Ina Garten uses this classic bloom to make a seasonal statement on her kitchen countertops

The cook and author exhibits fresh blooms atop her marble counters, and we can follow suit with these expert care tips

Ina Garten
(Image credit: Photo by Manny Carabel/Getty Images)

There is perhaps no more obvious sign of an early spring than buds beginning to bloom. As we emerge from winter (and, with it, the cozy corners of our homes), it's time to bring some of the outside indoors with beautiful bouquets.

Ina Garten, cook, author, and decor queen extraordinaire, recently posted an image of her cool marble kitchen counter, accented with a glass vase full of orange tulips. As one of the ultimate flowers of the season, we're taking this photo as a sign to style our own countertop fleurs. 

A natural beauty, tulips (and flower bouquets in general) are an amazing way to decorate a space for spring. The caveat of flower accessories is keeping them thriving so that they can be enjoyed for a maximum period of time. The first step in keeping flowers fresh is ensuring their vessel is clean.

'Vases with narrow openings are typically harder to clean and are prone to trapping bacteria, which can contaminate the water and cause flowers to age and decompose quicker, so aim to use a vase with a wide opening if possible,' says Julian de Bosdari, CEO of plant nursery Ashridge.

Julian also recommends avoiding porous plastic vases, which can harbor bacteria. 'Glass and ceramic vases make for better options, as they are not only easier to clean but will also elevate the look of your bouquet,' he says.

Julian de Bosdari

Julian de Bosdari is the CEO of Ashridge, a plant nursery based in the UK.

Flower variety is also a considerable factor; while tulips like Ina's are stunning, Julian says they typically last about five days.

'Chrysanthemums, carnations, and orchids are more durable varieties that can survive for several weeks and enable your loved one to enjoy their bouquet for longer,' he says.

As far as care goes, trimming stems is a crucial step to ensuring that flowers remain healthy and continue to grow.

'Cut flower bouquets have their stems pre-cut, but they are likely to have closed up by the time you purchase them,' Julian explains. 'Therefore, it's important to trim half an inch off each stem at a 45-degree angle using a clean knife or pair of sharp scissors before setting your flowers in a vase.' 

Julian recommends trimming the stems every couple of days to maximize water absorption.

Lastly, if flowers are being stored in a kitchen, make sure to keep them away from two major wilting culprits: sunlight and fruit.

'It’s best to place your flowers in a cooler environment with plenty of indirect light rather than directly within the sun’s rays or near a radiator,' Julian says. 'Make sure to also keep flowers away from the fruit bowl, as ripening fruit such as bananas and apples produce an odorless gas called ethylene, which causes flowers to age and drop petals more quickly.' 

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Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.