With over 16 years of experience under her belt, Tesco's Head Florist, Michelle Buck, is an expert when it comes to flowers. Her role sees her spend her days scouring Britain and the world for new and exciting varieties of flowers to help add colour and fragrance to homes throughout the UK. Michelle talks to us about her role and shares her top tips on how to keep freshly cut flowers looking their best for longer.
With Valentine's Day tomorrow it's no surprise that close to one million of our customers will be surprising their loved one with a bouquet of flowers. I love the fact that I'm able to help people express their love and appreciation through flowers. Their ability to make people happy, convey emotions of gratitude, love and support is unsurpassed and it's my job to make sure we have the best blooms for any occasion.
I spend most of the year coming up with new designs and arrangements. No sooner has Valentine's Day finished, I'm already planning for the next year making sure I'm on top of trends and that our range is unique and packed with quality.
I've always had a passion for flowers and design but to begin with I never really thought of it as a career choice. It wasn't until after I had my children that I knew I wanted to do something that I enjoyed for a job. I took an evening class 16 years ago, instantly got hooked and never looked back.
We found that although we are a nation of flower lovers, many of us still have a thing or two to learn about caring for freshly cut flowers at home.
Most people (46 per cent) expect their cut flowers to last less than a week, which is no surprise considering common mistakes include not changing the water in the vase, dumping the flowers in a vase without cutting the stems, and not using the flower food provided - all easy fixes to ensure your flowers stay looking fresh for longer.
Longevity is a key consideration when buying a bouquet as everyone wants their flowers to last. Here are my top tips to help keep love alive this Valentine's Day:
1. Check for freshness - Always check the water that the flowers are standing in, it must be fresh and not smelly or gungy. Check the leaves on the flowers and make sure they are not yellowing or wilting.
2. Give them a trim - Once you have removed your flowers from the packaging remove lower leaves and recut stems with a sharp pair of scissors.
3. Cut the stems - Cut your flower stems at a 45 degree angle. This creates a larger surface area for the flowers to absorb water.
4. Use a clean vase - Always make certain you clean your vases - dirty vases harbour bacteria, a simple wash in hot soapy water and a little bleach will eliminate the bacteria.
5. Give them a nice home - Never leave your flowers in direct sunlight or in draughts.
6. Keep away from fruit - Keep fresh flowers away from ripening fruit, it gives off a gas called eth-ylene and will cause your flowers to lose their longevity.
7. Keep your head up - If your roses 'neck' or bend after a couple of days, they could have an air-lock in the stem. Simply cut the stem and place into boiling water for about 30 seconds. Then recut the stem, as the hot water will have damaged the ends, and place in to cold water. This should destroy the airlock and you should notice the heads lift after around 30 minutes.
8. Avoiding stains - Try to remove lily stamens so they do not stain furniture or clothing. If you do manage to get lily pollen on your clothes do not rub it, simply take a piece of sellotape and dab the pollen away.
9. Bleach for longevity - Did you know that Gerberas are quite susceptible to bacteria. If you do not have suitable flower food you can use a tiny amount of household bleach in the water.
For further information or to order your Valentine's Day bouquet visit: http://bit.ly/2kvgW2K
OnePoll surveyed 2,000 people who celebrate Valentine's Day between 09/01/2017 and 12/01/2017.