A Winter Kitchen Full of Life8 Min.
Here in New England, we are about to enter the depths of winter. Holiday cheer will disappear as the twinkle lights, wreaths and red bows of the season are taken down. It’s a long cold stretch from January 1 until Spring and it’s easy to fall into the winter doldrums. Beat the gloom with flowers in the room you spend the most time in – your kitchen.
DIY. Most grocery stores will stock flower arrangements year round. Don’t be put off by the cellophane wrapper, with a little editing these can be quite lovely. Flowers have the best chance of remaining fresh if the stems are cut on a slant with a sharp knife and plunged into the water. This is to prevent an air bubble from forming near the cut that may keep water from traveling up the stem. Remove any blooms that are wilting or just not your style (dyed carnations anyone?). Arrange the flowers in an unexpected vessel – a small galvanized bucket can look fantastic in a kitchen – smaller blooms in teacups – and of course Veck glass canning jars are always a solid option.
“To keep cut flowers fresh longer, make your own preservative, similar to the ingredients in those little packets often included with a purchase from a florist. Fill a large vase with about a quart of warm water, adding 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons white vinegar. The sugar nourishes the flowers, while the vinegar inhibits bacterial growth in the vase.” Janell Beals, Houzz contributor.
Forage. Beauty can be found outside, even in the dead of winter. Look for Bittersweet, an invasive vine that often covers the tops of other trees and bushes. Bittersweet has vibrant small red berries with an orange shell. Their bendy branches look quite architectural and on their own, they create a fun statement. Also, they are very low maintenance.
Fresh or Dry. Hydrangeas are generally available through the winter in floral shops, if cared for properly they last quite a long time. Alternatively, they can be dried, and last even longer. One drying method is to put the stems in a deep vase of water, set it in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight and let the water evaporate. This will take 10 to 30 days, but once the water is gone, the blooms should be dry.
Vitamin C. An arrangement of citrus fruit brings a wonderful pop of color and has the added benefit of boosting your immune system. Choose a varied selection of limes, lemons, oranges, and grapefruit. Just be prepared for your arrangement to be pillaged by hungry family members. Pairing a well-stocked fruit bowl with an arrangement of yellow and orange blooms creates even more color in your kitchen.
Treat Yourself. There’s no reason you have to wait for someone to buy you flowers – think of it as an act of self-care. Purchasing a beautiful bouquet, arranged with care by a true floral artist is a great gift to your spirit. Check out the amazing work of Orly Khon Floral, The Orly Khon Floral Boutique is a shop-within-a-shop, located on the first floor of Boston’s Restoration Hardware, which itself is housed in a historic building — originally the Museum of Natural History. Walk through architect William Gibbons Preston’s Romanesque arches into an enchanted world of greenery and surprise, where blooms spring from driftwood and succulents become fireworks beneath glass cloches. It’s a beautiful field trip.