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Floral fancies

Newbury florist shares the secrets of keeping your blooms beautiful long after Mother's Day

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FLORISTS up and down the country are currently in the colourful midst of their busiest week of the year, as everyone gears up for Mother’s Day.

Traditionally people picked posies of wild flowers to give to their mothers and flowers are still one of the most popular gifts bought for Mothering Sunday, which this year falls on March 26.

At one Newbury shop beautiful floral scents greet you as you enter and all around are flowers of every shape and shade and a host of different textured foliage.

“It is our busiest week of the year,” explains Helen Vickers, owner of Willow & Blooms in Bartholomew Street. “It takes a lot of planning, making sure that we schedule fresh flower deliveries daily.

“We are always thinking of new ideas to introduce too.”

Lilies and roses are always very popular, she says, but being springtime tulips, veronica, freesia and hyacinth also feature heavily in the best sellers’ list.

“We will make up a couple of hundred bouquets specifically for Mother’s Day,” Helen adds. “But we also sell a lot of planters and arrangements too. People like to buy plants, particularly herbs at this time as well.

“The classic pinks and creams are common colours to use, but lilacs and whites are very popular too.

“We try not to repeat things each year, but everything we do is a little bit rustic and seasonal.”

There is no right or wrong way to create a beautiful bouquet, according to Helen, but adding lots of texture and looking at the colour tones you use can make a difference.

She says that she likes to make sure there is a lot of interest in her bouquets so every time you look at them you spot something new. Every day the arrangement will have evolved a little bit more.

Younger children can have a go making their own mini arrangements for their mums by following our simple guide:

1) Find a clean jam jar and paint it a nice bright colour.

2) Add some a ribbon or string around the neck of the jar.

3) Find some seasonal blooms from the garden, such as daffodils or tulips.

4) Arrange the flowers in the jar and add some foliage or blossom.

Helen’s top tips for keeping your flowers fresh at home

1)      Make sure the container you put them in is clean and you use fresh, clean water. Replenish regularly.

2)      Recut the bottom of the stem at an angle before putting it in the container.

3)      Keep the flowers away from hot spots, such as radiators.

4)      Use flower food if supplied and follow the instructions given on the packet.

5)      Keep your flowers away from fruit, especially bananas as the ethylene gas they emit speeds up the ageing of cut flowers.

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