Always cut the flowers early, in the cool of the morning, and when in their prime. Take a piece of cotton-wool, wet it, and wring it out, then twist it about the stalk. If tin boxes are used, they must not have sharp corners, or they will be rejected at the post-office, but, when properly made, they excel all others fur the purpose in question. At the bottom of one of these, place a piece of stout brown paper (if thin, double it); let this be well damped, then lay the flowers carefully in, placing a piece of "silver" or tissue-paper between them, to prevent their bruising each other. Over all place a piece of the same paper, and on this a little cotton-wool. Cover the box with paper. Modes of faulty packing may be mentioned as a warning against their adoption : - (1) Placing the flowers in contact with dry cottonwool, which clings to them, and abstracts their moisture; (2) putting them in tin boxes, such as have contained lucifers, etc, which invariably get crushed in passing through the post-office; (3) putting the cotton-wool about them too wet, the moisture from which gets shaken over the flowers, and spoils their colours; (4) cutting the flowers after exposure to the sun, which ensures their falling to pieces on their journey; this also occurs if the blooms are stale.
Some persons sending seedling flowers for an opinion, think it best to cut them when not fully open, knowing that they will expand in water; but they should learn they do not show their true character, either in shape or colour, under such circumstances. A better plan is to cut off the pistil directly it can be done : this will ensure the flower lasting a considerable time.