Sarah Coles

Off with their Heads!


Peter Wake who grew roses at Hambleden used to say he never picked flowers because ‘it’s like cutting off  the heads of friends’.   But where would a house be without flowers, and many plants the more they are picked the more they produce flowers.

Wanting to learn more, I went for a day course by Sarah Raven’s on cutting flowers from the garden.  We usually think flowers from our gardens won’t last as long as florist flowers.  Sarah said, not so!

She gave us some golden rules.  Pick at the right time of day, she said.  First thing in the morning is best, and second best is late in the evening, because then the flower’s moisture content is high with dew.

Go out with two buckets – Sarah uses milk pails – one filled with water, and a pair of florist’s scissors.  These won’t crush the stems..  Cut the flower slantingly so moisture can reach up on a wider surface.  Strip off two thirds of the leaves, and plunge stem in the water bucket.    Don’t take thorns off roses.  Then, let the flowers rest overnight in a cool dark place.

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