What Shall We Do Now? 291
touch the water. Keep the flowers in water until you are ready to pack them. Tin boxes are best to send flowers away in ; but generally one has to use cardboard ones. Choose the strongest you can find and line it with two sheets of paper, one across and one long ways, and each long enough to fold over when it is full. Then line again with some big cool leaves or moss. Dry the flowers and pack them as tightly as possible, taking great care not to crush the petals. Cover them with a few more leaves and fold the paper over. Then wrap up the box, remembering to write the address on a label tied at one end of the box, so that the postmark will not be stamped on the box itself and perhaps break it.
When you are picking flowers to send away, never pick old ones. Buds are best generally, especially in the case of poppies ; but they should be buds just on the point of opening. Always use scissors to cut flowers with. A very slight tug at a little plant in dry weather pulls its roots out of the ground. Cut the flowers with long stems and with some of their green leaves, and at the top of the box that you are sending away it is pleasant always to put something which smells very sweetly—lemon, verbena, old man, or mignonette—for that first sweet scent is one of the very best things about receiving a present of this kind.
When flowers are sent to you, each stem should be cut with a slanting cut before you put it in water. Flowers with very thick or milky stems should be slit up about half an inch, and woody stems are best peeled for an inch or two. Put the flowers deep into water that has had the chill taken off it. Always put flowers in water as quickly as possible after they are picked. Change the water every day, and recut the stems if they look at all brown or dry.
The reception of