Lily-of-the-Valley, when prepared expertly will last well in bouquets. There are a number of techniques for preparing this always popular wedding flower. However, for the best method, experts agree on the following instructions.
- Use Floratape® stem wrap to wrap a No. 30 gauge wire neatly and smoothly. Use light green color Floratape® stem wrap because it blends well with the delicate green shade of the stems. Some designers cut 1/4-inch strips of light green Floratape® stem wrap lengthwise and are able to use a very fine wire. However, it is satisfactory to use the regular 1/2-inch width Floratape® stem wrap if you stretch it tightly and neatly around the wire. Please note that the above gauges of wires are suggested, but a good rule to follow is do not use any heavier wire than necessary to control the design of the flower.
- Make a hook at one end of the Floratape® stem wrap wires. Attach this hook around one of the top florets. Circle the wire down between the bells gently until you reach the bottom bell. The thin wires wound with Floratape ® stem wrap wire will blend in nicely almost unnoticed and extend down the natural stem.
- Apply dry cotton wrapping, being careful that this does not become too large and bulky. Note that it is suggested you wrap with a dry cotton strip, then dip in water or use spray. Overwrap the moist cotton neatly and smoothly with green florist's Parafilm® wrap. Do not press too tightly.
- Extend the stem with a heavier wire and add the natural tip of a leaf to help support and protect your flowers as well as to add a touch of color. When using florist's Parafilm® wrap over the moist cotton hold the flower down so that the moisture in the cotton is retained. If desired, overwrap with Floratape® stem wrap.
It may seem awkward to circle the pips downward between the bells with the thin wires wound with Floratape® stem wrap, but with a little practice you can do it with surprising speed.