January 28, 2011
‘Tis the season for bulbs! In my opinion, Ranunculus are the most striking of the group and don’t get the attention they deserve. At 3$ a bunch at the farmers market right now, these beauties are easy on the budget (just one of the benefits of choosing a seasonal flower), and a perfect way to brighten up your home on a winter day. Plus, they come in practically every color you can imagine and last forever (ok, maybe not forever, but they keep blooming for weeks after you cut them).
At our local Friday Montecito farmers market, Tomas from Por la Mar – sells a variety of bulbs both in plants and cut flowers (incidentally he is also at the Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday markets). He has the most beautiful selection of bulbs for the most incredibly inexpensive price, but the Ranunculus always win my heart.
To arrange the flowers, I clean all of the leaves below the water level off the stalk (this will keep your water from getting smelly and prematurely moldy). I save the buds and greens I collect from this process to put in another, smaller container.
The greenery is perfect for smaller, shallow cup like arrangements. The little buds that remain add a really beautiful touch of green to contrast the open flowers. They stand at attention in the vase like little soldiers.
Even in a vase, ranunculus continue to grow, bloom, and get, somehow, more beautiful. After I clean the stems, I cut them all to roughly the same height and literally jam them into a container. Hello! Effortless and gorgeous? I’ll take that any day. My most recent ranunculus arrangements lasted for more than two weeks without any flower food. Their stamina is really quite incredible.
Tip: Make sure you keep them well watered since they do seem to drink a shocking amount.