Fresh flowers from the garden are a bonus. Cut flowers early in the morning while they are refreshed from the night's coolness. Use sharp scissors so the stems aren't crushed. Place the stems immediately in a bucket while you're cutting. Of course, you can always use flowers in bouquets and arrangements throughout the house. Use a little imagination for different ways to use fresh flowers.
Make sure the flowers haven't been exposed to a pesticide or fungicide. Scented roses make jelly, rose water to use in cooking or as a refreshing drink with a bit of lemon. Sprigs of lavender in a jar of refined sugar will scent the sugar in a few days. Lavender blended into butter is good as a baste for chicken. Squash blossoms stuffed with bread crumbs, garlic and onions then sauteed make a nice appetizer. Nasturtiums, pansies and carnation petals are pretty in a salad and punch up the flavor. Freeze small flowers like mini carnations in ice cube tray and add to drinks.
Dinner Party Decorations
Flowers show up in the centerpiece of the table at a dinner party but you can use them in lots of different ways. Slip one medium-size flower, like a carnation, in the napkin ring at every place setting. Make a mini bouquet of flowers that are also used in the centerpiece and place the mini bouquets in votive candle holders at each setting. Floral tape a flower to the stem of the wine glasses at the table. Instead of candles in the candelabra use flowers with the stems cut short.
Fragrant flowers add scent and color to a bath. Sprinkle a handful of fresh rose petals, jasmine blossoms or gardenias in a tub full of warm water. Make a mixture of geranium flowers, almond oil and sea salt to use as a body scrub. Try a combination of lemon peel, brown sugar and lemon balm flowers for a burst of energy. Float a flower in a glass bowl. Choose camellias, hollyhocks or Gerbera daisies.
Why use chemical room fresheners when you can call on Mother Nature? Many fresh flowers are fragrant and will scent an entire room. A bouquet of sweet peas, lilacs and hyacinths evokes the feeling of spring. Oriental lilies are beautiful to look at, last up to a week and have a heavenly scent. They are a flower where the buds reliably open after the flower is cut.