This weekend my husband surprised me by bringing home buckets of wildflowers! We both love wildflowers, and even had bouquets of them at our wedding 34 years ago. We were so poor we couldn’t afford anything else, so we went out that morning and gathered beautiful wine cups and blue delphiniums, lemonmint, and many others. I still think they were the most beautiful wedding flowers anybody could have ever had.
This time Steve was driving from the Lower Pecos through the Hill Country, and everywhere he looked, there were carpets of flowers! He stopped several times just to drink in the beauty, and cut some for me. Disclaimer: no flowers were hurt during this process and no private property was breached, so don’t send me complaints.
Over the years we have perfected a technique for keeping wildflowers fresh. When you go out to gather them, take a big ice chest with you, with a little water and a bag of loose ice chunks in it. Put the cut stems of the flowers into the water and ice. Keep the lid closed on the way home. The flowers will stay fresh for many hours this way.
When you get home, cut the stems again under water. Just fill a bowl with water and cut the stems under the water level. Strip off ALL leaves that will be in water in the vase. This prevents most bacteria from mucking up the water and shortening the life of the flowers. Fill a vase with water and add one packet of commercial flower fresh powder. Arrange the flowers in the vase.
Change the water in the vase every day or two and add more commercial flower fresh stuff. If the room is warm, fill the vase half-way with ice cubes to refresh the cells of the flower stems. Also, cut about half an inch off each stem–under water again–each time you change the water. Of course some flowers are more delicate than others, and some are naturally only open for one day. So I can’t guarantee you won’t loose some. This should keep most of your flowers fresh for about a week.