I love it when someone gives me the gift of cut flowers.
They brighten up the house in a way that nothing else can and each time I look at a gift of flowers on display it warms my heart.
The down side is that all too soon cut flowers will begin to fade - but there is a way to hold onto them and continue to appreciate and love their delicate beauty.
On my final day at work I was given a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. (Sorry, I didn't get around to taking pictures.)
Now they lasted well - almost two weeks in fact, but by Thursday of last week they were looking undeniably tired.
My first task was to save those that still had some life in them. There were some red carnations and some white chrysanths that still looked quite perky, so were cut down and rearranged into a couple of small jugs.
These are still going, albeit they are just starting to look a little jaded around the edges and may have to be "recycled" tomorrow, but an extra whole week of pleasure has been gained.
Now, you may be wondering how on earth I recycle jaded blooms.
For some time now I have always removed the petals from any flowers once they are beyond display. Indeed the petals from the part of the aforementioned bouquet that could not be salvaged were duly removed and placed in a plastic tub.
The said tub is placed on top of my central heating boiler, an airing cupboard or anywhere else dry and warm would work just as well. When the petals have dried I place them in bowls around the house and scent them with essential oils - free "pot pouri".
This is the bowl of dried petals that lives in my sitting room. I love the delicate faded colours of the dried petals.
And this is the bowl of faded red rose petals in my bedroom.
The bowl incidentally was a charity shop buy - only 50p! I keep a look out for nice bowls and containers to pop my petals into.
Eventually the petals will become too faded and dusty to display, but if you save and dry your flowers regularly you will always have replacements.
Final tip: once dried, if you don't need to use them immediately just seal them in a paper bag and store in a dark, dry cupboard - I have found that they seem to keep indefinitely like this without further fading.