1 My special Facebook chat started with a photo I took of my tulip garden at my Bedford, New York farm. The tulips were all cut from the garden and brought to our New York City studio for our show.
2 We cut about 15-tulips of each variety. There were so many of them. I ordered bulbs from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, Van Engelen, McClure and Zimmerman and Old House Gardens Heirloom Bulbs.
3 We planted them last fall so we could have tulip mania for our Facebook chat - and, in all different types, including parrot and double flowered tulips.
4 I asked all the children who were at the office for "Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day" to join me on the show.
5 I went around the table and asked each child his or her name and how old they were.
6 They loved being there, and were very excited to speak on camera to share their thoughts on flowers.
7 And we loved having them at the office, so they could learn new skills, such as arranging flowers, and learn about the important jobs their parents have - many of them were not aware of what their moms, dads, aunts, uncles and grandparents do every day.
8 If you recall, we planted thousands of tulip bulbs in all different colors including violet, dark purple, yellow, salmon and pink.
9 Some of them were double colored, while some were rich single colors.
10 Mia was happy to to learn how to make an arrangement. For many of the children, this was their first time cutting and arranging flowers on their own.
11 I explained our special tulip vessels. They are called tulipieres. A tulipiere or tulip-holder is an ornate vessel in which to grow tulips. It is usually made of hand-crafted pottery, classically blue delftware.
12 They are typically constructed to accommodate one single bulb per spout with a larger common water reservoir base.
13 During the 17th century, tulipieres were used to force tulip bulbs to grow and bloom in the house. They were also popularly used as selling tools - tulips could be well-displayed in these small individual holes. People in the 1600s would pay lots of money for rare and beautiful bulbs.
14 The tulips were all labeled. I asked all the children to tell me which tulips were their favorites.
15 Tulips can be light colored or dark colored. This is a very dark, dark burgundy.
16 And this is a very light colored salmon ad yellow - so perfect for spring.
17 I love these rich orange colored tulips.
18 Kevin helped Sydney reach for one of her flower choices. Each child could fit about six to eight stems in their glass Ball jar. http://www.freshpreserving.com
19 Tulips are hardy in zones four through 10, and require little maintenance in order to produce cheerful, colorful blossoms.
20 When arranging tulips, use cold water, and try to cut the flowers to the same length. Here, Kevin showed Elijah how to hold the tulip, so it wouldn't break.
21 Sam asked how to know the right length to cut a tulip.
22 I helped Sam with his arrangement. We measured it against the jar, and cut it so the tulip could stand straight up in the container.
23 I like to pick tulips when they are just opening up, but not completely opened. Then, I place it in cold water immediately, so they can get a good drink. Tulips love to drink.
24 After a tulip is picked, it continues to grow. One trick is to pierce a pin through the top of the stem and then pull it out. This releases the oxygen of the stem and keeps it from growing.
25 I helped Ezra tie the bow around his jar - the kids were having so much fun.
26 Kevin helped Faith put together her arrangement for her mom as Sydney looked on.
27 Another Facebook viewer asked how to preserve the cut flowers, and if a bit of hydrogen peroxide in the water would help. Some do this to rid the water of bacteria, but I just use clean, very fresh cold water.
29 Our tulipiere was looking so pretty.
30 Elijah and Nicholas were focused on their arrangements and on the tips being offered.
31 I love parrot tulips - those that have petals that are feathered, curled, twisted, or waved with bright colors.
32 Look at this rich palette of oranges and reds - so gorgeous. These shades were very popular with our young florists.
33 And here is a pretty shade of lavender.
34 These Facebook chats are so easy to do. Our digital video producer, Sam Schutz, shoots the entire show on an iPhone.
36 i chose to use these beautiful orange and purple flowers for this tulipiere.
37 Melanie and Melissa both liked the white tulips.
38 Kevin helped Austin adjust his wonderful arrangement, so every stem got water.
39 Mickayla and Hayden liked the salmon colored tulips for their arrangements.
40 Harper, who is eight, made an arrangement for her mom, our supervising production designer, Anduin Havens.
41 While Sam shoots the program, I am able to answer questions LIVE on air - we get so many inquiries during these shows, and I love them.
42 Someone asked me about the deer, and I feel the best repellent is a fence. The second best repellent is a dog and then a husband who will scare the deer away from the flower beds. Unfortunately deer love, love, love those tulips.
43 Kevin's arrngement was so beautiful. He is the son of Martin Mendoza in our office services department.
44 Another viewer asked what color combinations I liked best - I like so many, but a few include orange and black, and white, yellow and mauve together.
45 I think the children learned a great deal about caring for tulips. And, we all had a lot of fun. I joked with Khaylynn, with the baseball cap - she did not want to eat asparagus today during lunch. I was hoping I could get her to eat one stalk before the end of the afternoon.
46 Just one asparagus before the cookies...
47 Here is another beautiful specimen - a purple tulip with white around its edges.
48 In my garden, there are still lots of tulips to open. After plants are finished flowering in spring, cut back flower stalks but allow the leaves to die back naturally.
49 Our finished tulipieres