One of the perks of having your own flower garden is decorating your home with arrangements of fresh cut flowers. Unlike many of the flowers in your garden, however, cut flowers will not last throughout the season. But you can extend their life for as long as possible. The best way to keep flowers fresh is to keep them hydrated and bacteria-free from the moment they are cut from their plant.
Bring a container of warm water out to the garden with you. Cut your flowers from the parent plant at a steep angle. Deposit them immediately into the container of water.
Clean the flowers' vase with soap and water and rinse it clean. Then fill it with lukewarm water and a packet of flower preservative (available at most florists).
Pull off any leaves that will be submerged once the flower is in the vase.
Cut an inch (again, at a steep angle) off the bottom of the flowers' stems while they are underwater and place them in the vase. If possible, hold the ends of the stem just under the surface of the water in the vase to cut them. If the neck of the vase is too narrow, hold the end of the stem under running water when you make your cut, then immediately deposit the flower into the vase.
Place your vase in a cool spot that is out of direct sunlight.
Change the vase's water, re-cut the flowers (following the instructions in step 4) and add a new flower preservative packet once every two days.
Place the vase in the refrigerator at night when no one is around to enjoy the flowers.