Azaleas are show-stopping stars in the spring garden, displaying a huge range of warm and cool colors and a variety of hues. Delicate azalea flowers are such garden dazzlers that we often forget they can come indoors to grace our dining tables and living rooms. They are an unusual addition to interior décor, but easily obtained. Are your azaleas healthy and blooming their heads off? Then feel free to prune some branches. You will have a head start on your annual pruning, with the bonus of enchanting branches of azalea blossoms to enjoy at close range.
Fill a bucket with water.
Take the bucket and your pruners to the azalea you plan to trim.
Look at the azalea and decide if you want to change the outline of the plant, thin it in the middle or reduce it in height.
Prune to achieve your objectives, choosing branches with buds rather than open flowers. Make your pruning cuts straight across the branch and immediately place the branch in the bucket.
Assemble vases of different heights and shapes and fill them three-fourths full with water.
Place long branches in tall vases, removing leaves below the water line. Tall branches can also be successful as a Japanese-style arrangement of one branch rising from a flat container.
Create supports in broad vases by making grids of florist's tape across the mouths of the vases. Arrange medium-sized branches within these structures.
Use short branches in bud vases or cream pitchers.
Take blossoms that have fallen off during the arranging process and float them in brandy snifters or small glass bowls. Floating candles can form part of these arrangements.
About this Author
Daffodil Planter's writing appears in the Chicago Sun-Times, and she is the Sacramento Gardening Scene Examiner for Examiner.com. A member of the Garden Writers Association, she has a bachelor's degree from Stanford, a law degree from the University of Virginia and studies horticulture at Sierra College.