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Arranging Birds of Paradise

Take at least 3cm (1") off all stems, making a slanted cut with a sharp knife. Make sure vases are very clean, and use fresh lukewarm water. Strip all  leaves below water level to avoid polluting the water. Always use proprietary flower food to feed flowers, encourage buds to open, and prevent bacteria  forming in the stems causing wilting. Avoid direct sunlight, heat, or draughts. Keep flowers away from fruit and remove faded flowers as they occur. Top up the water regularly and add flower food as necessary.

Hang the leaves upside down in a dry place. They will dry into twisted shapes of great beauty in a golden hue, and are wonderful to create rhythm in a design.

The design shown  is called Fruit Flamee, using  strelitzia, a flax leaf, and fruit laid on a bed of foliage. It is simple but dramatic showing off the strelizia well and it would be a wonderful backpiece for a dessert table.







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