Hartley Botanic Magazine Spills RAF’s Secret
to Making Cut Stems Last Longer
Mary-Kate Mackey, an award-winning writer and author of Sunset Magazine‘s Secret Gardens, paid a visit to Random Acts of Flowers Silicon Valley’s booth at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show recently. After learning about the RAF mission, she pulled back the curtain on our secret for making recycled flowers last as long as possible. She shared her discovery with Hartley Botanic’s Online Magazine.
“Sara Fondriest, Program Manager of the Silicon Valley RAF, cited a simple T.L.C. rule – ‘Remove any element that would risk infecting the arrangement once assembled.’
- Start with squeaky-clean containers.
- Strip off all leaves that will be under water.
- Remove any bruised petals.
- Always use sharp shears on stems.
- Re-cut stems at an angle for maximum water absorption.
- Use a packaged flower preservative in the water.
Programs like Random Acts of Flowers are springing up all around the U.S. If you can’t find an organization near you, the RAF website supplies information about starting a branch. Donations are always welcome, either of money, or blossoms, or time—especially if you can share your arranging skills.
And these flowers always need vases. So now you know what to do with that stash of old containers hiding on the back shelf in the greenhouse or shed. Dig them out and move them on—this is recycling that brings joy to the recipients.”