The sunflower is very recognisable: a sturdy, slightly hairy stem that forms a thick bud at the top from which a large flower with a dark heart emerges. There are also sunflowers with a green heart and with a fluffy flower. The length of a cut sunflower is usually between 50 and 60cm.
Feverfew has small white flowers and yellow heart. The flowers smell spicy, and the stems reach a maximum length of 60cm. This flower has a simple, natural look that is very fresh and gives the feeling of a meadow flower.
Statice is usually blue and sometimes yellow, lilac, pink or bi-coloured. In the wild this flower grows on salt marshes and in areas affected by tides. It brings a seaside feel to a bouquet. This cut flower is also 50-60cm in length.
What to look for when buying summer flowers
What is most important when buying is the ripeness of the flowers. With all three flowers the unripe specimens will droop more quickly, will last a shorter time in the vase, and also under-perform in terms of colour intensity and size. Buying ‘raw’ is not a good idea in this case.
Care tips for professionals
- The use of preservatives is very important in the summer months in order to optimise the condition of these flowers during shipping, storage and retail.
- It is best to store the flowers in the cold store at a temperature of 4-5°C
- Ensure that the flowers cannot get damp due to excessive humidity in the cold store or from condensation in cellophane caused by temperature fluctuations. This will encourage botrytis, a fungus which rapidly diminishes the decorative value. With many summer flowers this is known as blight or grey mould.
Display tips for professionals
Because all summer flowers have fairly strong stems, they can be inserted in oasis for arrangements that gives an indoor garden effect. They are also very suitable for loose field bouquets, and for arrangements in which they are scattered across a number of different small vases. The display can be uncomplicated and a bit nonchalant, as is fitting for a carefree month like July.
Care tips for customers
- Trim the stem diagonally with a sharp knife.
- Use a clean (glass) vase and fill it with approx. 7 cm of tap water at room temperature.
- Always add cut flower food to the water for Sunflowers.
- A room temperature of no more than 20°C is ideal.
- Don’t place Sunflowers in a draught, in direct sunlight or beside a fruit bowl.
- Regularly top the vase up with tap water: summer flowers are thirsty flowers.
Radiant colours and appealing shapes: sunflower (Helianthus), feverfew (Tanacetum) and statice (Limonium bunatum) make up a versatile trio that provide exciting bouquets in terms of volume and shape and are also very suitable for airy rustic bouquets. The three of them are on the Flower Agenda because they represent sunshine, blooming fields and the sea: three things that are very much associated with summer. Summer flowers fit seamlessly with the interiors trend in which greenery and nature offer balance against the advancing technology in the home: in this case ‘smart’ goes together with ‘heart’.
Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk is an initiative of The Flower Council of Holland and lets consumers experience that flowers bring complete happiness.