I always try to have fresh flowers around the house and for summer, I love sunflowers. They’re cheery and bright and just scream summer to me. They’re also relatively inexpensive and they last a while, as flowers go. In fact, I find that if you add a couple dropfuls of bleach or vinegar to the water that really helps preserve them (because it prevents bacteria from growing) and they can last almost a week, or sometimes even longer. I also try to change the water every 2-3 days and always add more bleach or vinegar. when I change the water.
Sunflowers are also easy to work with and if you add a little filler (I particularly like alstromeria) for less than about $8, you can have a pretty bouquet. I am partial to red colored filler because yellow and red are my favorite color combination.
I don’t try to even try to pretend that I’m a florist or anything near that, but I have a few techniques for putting together a bouquet. First, I like using a twist tie to hold the sunflowers together because the stems are uusually thick and if left to their own devices, they can go all willy-nilly. The twist tie ensures that the flowers stay arranged the way you want them. Just make sure to place the twist tie far enough down the stem so it’s camouflaged in the vase.
Second, I like to place my vase next to the edge of the counter and measure how long to cut all of the stems by holding each stem below the counter, next to the vase and at the height of where I want the flower to sit in the vase so I can tell where to clip it to. There might be a better way to do this, but I haven’t come up with it, so I just stick with this method.
Lastly, before placing the flowers in the vase, I make sure to strip all the leaves off the bottom of the stems (mainly the ones that will be submerged in the water) which helps preserve the flowers because then the leaves don’t rot in the water.
Most importantly, just have fun with arranging the flowers and let your creative juices flow.