Gardening for Health

Create an Easter Arrangement

By Maria Price

Easter is usually a time for flowers. Even though we’ve had ghastly weather with cold temperatures, snow flurries, hail and thank heaven, lots of rain, the spring flowers are all flourishing. Spring is a time for renewal and using flowers from your garden will enhance your Easter celebration.

Studies have shown that flowers help to reduce stress, induce calm and make people happy.

This Easter arrangement is made up of fragrant lilacs, crabapple blossoms, camellias, and various types of narcissus. I always use a floral preservative in the water in the vase. The variety of lilacs I am using is an early bloomer named Evangeline, which blooms before the common lilacs. It has the same alluring fragrance and double florets. When you cut lilacs, you want to trim any deadwood and foliage off the stem. It’s very hard to hydrate lilacs and get them to last. You don’t want to have to hydrate the leaves as well, so make sure to strip them all off. To increase their life in the vase, cut the stem ends vertically two to three inches up. Then grasp one side of the sliced stem and twist backward. Plunge the freshly cut stems immediately into cool water. Leave the flowers in a cool, dimly lit room for a couple of hours to rehydrate before arranging.

Try to put these heady blossoms all over the house to enjoy their delicate wafting fragrance. Crisscross your stems in the vase so that they hold themselves up. 

I incorporated white and pink crabapple blossoms to contrast the lilacs. In the center of the arrangement, I made a cluster of about five double pink camellias. I then added pink, cupped narcissus irregularly around the camellias. (Some narcissus is single-cupped; some are frilly, with petals in the center.) I then added yellow mini-daffodils. To keep the flowers fresh longer, put them in a refrigerator until you are ready to display them.