Mother's Day is fast approaching and if you're anything like us, your grandiose plans to take care of present buying early this year will end in a mad dash to the nearest bodega for a bouquet come May 8. Luckily, florist extraordinaire Lynn Jawitz of NYC's Florisan has a bevy of helpful tips for Bodega bouquet buying—from picking out the best flowers to making those pretty buds last.
The first thing Lynn suggests is talking to the person at the floral counter and making sure to take the extra minute to carefully inspect the leaves and petals. She also recommends going straight for a flower of a sturdier variety like a chrysanthemum or a carnation. If roses are the only flower for you, however, make sure to "gently squeeze the bottom of a rose, right above where the stem comes in. Is it firm? If it is, perfect! If it is floppy, put it back," Lynn says. Then, "check for mold...don’t buy any flowers with mold growing, make sure everything is clean, clean, CLEAN!" Also, "Always look at the leaves! Leaves are an indicator of health." After looking at the condition of the flowers, check out how they have been stored in, like the temperature of the store. Lynn recommends to "not purchase flowers located by fruit/produce." Now for making them last... Lynn insists on re-cutting the stems of the flowers about 1 to 2 inches at the bottom while running them under water, which prevents air bubbles. When displaying, "Make sure there are no leaves or foliage under the water line, use lukewarm water in your vase, check the water level every day, add water as necessary, and change the water if it appears to become murky." Also, avoid keeping the flowers in direct sunlight and use Lynn's trick of adding just a drop of bleach to the water in the vase "to keep bacteria at bay."
We've got to say, Lynn makes buying a bouquet at the nearest bodega sound like the only way to go this Mother's Day. Embrace the bodega. With these tips in hand, mom will still get the beautiful bouquet she deserves, no matter how busy (ehem, procrastinator) we may be.