chrysanthemums as cut flowers
It's now five weeks since I returned from Holland with a box of cut chrysanthemums and this morning I threw the last one away. That's an incredible vase life – five weeks in a dark, warm house and still looking good.
I started with them arranged on tall stems, in narrow-necked bottles, and once a week cut a little off the stem, changed the water, put a slosh of vinegar into the vase and left them until the next week. By the end, they were in smaller containers, a milk jug or tankard, under the table lights in the sitting room and in a row down the kitchen table.
The secret with chrysanthemums is not to pack them into one vase together, but to string them out in their own single-stem bottles, with plenty of air in between. If you're someone who loves flowers around your house, but don't have time to make – or buy – expensive and elaborate arrangements, these are the plants for you. Just one large flower, or one stem with three or five smaller heads, and you're away.