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Cut flowers to bring summer indoors

With summer in full bloom, those daisies and black-eyed Susans, zinnias and sunflowers, coneflowers, dahlias and others make beautiful bouquets to enjoy indoors. To make those bouquets last longer, it’s best to start early.

“I definitely always cut before the heat of the day sets in,” says Tallahassee May, owner of Turnbull Creek Organic Farm in Bon Aqua, Tenn. “This is better than in the evening, when the flowers still seem to hold heat from the day, even after the sun has set.”

The secret to long-lasting bouquets from the garden, May says, is to keep things clean.

“I cut into clean water in clean buckets,” she says. “The cleanliness factor is key: bacteria encourages short vase life.”

Most flowers are placed immediately into cool water. “The only time I cut into boiling water is with dahlias and poppies, to sear the ends.”

Place the cut flowers in their buckets in a cool, dark room to condition them for a few hours before arranging them, she advises. Then arrange them as you wish in a clean vessel. For longer life, change the water daily, and re-cut the stems each time you change.

With this care and attention, the fresh flowers from your garden will last indoors for several days.

Turnbull Creek Organic Farm specializes in organic produce as well as a wide variety of fresh flowers. The farm is partner with Drury Family Farm in Thompson’s Station, Tenn. in Fresh Harvest LLC, a subscription service cooperative that offers fresh produce and flowers grown without chemicals, and other locally produced products.

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