City Market Bouquets

The spring flower selection at the downtown City Market Co-Cop in Burlington.

This Weekend with Bridget is a recurring column. Every week, she recommends a place to visit or a way to have fun at home. Send her an email at

This weekend’s adventure: Think spring by gifting a bouquet of flowers to someone you love or to yourself.

What to know: Ensure your flowers stay vibrant and last for as long as possible by refreshing their water, keeping them out direct sunlight and following these other tips from local experts.

My experience: Spring in Vermont, as exemplified this week, is temperamental at best. On Monday, during an early evening walk, I spotted the bright purple buds of the crocus flower on several neighbors’ lawns. The green, ribbon-like leaves of tulips sprouted tentatively in dormant gardens.

Now, as I look out the window of my home office, I imagine those first signs of spring curled in on themselves, their petals bearing the weight of Thursday’s heavy snowflakes.

This Sunday is Easter. In years past, that might’ve meant dressing in floral prints and heading to church. It might’ve meant someone brought you a bunch of pastel-colored tulips in exchange for cooking the ham.

But for yet another holiday, many of us are not gathering together this year, and so the recent, wet and snowy weather might feel extra dismal.

Brighten your weekend with a floral bouquet you gift to yourself, or have an arrangement of pinks and greens and yellows delivered to someone you love.

I am by no means a flower-care expert. A few days after purchasing, I’ve usually got fallen petals scattered across my kitchen table, so I thought I’d ask the experts for their best tips.

How to keep cut flowers freshAnnette Roach, floral designer at Flowers by Debbie in Swanton, offered a few best practices for cut-flower care:

  1. Keep arrangements away from sunny windows. Instead, you want them as cool as possible.
  2. Keep the container full of water. It’s a good idea to change your water out every day or every couple of days.
  3. With roses, or other single stem flowers, it’s important to re-cut the ends when you change out the water. They will drink better if they are fresh-cut.

Flowers By Debbie, a full-service, family-owned florist in Swanton, has been serving northern Franklin County since 1981. The shop is currently offering in-person shopping, online ordering and same-day delivery.

Jon Houghton of Maplehurst Florist in Essex said cold water and cool temperatures are a must.

Maplehurst Florist is a third-generation family business that opened in Chittenden County in 1943. Phyllis and Charles Houghton started as small growers of spring bedding plants, but soon customers were asking for cut flowers and special-occasion arrangements.

Carl Houghton joined the business in the 1960s, and now his son Jon is the owner and manager.

The most popular flowers at Maplehurst right now are fresh cut tulips and spring flowers.

“Iris, daisy, tulip and lily,” Jon said. “Those are four winners right there.”

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