Bring the colors of nature indoors

KAPA‘A — It’s springtime, and there’s a flower for everyone.

There are the bromeliads that are really colorful and don’t require a lot of watering because they feed off the humidity of the air.

There are the rovers that are daisy-like chrysanthemums that last a long time.

And, of course, there are the ever-so-popular roses that are cute little buds that bloom into attractive bouquets in a matter of days.

Robin Preiato’s favorite flowers are peonies, because they’re dense, big flowers.

“They stand out on their own. You don’t have to do much to them to make them look good,” she said.

Craig Martin likes lilacs.

“They’re very seasonal, and just the color and the texture, and of course, they’re heavily scented,” he said.

Laura Stern has a special liking for the tuberose, but says she likes them all.

“I never met a flower I didn’t like,” she said.

April Meadows, owner of Flowers and Joys in Kapa‘a, says there is no better way of brightening up the interior of a home than fresh, colorful flowers.

She suggests the stargazer lilies because they’re fragrant and beautiful.

“It’s a psychological thing. Flowers just add life into the home,” she said. “You could have a beautiful home, but without living plants, the home just feels cold,” Meadows said. “That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.” Meadows has been operating the flower shop in Kapa‘a for a little over a year, and says spring is a busy time when it comes to flowers. She found that people tend to request the colors of lilies and tulips more often.

“This time of year, people like the bright colors,” she said. “The tropical arrangements are exceptional.

But I think (people) are used to the tropical flowers, so the spring flowers in April are more unique.” Meadows also says that having a bouquet of flowers in the home, whether it’s from a personal garden or a florist, is a great way of bringing nature indoors.

“As far as flower arrangements, I think it puts people back in touch with nature so it’s more relaxing for them,” she said.

While there is a certain finesse to floral arranging, Meadows says not all arrangements have to be 2006elaborate. Flowers are flowers, and even the simplest arrangements can make an impact in the mood.

“Sometimes just a couple of stems in a vase is good enough. It’s simple and elegant,” she said. “You don’t need to be educated in flowers,” she said. “If people keep it simple, arrangements can still look beautiful.” Floral care can be pretty simple, too. For the most part, the general rule is to remove the leaves from the stems that will be submerged under water, to prevent them from rotting.

To cut them, hold the stems under running water, and cut about an inch off with shears or a sharp knife. Place them in a vase with water with a good floral preservative, and set them in a cool place in the room out of direct sunlight.

Then they just sit and bloom and effortlessly brighten up the room.

Taking the time to stop and smell and appreciate flowers is something Meadows says people don’t do enough of anymore.

“Having flowers is an expression of caring. People should treat themselves more often,” she said.

• Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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