Problem-Solving and Posies – Too Much of a Good Thing

I had a second crop of lilies bloom in the last few weeks. They are very long-stemmed, some nearing almost four feet in height. We’ve been having some violent and windy storms so I cut most of the stems and brought them indoors to enjoy.  When I came downstairs the morning after bringing the flowers in the fragrance had become so strong I almost couldn’t breathe. It filled each room with a scent that was good, but almost wasn’t…does that make any sense? If you have ever smelled Stargazer Lilies it will make perfect sense to you.  The fragrance was sweet, but was also over the top, and suddenly began to smell like a room filled with stinky gym socks. My solution was to place the vase of lilies on the porch where they could emit their fragrance without overpowering my sense of smell. The solution was perfect. I could still enjoy and smell the lilies without feeling overpowered.

Floral Arranging Tip: The anthers of lilies are notorious for staining clothing.  Most floral arrangers remove the anthers. Conservatories such as Longwood Gardens also remove the anthers to keep the orangish-brown pollen from staining the clothes of visitors. If all these precautions fail and you do get anther pollen on your clothing, instead of rubbing it, which will only set the stain deep into the fabric, use a pipe cleaner bent like a paper clip and gently tease the excess pollen onto the chenille of the pipe cleaner. It won’t remove all the pollen, but it will save the stain from being as noticeable.

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