Live, Laugh, Love with Lilacs
Bring their Beautiful Fragrance Indoors and Make them Part of your Home Decor with a Few Simple Steps
Spring time brings one of my favorite flowers, prized for their intoxicating scent once reserved for those affluent enough to afford these glorious flowers, the lilac. Today all types of lilacs are sold on the market from reblooming, to dwarf, to standard, not to mention the various wild varieties found growing along the side of country roads. Inspired by their structural, yet demure growth pattern I decided to bring these beautiful blooms into our home and share some of my favorite tips to get the most from your hand-picked bouquet.
Start by quickly analyzing the shape of the lilac bush you’ll be cutting as you want blooms from various parts of the plant so your bouquet looks balanced. Now, if you prefer a more natural look, like the example above, forgo this step. For example, here’s the bush I analyzed and the bouquet I picked below.
A quick look reveals a structured bouquet of blooms, but all relatively the same length. Placing the blooms into an arrangement as you pick allows you to quickly determine what areas need more blooms, and your bouquet to take on a natural shape.
To keep my bouquets looking natural, yet elegant, I like to use good old-fashioned kitchen twine to add security as our next step demands a little extra energy. If you prefer to arrange in your vase, simply forgo this step. However, if you’re a type A person such as myself, you’ll find enjoyment in arranging when harvesting.
Next, dig out an old cutting board and a hammer -you’re about to show these buds who’s boss!
What might you be doing with this hammer, why ensuring your lilacs will last all week that’s what. Holding your bouquet, apply medium pressure with the hammer to the very ends until the wood splits (see photo below). This crucial step ensures proper water intake, and trust me you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll be refilling your vase as these beauties are thirsty, but will last a week or more with an adequate water supply.
Now, it’s up to you to arrange your lilacs. I prefer to use an interesting vase, such as the one featured above, or smaller ‘bud’ style vase to showcase the shape of the bouquet. When shopping for vases look for color, texture, and patterning. I’ve found that there isn’t anything beautiful about stems and viewing them detracts from the flowers. Below, notice how both vases have colored or solid texture.
Lastly, If you have some plant food lying about make sure to add it to the water every time you refill the vase. One of my personal favorites is Roberta’s Flower Magic Plant Food (available at QVC.com) as it’s clear (so it doesn’t color the water), liquid (so it’s easy to squirt into the vase), and convenient (I store it under my kitchen sink so it’s alway accessible). Now all you have to do is enjoy the heady intoxicating scent of these spring-time jewels.