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Feed me, Seymour

A little while back, a customer purchased cut hydrangeas from one of our stores. A brunch was being held in honor of her mother-in-law, and the customer was making hydrangea centerpieces for the occasion.
We placed a special order for the South America-grown flowers, so we knew they were as fresh as could be. Yet the customer was back in our store within 24 hours, her hydrangeas having wilted.
We replaced them so that her needs were met, but in the meantime we recut the original flowers and put them in water with cut-flower food. Within hours, they looked gorgeous again.
The moral to this story? If you’re going to work with cut hydrangeas – lots and lots of consumers are these days, and with good reasons – then don’t skimp on flower food.
Garden feel
Hydrangea flowers have big heads – a single one can be 4 to 8 inches wide – and make a bold statement with great ease. Just plop them in any kind of water-holding container (canning jars are popular) and they look terrific, bringing a garden feel indoors.
Clearly, hydrangeas are popular these days: You’ll find lots of evidence on Pinterest, the online bulletin board. In fact, we incorporated them into a number of our arrangements and deliver loose hydrangeas to our stores a couple of times each week.
Once you get the flowers home, make certain that they have plenty of water that has been mixed with flower food. You can purchase packets of food from your local florist; mix one packet per quart of water.
Hydrangeas represent a great value because you don’t need many of them to make a big impression and, with proper care, they last a long time.

Mums the word year-round

Many of us decorate porches and patios with hardy mums in the fall. But a little bit of loving and some attention to the calendar can help you get the most out of your mums and even keep them blooming in a garden for years to come.
If you planted mums in the ground back in the fall, then the summer months are important in their growth cycle.
Feeding: From spring through July, nourish your mums twice a month with an all-purpose garden fertilizer mixed in water. Stop feeding in August.
Pinching: By July 15, you should pinch the top growth back 1 to 2 inches. This will ensure that your mums bloom in the fall rather than during the summer.
Controlling pests: Aphids are the most common pests that afflict garden mums. These are small soft-bodied insects about the size of a pinhead. They range in color from green to yellow to black. They make their livings by sucking the sap out of tender new growth. To control them, spray an all-purpose insecticide or insecticidal soap on the plants once a week for a couple of weeks. Take care not to spray plants in direct sun or when the temperature is above 90 degrees.
Now, if you are thinking about planting your potted mum for the first time, here are some steps to take:
• Be sure to water your potted mums daily as warm days will make them thirsty. At the same time, too much water can damage the roots; provide drainage in decorative pots or baskets.
• It’s best to plant the mums in October so their roots have time to grow before cold weather sets in.
• Once the mums are planted, water them thoroughly a couple of times each week through mid-November. This will encourage the roots to grow deeply. The deeper the roots, the stronger the plants will be.
• In late spring, cut the plants down 6 to 8 inches above the ground. This will give you bushy, compact plants with lots of flowers. As spring gives way to summer, follow the instructions above relative to feeding and pinching.

We’ll handle your long-distance Mother’s Day order

Flowers are a time-honored way of letting mom know just how much you love her. But sending flowers long distance can be confusing and sometimes disappointing, especially if you are not familiar with the process and some of the pitfalls.
The Internet has given rise to thousands of flower-delivery options. But how do you know you’re really getting a good price and high-quality service? And will the flowers arrive on time?
That great price might not be so great
Many websites touting great prices show you a gorgeous arrangement – only to deliver a bunch of flowers in a box that mom still has to put in a vase. In many cases, what is delivered is similar to what you’ll find in a grocery store or at a street vendor. It might be a nice bouquet but not arranged in a container; often, the container costs extra.
After adding extra charges such as service and delivery fees, the great price that first got your attention might not be any better than what a local florist would charge.
Beware of unscrupulous companies
Perhaps you know of a florist where mom lives. But be careful if you use a search engine to find contact information for that florist. Many unscrupulous companies make themselves appear to be local florists – maybe the one that you’re familiar with – by using a similar name or even a local phone number (that ultimately rings to another state).
These companies tend to charge high service and delivery fees, only to hand off the delivery to someone else. They charge you fees that they didn’t earn, and you don’t get what you paid for.
Call early – and call Connells Maple Lee
You can avoid these hassles and ensure the best results by placing your order early – and by calling us when you do.
We’re proud to be your local florist, but we also are one of the largest senders of long-distance orders in the country. Other florists want to keep us happy because they want to continue receiving our business. We also foster our relationships with them through our regular participation in national florist meetings.
In short, we can resolve the rare problem when it occurs. What’s more, we have strong ties to FTD and Teleflora, the two largest wire services that florists use to transmit their orders, and they will step in if necessary to make sure that problems are addressed to our customers’ satisfaction.
Sending flowers long distance can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Just call us, and we’ll make the process easy. We’ll handle your out-of-town order with the same care and attention it would receive if we were delivering it ourselves.

Here’s how to extend the life of your Easter blooms

Even after the Easter Bunny has visited and the last eggs are hunted, Easter plants will bring beauty and color into your home. In fact, you can make the flowers last a lot longer by following some easy steps.
What’s more, after your bulb plants – such as daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, crocus and narcissus – have finished blooming, you can transplant the bulbs into the ground and watch the flowers come up next year.
The key to making the flowers/blooms last longer – perhaps twice as long – is to keep the plants in a cool place, such as at night. This will stall the normal aging process, extending the life of the blooms.
While you’re sleeping, place the plants in your garage or out on your porch (but don’t let them freeze), and then bring them back inside your house in the morning. For smaller plants, such as a single-bloom hyacinth, you might even have room in your refrigerator.
Of course, it’s also important to keep the plants watered.
Once the blooms peak, let the plant die back into itself, nourishing the bulb. Keep the bulb in its pot and store in a cool, dark place. In early fall, separate the bulbs and plant them in your garden in anticipation of their blooming again next spring.

Getting the most out of your Valentine’s roses

Valentine’s season can last well beyond Feb. 14. In fact, by following some simple steps, your roses should provide you with a week or more of enjoyment.
All Royer’s arrangements arrive in vases that contain a mixture of water and flower food (FloraLife, in our case). You just need to make sure that there is enough water over time as roses are surprisingly thirsty.
Other tips for getting the most out of your roses:
For roses that arrive in a vase:
• If your roses don’t begin to open within a few days, remove them from the vase, re-cut their stems and return them to the vase. Although not necessary, cut the stems under water if possible.
• Keep the flowers cool: the cooler they are, the less water they will lose through their stems and petals.
• Add water in a sink so that any spillage will not damage a table or other furniture that the roses are sitting on.
For roses that arrive in a box or loose:
• Put water in the vase and add the packet of flower food that came with your delivery.
• Cut approximately one inch off the bottom of the rose to create a fresh pathway for water to work its way up the stem.
• Remove any foliage or thorns that may get stuck when the stems are placed in the vase.
• If you add any greens, make sure that any foliage is above the water. Foliage under water promotes unwanted bacterial growth.
By following those steps, you’re ready for the final, most important step of all: enjoy your roses!

Tips for Caring for Fresh-cut Flowers

Fresh flowers are a wonderful addition to any home or office. Watch this video for helpful tips on caring for your fresh-cut flowers.
In this video, you’ll see several ways to extend the life of your flowers. Using fresh, clean water and a clean vase are crucial for your flowers. Adding a little flower preservative can help keep your flowers looking phenomenal for several days. Ask your florist for specifics about the care for your flowers, and you’ll get to enjoy them even longer.
Visit Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts for all of your flower needs. We offer beautiful floral arrangements and varieties, including tulips, roses, and holiday flowers. Call us at (614) 808-1693 to place your order today.

4 Tips for Keeping Your Beautiful Flowers Alive Longer

Fresh cut flowers bring the beauty of nature right inside your home and have a way of brightening up any room. As wonderful as it would be for these lovely blooms to last forever, they can’t. However, if you follow these tips, they can last for one or two weeks, if not more:
1. Provide Water
Fresh cut flowers must have water in order to survive. Keep an eye on the water level in the arrangement and never allow it to fall below the end of the stems. It’s a good idea to change the water to fresh, clean water every other day or so.
When you do change the water, be sure to re-cut the stems at an angle approximately half an inch or an inch up. Doing so will get rid of any air bubbles that would inhibit the stem from taking up water properly. Be sure you place the flowers back in water immediately after cutting so that no more air is able to enter the stem.
2. Provide Food
You can get fresh flower food in the form of floral preservatives directly from your florist. Dissolve the preservative in the water you add to your arrangements, and you’ll help your flowers last longer.
3. Provide Light
Flowers need light to survive. Natural sunlight is best; however, you should avoid placing cut flowers in direct sunlight. Flowers should not be placed directly in a window, as the greenhouse effect from the glass will cause them to become too hot.
4. Provide the Right Environment
Keep your flowers as cool as possible, preferably between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep them out of drafts and away from electronic devices that can generate heat. Finally, avoid placing fresh flowers in close proximity to fruit, as fruit emits a gas that is harmful to flowers.
At Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts, we can help you get the most out of your fresh flowers. Give us a call at (614) 808-1693 for more flower care tips or to place your order for flowers, gifts, or gift baskets today.

Floral Preservatives: What they Are and How to Use Them Effectively

When you order fresh flowers from you local florist, they will arrive in a special mixture of water and floral preservative. This preservative is essential for keeping your flowers fresh for as long as possible. Read on to discover exactly what this mixture is and how you should use it to keep flowers bright and beautiful.
What is Floral Preservative?
Floral preservative is a powdered or liquid solution that dissolves in water. This solution usually contains a mixture of microorganism inhibitor, a sucrose solution, and a respiratory inhibitor. When a flower is removed from the mother plant, its connection to food, water, and energy is severed. A floral preservative is specially engineered to provide a replacement for the essential elements the flower can no longer obtain naturally. It also helps to prevent premature decay and balance the acidity of the water.
How Do I Use Floral Preservatives?
If you’ve ever purchased wrapped bouquets of flowers, you may have noticed the packet of powder that comes with them. This is the preservative. With arranged flowers, the preservative is already in the water. However, your florist may provide an additional supply of the preservative with arranged flowers. The first step is to talk to your florist about obtaining a few packets of the preservative to use for the duration of your flowers’ life.
To use the preservative, add the entire packet to a jar of warm water and stir gently. It should dissolve easily. Use this mixture to water your floral arrangement and change the water completely every other day or so. If you take your flowers out of water in order to change the water, cut about half an inch off the bottom of the stems at an angle before placing them back in the container.
For more information about floral preservatives or to order flowers for a holiday, special occasion, or everyday event, contact Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts by calling (614) 808-1693. We also offer wedding flowers, gift baskets, and gift ideas, so call us today.