This month I have been testing longevity of five spring flowers when used for buttonholes, namely tulips, muscari (pearl hyacinths), freesias and hellebores. After seven hours they all looked fine, but here I am doing a pair-wise comparison between just-made (left) and after 20 hours at room temperature. It may sound extreme, as you wouldn’t normally need buttonholes to look good for that long, but it shows which can be made up the day before and which need to be made on the morning of the event. Tulips, freesia and muscari belong to the former group as they lasted well.
Closed tulip and muscari with tulip leaves. Left, straight after making; right, after 20 hours.
Buds of tulip, freesia and hellebore
Snowdrops and hellebores did not look fresh after 20 hours and therefore need to be made up on the day.
Muscari and snowdrops
Wired and taped hellebore
Hellebores that have started to set seed last so much longer than those with their pollen still showing, but if conditioned overnight and wired and taped, like here, young hellebore flowers are fine in buttonholes – just as long as they are made on the day!