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Decorating tips

November 16, 2000

Decorating tips

See also: Greens show
HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Keep utensils clean.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Clean flower containers. Gifft recommends washing and using a household bleach solution to kill bacteria that can cause flowers to droop.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> For fresh arrangements, Gifft uses instant oasis. It takes up water instantly, he said. Sahara, a firm, dry foam-like medium - is a base for dry arrangements.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Water for roses should be exactly at body temperature. If it's too hot, roses will open immediately.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Cut fresh greens in the morning before the sun dries them out.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Gifft uses bamboo skewers to anchor fresh fruit to an arrangement. He prefers these to coated sticks that can lead to rotting.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Don't put the skewer through the core of the fruit. Gently push it through the side and give it a little twist. If you poke it all the way through, don't use that piece of fruit in your arrangement. It will rot at the site of the hole.

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HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Fresh fruit in a display will last for about a week if you keep your house cool - about 60 to 65 degrees. Gifft keeps his home at 55 degrees.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> To use a pineapple in an arrangement and still be able to eat it, Gifft recommends cutting it in half lengthwise and scooping out the fruit. To dry it, place in the oven for two to three hours at 150 degrees.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> "Ladies, don't do this," he said as he bent back the stem of a large silk branch and moved it toward an arrangement. Clip off individual sprigs and short portions and use the pieces, not the entire branch. But Gifft believes you get more for your money by buying larger garlands rather than single stems and cutting them yourself.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Gifft recommends creativity in arrangements. "Ladies, whatever you have laying around your home - under the bed - whatever, pull it out and use it."

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