the bottom
- Cut your stems long enough, it’s better to cut too long than too short
- If you hold your bucket at an angle, it helps gather the flowers to one side making it easier to fill your bucket.
5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
It can be HOT when you cut your flowers. Mornings are the best time to cut because it’s much cooler and flowers are usually watered in the morning. Hydration is key for both you and your fresh florals. If you’re traveling far to get to your nearest cutting farm, it’s important to bring a gallon of water to hydrate your flowers on the way home. Save an extra milk jug to fill with water or most grocery stores sell gallons for less than $1! Now your flowers have water to drink, don’t forget about yourself! Here are a few of my favorite water bottles — I love the corkcicle brand. They’re compatible to yeti and I can say from first hand experience, they keep your water cold for hours!
I am no pro at arranging flowers, but I must say they turned out beautiful! I knew that I had to have fruit in my arrangement! The key to adding fruit to your arrangement is to have not one, but two vases. Slice your lemons thin (or thick) enough that they will slide between the two vases and repeat! Add water to both the lemons and the inside vase that will hold your flowers!
Keep some foliage on your stems — this is important! This keeps your arrangement looking full and keeps your flower heads from falling over. Give your flowers a sharp cut, remove the foliage from the bottom and keep a few leaves near the top. Now this isn’t required if you want a clean look.
Good luck friends! I hope your arrangements are beautiful and you avoid all the blisters!