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How Constance Spry Prepared Her Flowers

Gloria Pacosa uses Spry's method

Many of us probably don’t fuss very much when we are making a flower arrangement for our dining table. We run out into the garden and cut a little bit of whatever is in bloom and a few leaves, put them in a vase with little fuss and we are done.

However if we are make a more important arrangement for a special party, for a friend’s wedding, or the church altar, we will need more flowers and foliage and we should take more care with preparing them.

According to Sue Shephard, author of The Surprising Life of Constance Spry,  “She always picked her own garden flowers at least a day before they were needed, and put them in deep pails of water in a cool place. This enabled them to absorb plenty of water before being exposed to the rigors of travel, warm rooms and over handling during arrangement.”

She also often removed most of certain flowers’ leaves to help them last longer, and for the design. This spring I am planning to try an arrangement of lilacs only, no other flowers and no foliage – just like Constance.  My friend Gloria Pacosa follows many of Spry’s in her arrangements.

Gloria's foliage

Swiss chard and kale!

2 comments to How Constance Spry Prepared Her Flowers

  • Pat, I love the idea of swiss chard and kale in an arrangement! My gardening club’s arrangement guru is constantly stressing the need to condition the flowers – maybe she learned that from Spry!

  • Pat

    Cyndy – The thing about conditioning flowers is that you have to think ahead! Always a problem for me.

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