Growing and Preserving Sustainable Cut Flowers – Chandrika Thomas London

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From Garden to Vase: Growing and Preserving Sustainable Cut Flowers

Nature has always been my solace, a wellspring of inspiration that fuels my passion for luxury and beauty. Over the years, I've found joy in adorning my boutique and home with vibrant colours and delicate fragrances of cut flowers. Buying these beautiful blooms has always brought me immense happiness as they infuse my space with their ephemeral beauty and enchanting aromas. However, my journey towards sustainability awakened a realisation that my beloved floral ornaments were not aligned with my environmental values. Determined to find a harmonious balance, I embarked on a transformative path, growing my own flowers and discovering the enchanting olfactory experience they bring.

Cut Flowers

It all began with a desire to nurture and give back to nature, which has given me so much. I created a garden, a sanctuary where beauty flourishes organically. Each morning, I would tend to my blossoming companions, cultivating a connection with the earth that grounds and uplifts me. As my garden bloomed, I found a sense of fulfilment in knowing that the flowers I cherished were grown sustainably, free from harmful pesticides and carbon-intensive transportation.

Growing cut flowers requires careful consideration and attention to ensure they thrive and produce abundant blooms.

Here are some of my tips on how to grow cut flowers:

Choose the right flowers:

Select varieties suitable for cutting and thrive in your region's climate and soil conditions. Consider factors such as sunlight requirements, water needs, and blooming periods. Some popular cut flowers include roses, dahlias, zinnias, sunflowers, and snapdragons.

Plan your garden layout:

Design your garden to maximise space and allow easy access to your cut flowers. Consider using raised beds or designated cutting beds to keep the flowers separate from other plantings. This facilitates harvesting without disturbing the rest of your garden.

Prepare the soil:

Make sure your soil is rich in organic materials and well-draining. To increase the fertility and structure of the soil, amend it with compost or well-rotted manure. Conduct a soil test to determine any nutrient deficiencies and adjust accordingly.

Start from seeds or transplants:

Depending on the flower variety, you can start your cut flowers from seeds indoors or directly sow them in the garden. Follow the specific instructions for each flower regarding seed starting time, depth, and transplanting requirements.

Provide adequate sunlight:

Most cut flowers flourish in full sun, so locate your garden in an area that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunshine daily. Adequate sunlight ensures strong, healthy plants and vibrant blooms.

Water consistently:

Water your cut flowers regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist. Deep watering encourages healthy root growth. Overwatering can cause root rot, so water early in the day to let the leaves dry before nighttime.

Monitor pests and diseases:

Inspect your plants regularly for symptoms of pests or illnesses. Identify and address any issues promptly to prevent damage. Consider using organic pest control methods and companion planting to deter pests naturally.

Harvesting techniques:

Harvest your cut flowers when they are at their peak bloom, usually in the early morning or late evening. Use sharp, clean shears to cut the stems at an angle, removing any foliage submerged in water. Place the cut flowers in a bucket of water immediately to prevent wilting.

When it comes to preserving cut flowers and keeping them fresh, here are some additional tips:

Prepare the stems:

Recut the stems at an angle underwater before arranging your cut flowers. This allows for better water absorption. Remove any leaves or thorns submerged in water to prevent bacterial growth.

Floral preservatives:

Mix water with a teaspoon of sugar, a few drops of bleach, and a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to make your own solution. Floral preservatives provide essential nutrients and help inhibit bacterial growth.

Clean vases:

Use clean vases to avoid introducing bacteria to the water. Before filling them with the flower preservation solution, wash them with hot, soapy water and thoroughly rinse them.

Cut Flowers in Vase

Change the water regularly:

Change it every two to three days or whenever it becomes cloudy. Recut the stems each time for optimal water uptake. Clean the vase before refilling it with a new preservative solution.

Temperature and placement:

Keep cut flowers away from direct sunlight, drafts, and ripening fruits, which can speed up the ageing process. Place them in a cool location, ideally between 65-72°F (18-22°C).

I also enjoy repurposing my used bottles as vases for my cut flowers. It adds a unique touch and promotes sustainability by giving new life to items that would otherwise be discarded. The bottles can bring a charming rustic or eclectic aesthetic to the arrangement.

Cut Flowers in Perfume Bottle

As my journey with cut flowers continues, I am constantly exploring new ways to honour sustainability and elevate the luxurious olfactory experience. We offer eco-friendly diffusers for those who wish to enhance their olfactory journey. These diffusers provide a sustainable and long-lasting way to enjoy the fragrances of essential oils, creating an ambience that complements the beauty of cut flowers.

This path I've chosen has transformed not only my space but also my perspective. I now revel in the beauty of cut flowers, knowing that they reflect my commitment to sustainable luxury. Let us continue to cherish the gifts of nature, weaving them into our lives with intention, grace, and a deep appreciation for the artistry they inspire.

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