I’m Lee Newton. I’m with Lyndale Plant Services, specializing in interior plant design in Minnesota. Today, we are going to make a simple bud vase using a rose, which is a classic for a bud vase. Bud vases are quite small. They are meant to contain one beautiful flower, and maybe a little bit of greenery around it.

I’m going to be showing you some tools that I use. This is your floral knife. It’s quite sharp. It makes a very clean cut, which is very necessary, because you want the stem to remain intact. This is a floral snip. Fits in your hand nicely. It’s excellent for cutting off the foliage.

These are a pair of Fiskars veggie and herb shears. Again, they’re very good for cutting stems. They don’t harm the stem, or crush it. And even sometimes you might need a basic pruner. If you have a woody stem, this would be a more appropriate cut.

Now, where you purchase your flowers are important, as well. Because, you get what you pay for. Once these flowers are cut from the shrub, that chain of delivery at that point everybody has to be really on top of keeping these alive. Because, if you buy from a disreputable source you might not be very happy with the quality. So, always check where you’re buying your flowers.

Roses are subject to a condition called ‘bent neck’. If they’re cut incorrectly air can go up into the stem itself, it’s called an ‘air embolism’. And what that can do is it blocks the hydration, this falls over. It’s totally intact, it just looks sad. It’s called ‘bent neck’. Gerbera daisies and mums are also prone to this, as well.

So, I’m going to use just my regular scissors today. I am going to make this cut under water, even though typically the grower should have done that, I still with roses like to make that extra cut under water for my own satisfaction.

Now, as I look at this rose, I can see that some of the outer petals are a little beat up. These petals are known as ‘guard petals’. I’m going to peel them off. And, that looks much better. I’m just going to give it another cut. I already cut it once under water. Now, if you want to add a few, you would make the next one a little shorter, so that you have some variety.

Always take the greens off, they can follow the water. And I’m going to add one more, and I’m going to get that right in between the two sizes, because I want it to be — oh, here we go, more guard petals coming off. Oh well, that’s floral for you. Sometimes you make more cuts to get to where you need to be.

Now, I have three various heights here. I would rather have a green in here. I don’t have the normal type greens that usually come with roses, and I have some other little greens in here that I can use instead, just to add some color. I’ve got [unintelligible 00:03:34]. Or, I could use some ivy. Ivy would be nice, as well, to add a little bit of interest to that.

Now, these also need a floral preservative added to them to help their longevity. They come in many different packets. They’re basically all the same. What they contain is: a sugar, which is a food for the flower; a biocide, which is going to help kill any organisms that might be in there; and also an acidifier for the water to keep the water more in the acidic state that the cut flowers like.

Now, after you have your cut flowers, if you were a gardener, your first thought would be, “Oh, roses love sun.” But, you do not put cut flowers in sunny locations. They much prefer a cool, less-lit location, and that helps them stay nice longer.

So, there’s your basic cut flowers. Another one’s that nice would be an alstro. This is an alstroemeria. Very long-lasting cut flower. Again, you could add to that. Let’s add this pink rose and see how they look together. This is all — once you get the hang of this, doing floral vases, I’m telling you, you’ll never stop, you’ll always have to have them in your home. Simple.