The same home décor, no matter how beautiful, can get stale after awhile. If you want to freshen up your living space without breaking the bank, flowers are a great option. Just a simple arrangement of your favourite blooms can instantly lift spirits and bring warmth into a room. Flowers can also lend personality to a space, whether in the form of a bold centrepiece of Birds of Paradise or a casually thrown together bouquet of daisies and sunflowers.
If you are among those who regard flowers as an occasional treat, Ms Jaslyn Chu, owner of Secret Garden, has news for you — flowers are more popular among Singaporeans than you think!
“We have many regular customers who come in every week for fresh flowers for their homes and offices. There are many reasons why people use floral decorations — some love the pop of colour, while others are smitten with the natural scent,” said the veteran florist who founded Secret Garden some 17 years ago.
Personally, Ms Chu adores the idea of seasonal flowers to break up the monotony of Singapore’s year-round summery weather.
“I like colourful anemone for spring and cheery sunflowers for summer,” she says. “For Chinese New Year, an arrangement of dainty cherry blossoms and regal peonies can really bring out the festive mood, while nothing says Christmas better than the classic combination of mistletoe, holly and pine.”
Homeowners can also consider long slender stems of lavender, placed in a tall vase. The lovely scent of lavender not only has calming properties, it’s also a natural mosquito repellent!
If you’re new to floral arrangements, Ms Chu recommends starting with a simple, short vase and adding individual blooms to your liking. If you don’t have a vase on hand, you can recycle an old glass container and dress it up with ribbon or raffia.
Keeping rooms abloom
The great thing about floral arrangements is that they add an ever-changing element in your home décor. You can switch seamlessly from gentle chamomile to exciting two-toned Kenya roses to suit your mood, but the last thing you want is for your bouquet to wither before its time.
“It’s true that most seasonal flowers can’t last as long as local flowers in our climate but with the right care, flowers can blossom to their fullest lifespan,” she said, noting that this can range from four days to well over a week.
“It’s a good idea to trim the stems by a centimetre or two each time you change the water in the vase,” she advises. This should be done every other day to ensure that the flowers have fresh water and to prevent mosquito breeding. Regular trims also keep the stem healthy so that the flowers can ‘drink’ well.
In addition to water, flowers also need food and a clean environment to blossom. While flower food packets are available off the shelf, you can replicate the effect by adding sugar to vase water. Sugar, on its own, however, encourages bacterial growth so most homemade recipes call for the addition of bleach or vinegar to combat this. Simple enough even for those who don’t have a green thumb, wouldn’t you say?