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Bring Your Room to Life

August 21, 2011

There isn’t an easier way to completely transform your room in seconds than by adding a flower arrangement. Flowers can bring a room to life! (No wonder there are so many fresh flowers and plants in any decorating magazine).

Flower Arrangement in a Small Antique Shop - (Decor-Art)

Did you know that the earliest known flower arranging dates back to ancient Egypt? Egyptians were decorating with flowers as early as 2,500 BCE. They regularly placed cut flowers in vases and used them simply as table decorations. Back then flowers were selected according to symbolic meaning, with emphasis on religious significance. (The lotus flower or water lily, for example, was considered sacred to Isis and was often included in arrangements.)

While the Greeks and the Romans focused on garlands and wreaths, the Chinese were making flower arrangements as far back as 207 BCE to 220 CE. Yet during the period 500CE to 1453CE, the Byzantine Empire made its contribution to floral arrangements: started using cone shape design. The foliage was placed in chalices and urns, which were further decorated with brightly colored flowers and fruit.

Flower arranging arrived in Europe around 1000 CE. First of all this tradition spread through churches and monasteries, where flowers and plants were used for food as well as for decoration. As crusaders came back from the Middle East, they brought new and interesting plants with them. As a result, European countries were able to begin experimenting with plants that were previously unknown to them.

Bright Summer Flowers on a Rainy Day (Decor-Art)

The Italian Renaissance helped give flower arranging extra spark in Europe. It was during this time period that a wide variety of arrangement styles began to develop. By the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, flower arrangements were commonplace – cut flowers were placed in various containers made of marble, heavy Venetian glass, and bronze. Flower arrangements made during this time introduced a whole new element – using tropical fruits. These arrangements also focused on creating contrast with color.

The art of arranging flowers has developed many more rules since then, but even if you don’t know any of these, you can make stunning displays. Simply choose flowers that you like!

Here are some Tips and Tricks to make your cut flowers last longer:

Start with a clean vase. Flowers wilt and rot because of bacteria in the water.

Fill your container with fresh, lukewarm water. (Cold water will be a shock to your flowers and they may not react well.) Add a few drops of bleach or vodka to your water to prevent bacteria growth. Finally, add a spoonful of commercial flower food, crushed aspirin or just plain sugar. The aspirin, sugar or food will feed your blooms.

Still Life (Decor-Art)

Remove any leaves that fall below the water level in your container. Again, the leaves will rot and add bacteria to the water.

Arrange your cut flowers in a container. Place your container away from direct sunlight and any sources of heat (on top of or near a heating element such as TVs, heating radiators or the kitchen stove). Heat will prematurely wilt your flowers, sunlight dehydrates the blossoms. Ideally, you should put your flowers in front of a mirror. This will make the arrangement appear more full.

Refrigerate your flowers in the evening, but not at too cold of a temperature (don’t put them in the freezer). If your fridge doesn’t have room, move them to a cool location. Proper refrigeration is essential for maintaining your cut flowers’ beauty.

Trim the bottoms of your flower stems regularly. The bottoms of the stems have a tendency to reseal themselves and restrict their water flow. Keep the stems open on the bottom to make sure your flowers get plenty of water. Crush the bottoms of woody stems (such as roses) and cut bulb-grown stems (like daffodils) on an angle.

If the water in the vase becomes cloudy then run the whole arrangement under cold water, allowing it to spill over the top. Allow the water to run until the vase is no longer cloudy. Re-cut the stems with a sharp knife under cold water to discourage bacterial growth.

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Information for this post found on Wikipedia and eHow.

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