Delay peony blooming for four weeks ! Here's how !

How do I have this peony four weeks after my peony bush bloomed?? Keep reading for a step by step tutorial! 

As many of you know ...I adore peonies! Who doesn't? And what makes them extra special for me is that they were our wedding flower. We have a few peony bushes and luckily they bloom the week of our wedding anniversary! The only draw back to them is the bloom only lasts one week ... And then it's back to waiting for an entire year for them again! This season I fell across a few articles regarding delaying their bloom using refrigeration techniques that florists use. I thought I would give it a try. I didn't want to waste any of the stems if it didn't work so I put one small stem in my fridge. It worked! Next year I will surely save more stems so I can have peonies arrangements all summer, and possibly even plan to have them bloom when we have guests ! Here is a step by step of the very easy process! 

Step 1:

choose stems with a bud that is almost ready to bloom but still closed. Make sure the buds are not closed too tight or too loose.

( A good tip is to look for some that have a marshmallow consistently when you touch it! )

Step 2:

cut the stems mid morning and make sure the stems are dry! I would wait if it rained the night before or there is any condensation or morning dew! The stems need to be dry to prevent mold from growing and harming the stem while refrigerated. Cut the stems 8-15 inches down. 

Step 3:

Next, wrap your stems up to 3 together in a plastic bag. ( I used a small zip lock bag to cover the bud . Next year I will buy the extra large zip lock bags to cover th entire stem). You can also use plastic newspaper bags and an elastic band.  Place your dry, wrapped stem in the back of your refrigerator where it is the coldest . Make sure it is in a place where they won't get squished, damaged, or wet! Ideally the temperature should be 32 degrees Fahrenheit. However, most household refrigerators are 36-40 degrees. (If you have a setting on your fridge you can turn it lower. If not this process should still work as long as the temp does not exceed 40 degrees.) 

Step4:

Now you wait! You can take your peonies out any time in the next four weeks or so. ( possibly 6 weeks). Remove them 24 to 36 hours before you would like them to bloom! Perfect way to time for guests or a summer party! 

Simply remove the peonies from the fridge and cut the bottom of the stem slightly (the freshly cut stem will help them drink water easier! ) Then place in cool, fresh water. They should bloom in 24 to 36 hours! 

*One final tip! ( go into your yard and cut green peony foliage from your peony bush! The peony flower may bloom and look fresh but the leaves may look bridle and dried out! You can camofoldge this by adding the green fresh foliage!

Good luck! Can't wait to have peonies all throughout the summer next year!!! Will you try this trick? 

The easiest way to make a flower arrangement using scotch tape!

In honor of Valentine's day I wanted to repost this super easy trick to make a flower arrangement! I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's day weekend! My sister-in-law and her boyfriend will be visiting for a few days. We will be celebrating as a big happy family!!!  xoxo, Kelly 

For as long as I can remember I have been the worst at making flower arrangements! My mother on the other hand seems to have this magical way of putting flowers in a vase so effortlessly and they look picture perfect every time ! I don't know how she does it! She knows just the right length to cut the stems, she knows just the right size vase to use and how much extra foliage to add ! I somehow didn't inherit the flower arrangement gene from her! But I did learn a really easy trick that has helped me tremendously ! I actually saw florists use this trick on one of those million dollar wedding shows. They were making huge extraordinary center pieces but I thought I could try the same technique on a small arrangement. I tried it and it worked ! So if you are like me and didn't inherit the flower arrangement gene (hehe ) .... Then hopefully this trick will work for you too! :)

Step 1:  Choose a bowl and add water 3/4 of the way full.  I choose this beautiful grey and white bowl from West Elm that my sister gave me for my birthday. 

Any bowl will work but of course using an extra pretty or detailed bowl looks best! Try to use a bowl that is about the same size in circumference or a little smaller than the bouquet of flowers you buy or pick. 

Step 2: Begin putting strips of scotch tape vertically across the bowl. Make sure the tape is ending just on the edge of the bowl and not hanging down the edges. I like to start in the middle and then work my way to the left and right . 

Step 3: Now start placing tape strips horizontally to make a grid. Leave small spaces in between tape sections about a 1/2 inch or smaller. 

Step 4: Now the fun part ! You can start adding the flowers!  Cut flowers one at a time just a tiny bit taller than your bowl. I like to start in the center and work my way to the outside. It also works best if your center flowers are slightly taller than the outer flowers. Make sure to vary flowers by color and fullness. 

One trick I use is to always save one of the prettiest and fullest stems to add last and find the perfect spot for it! It usually ends up in the center of the arrangement or somewhere that has a gap.

Step 5: The final step is to add extra foliage. Take different size and shape leaves off the stems and arrange them in sporadically. 

One trick and perk of using this masking tape method is you have the ability to tape the leaves in place on top of the grid masking tape, so you can easily place the leaves exactly where you like them and they will stay put ! 

 So easy !!! And here is the finished product! I hope this trick helps you like it does for me! If I can do it then anyone can! :)