You've just received a bouquet of flowers and you're ready to display them on the kitchen table for all eyes to see. Don't let them wither away into a sorry state by day two, try the following tips instead.
1. If your flowers have been delivered in a bubble of water (known as an aqua pack) take them out as soon as possible – it's only for delivery purposes. They can be kept in wrapping for up to 12 hours but after that you should transfer them to a vase. It's a good idea to hold the bouquet over a sink and slice the wrapping at the bottom so the water pours out before disposing of the wrapping.
2. While you're at the sink, cut between two and five centimetres of stem off the bottom at a short, slanted angle. The wider the cut, the better the water take up and the longer the flowers will last.
3. Keep the string around the stems in place so the bouquet holds its shape. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a florist or you want to make a couple of vases from your gift, arrange as desired but always make sure that any part of the stem in the water is leaf-free, as loose foliage can contaminate water and decrease flower life.
4. Mix the accompanying flower food so the flowers get their much-needed nutrients. If your bouquet didn't come with flower food, just add plain water instead. Refresh the water every few days, keeping an eye on any debris.
5. Avoid placing them near a fruit bowl, where the natural released gases will cause flowers to wilt. Similarly, avoid direct sunlight, radiators or a draught which all speed up the dying process of flowers.
These tips were taken and adapted from The Good Florist Guide. For more information visit www.goodfloristguide.com