Thank you, Sandra, for kicking off the Winter Warm-Up 2018 Blog Tour for Terror on Sunshine Boulevard on your blog. I look forward to visiting with you and your readers and to answering any questions asked of me in the comments.
Readers--Please leave a comment below because a lucky commenter will win a PDF copy of Terror on Sunshine Boulevard.
Today I’m sharing tips on arranging fresh, cut flowers in this blog post because Sandra loves flowers and is quite the flower gardener. She has written an excellent, information-packed book on flowers, Flower Gardens and More. Plus my main character, Jim Hart, is an avid gardener, and his wife Gloria loves flowers in their yard. Nothing sparks up a mid-winter day like a vase of fragrant and colorful blooms.
Before I became a published writer, my husband and I owned and operated a floral shop, garden center, and greenhouses in West Michigan. So these tips are ones I have shared with customers. Hope there’s a gem or two in here for you.
Basic Fresh Floral Design Tips by J.Q. Rose
- Cut the flower stems on a slant in order to allow more surface area for water to enter the stem. Place the bunch of flowers in a bucket or large vase to allow the flowers to soak up the warm, not hot, not cold, water with dissolved preservative before beginning your design.
- Always give a fresh cut to the flower stem before placing it in the arrangement.
- Use a very sharp knife or scissors to cut the stems. Dull tools will crush the stem and not allow the flower to drink up the water.
- If you use wet foam for your arrangement, be sure to place the foam in a bucket of warm water with preservative dissolved in it. Then place the foam, cut to fit your container, into the water, but don’t hold it down in the bucket. Every inch of the foam needs to be wet. If you hold it down for a couple of minutes, water does not reach all parts of it and may leave air holes in the material. Your flower could dry out because the stem end is in air and not water. So leave it in to soak up all the water. You can tell when you pick it up if the block is full or not by the weight.
- If making a “plunk-it” arrangement in a vase, simply set the vase on the edge of the counter, hold the flower bunch next to the vase, and determine how tall or short you want the arrangement to be. Cut at the point where the flower stems are even with the top of the counter. Then “plunk” the flowers in the vase immediately. Easy-peasy.
- When making a centerpiece, determine the width and length by placing a flower or greens at north, south, east, and west. Determine the height by placing a flower in the center. Just remember to start your arrangement with five flowers, then fill in.
- Don’t forget to use various kinds of green foliage to make a lovely background for the flowers to showcase their colors.
- Include three shapes of flowers in mixed bouquets—a spike flower e.g. gladiola or snapdragon, round flower e.g. carnation or mum, and a form flower e.g. iris or rose.
- The rule is to place lighter colors at the top of an arrangement and darker colors at the base. But rules are made to be broken, so design your piece to please your eye.
- Leave space around each flower so you can see each one. Don’t cram them together so tightly that the viewer can’t appreciate each beautiful face.
- The most important rule is to make a bouquet that you will enjoy.
- Really, how can you go wrong when working with brilliant colors, unique shapes, and pleasant fragrances? You can’t!
Back of the Book: Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed or investigating mysterious murders are not the usual calls for first responder Jim Hart. He expects slip and fall accidents or low blood pressure emergencies in his retirement community of Citrus Ridge Senior Community and Golf Resort. The ghastly crime scenes turn the winter time fun into a terrifying season of death and mystery when the authorities cannot track down the predator responsible.
Jim and his wife Gloria could escape the horror and grief by returning to their northern home, but concern for their friends and residents keep them in Florida. With the entire community in a dither over the deaths, the Harts participate in the normal winter activities of golfing, dancing, and pool parties with their friends to distract them from the sadness and loss.
Can Jim and Gloria work with the authorities to discover who or what is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard and stop the increasing body count?
Tagline: Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed? Investigating mysterious murders? These are not the usual calls in a Florida retirement community for volunteer first responder Jim Hart.
Terror on Sunshine Boulevard is available for purchase at these digital booksellers.
Universal Link for major online retailers: https://books2read.com/u/4XoN8e
After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction. Her published mysteries are Deadly Undertaking, Dangerous Sanctuary, and Terror on Sunshine Boulevard released by Books We Love Publishing. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She spends winters in Florida and summers up north camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.
Connect with J.Q. Rose online at
J.Q. Rose blog http://www.jqrose.com/
Books We Love Author Page http://bookswelove.net/authors/rose-j-q/
Congrats on the release, J.Q.