The Right Way to Decorate With Flowers This Spring

Roethke said flowers are “keepers of light” and Shakespeare said they are for thought, but whatever the motivation, flowers make a welcome addition to the home. The trick is choosing the right ones, then getting them to last. Randy Statham, owner of Scarsella’s Florist in Syosset, shared his expertise in incorporating flowers into home décor.

Long Island Pulse: What are the latest trends in flowers?
Randy Statham: Most flowers come from South America, Holland, California, so they have to be uniform in order to be boxed for travel. Now there are a lot more local flowers being used. It’s a more natural, wild feeling where you’re actually looking at the flowers themselves as opposed to just the mass. I think it’s a really nice look.

Pulse: Are there certain flowers that do better indoors than others?
Generally lilies last long because they come with one flowerbed open and there’s usually three to five. Over a week to 10 days, you’ll have all those other flowerbeds slowly open up. Bulb flowers like tulips and daffodils actually continue to grow when you bring them home. They’re not like a rose that just sits there, they kind of stretch and move. Flowering branches are a little more expensive but they’re so big and dramatic that you don’t need a lot of branches—generally one to three of them. The ones closest to the stem will open first and the ones farther up will open more slowly so you get the progression of the flowers opening over time.

Pulse: What’s the key to keeping flowers alive indoors?
Statham: The flowers should get a fresh cut on the bottom using a sharp knife or a clipper, as opposed to a scissor. You want to slice the plant cells, not squeeze them. If you squeeze them, it’s less likely the flower will take water.

Pulse: Do you have any tips for preparing arrangements?
See the way the stem is bending and the way the flower head is facing and work with it. If it’s bending to the right, put it on the right side of the arrangement and work with the flower as opposed to working against it. You’ll get a very beautiful, more natural feel.

Pulse: Where should you place flowers in the house?
Flowers should be where you are, so that you see them more often. If you’re a good cook, put them in the kitchen. If you’re entertaining, put them in the dining room or living room.