Whenever I teach a floral design class one of the first questions I'm asked is what tools to use for designing flowers at home and where to get them.
Let's start with the what. Truth be told a paring knife you would find in most kitchens is perfect for cutting flowers...the trick is learning how to cut them (we'll talk more about that in the coming weeks.) Scissors can sometimes be okay and I stress sometimes. They can do more harm then good in lengthening the life span of your flowers. There are plenty other great uses for them that's why I've still included them here.
Here's a glimpse what I use everyday...and if you could see them a little closer up you would see all the wear and tear on those clippers!!! One thick branch or occasional snip of wire (not a good idea) and they are never quite the same. Anyway, the clippers or pruners are the best, easy to use and totally functional. They can be used on any stem type and the learning curve to create a good cut is small. This particular brand, ARS can be a little hard to find but I get mine here. There are other great options by Felco.
The orange handled scissors are Fiskars and are mostly used for ribbons and fabric. (I refer to them solely as my orange handled scissors because that is what my mother would call them when she was yelling after her 5 children wondering who was using them on something other than fabric!!! She was a passionate woman...especially when it came to her sewing.)
The knives are key to any great floral designers toolbox and I would say are the most often used tool by professionals. I still remember learning to use a knife properly...it does take some getting used to but the cut of a knife is superior to any other cut and will definitely work on soft delicate stems but is key to cutting hard woody stems to make sure that the flowers get enough to drink. More to come on this...
The final tool in the box are the Claus scissors. These are a super multi-purpose tool and they have an endless amount of uses and the great news is that unlike the "orange handled scissors" they won't damage easily. While I bought my in the flower market I did a quick search online and found them on ShopScissors.com and they actually have some great options for everything I've talked about.
Those are the basics. I'll talk more about the uses of everything in the weeks to come but in the meantime you can build the perfect toolbox and start creating.