Birds of Paradise
Take at least 3cm
(1") off all stems, making a slanted cut with a sharp knife.
Make sure vases are very clean, and use fresh lukewarm water.
Strip all leaves below water level to avoid polluting the
water. Always use proprietary flower food to feed flowers,
encourage buds to open, and prevent bacteria forming in the
stems causing wilting. Avoid direct sunlight, heat, or draughts.
Keep flowers away from fruit and remove faded flowers as they
occur. Top up the water regularly and add flower food as necessary.
Hang the leaves upside down in a dry place. They will dry into
twisted shapes of great beauty in a golden hue, and are wonderful
to create rhythm in a design.
The design shown is called Fruit Flamee, using
strelitzia, a flax leaf, and
fruit laid on a bed of foliage. It is simple
but dramatic showing off the strelizia well and it would be a
wonderful backpiece for a dessert table.