Keeping It Fresh: Help Your Cut Flowers Last Longer

To keep your fresh cut flowers looking vibrant as long as possible, here are a few tips.  Before venturing out to a cutting garden, have a pair of clean, sharp hand pruners in hand, a bucket filled with tepid water with a conditioning agent (flower powder or a nutrient-rich hydrator*), and gardening gloves.

  • Ideally, select flowers about to blossom or early in their bloom.
  • Cut the stem on a diagonal to increase the surface area absorbing water and low enough to adjust the height later.
  • Immediately place into your bucket!

If you’ve been given fresh flowers or purchased them from the farmers market, follow these next steps to arrange your flowers:

  • Choose a vase. Dark glass or ceramic is best to shield the stems from sunlight which increases the rate of decay.
  • Fill the vase with clean water*
  • Remove all stem foliage that will fall below the water line.
  • The white part of tulip and hyacinth stems should be removed because they will not absorb water.
  • Soft-stemmed flowers can benefit from a hot-water dip. Poppies are best enjoyed unpicked, but if you must, the stems need to be cauterized to seal in the sap.  You can achieve this by immersing the bottom of the stems in boiled water for 20 seconds or hold them over a candle or lighter flame until the ends are sealed.
  • Remove a few of the outer petals from roses to encourage the blossom to fully open.
  • Woody stems should be scored or smashed to allow for better water absorption.
  • Place your arrangement in a cool location away from direct sunlight.
  • Refresh the water daily and trim the stems at a diagonal.
  • Enjoy!

*DIY recipe1 qt water, 1 tsp bleach (the bleach helps kill any bacteria growing in the vase and serves the same purpose as adding a penny, since the copper acts as a fungicide)  1 tsp vinegar, and 1 Tbs sugar (some use a bit of clear sugary soda such as Sprite and this works well too!)

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IRS Guidelines for Gifts from Donor Advised Funds to Support MAGC Events

Thank you for your interest in giving to the Marin Art & Garden Center events from your Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or Family Foundation.

We sincerely appreciate your generosity and support!

To ensure your gift follows the current IRS guidelines for DAF/Family Foundation support of an event, we would like to share the below guidelines with you.

  • Raffle tickets, tickets to galas and other special events, auction items, and benefits conferred in connection with a DAF/foundation grant are not permitted.
    • IRS has specifically ruled that fair market value associated with fundraising events cannot be separated, a practice known as “bifurcation.”
      • For example, with Edible Garden, if the price of the ticket is $200 and the FMV fair market value (non-tax-deductible amount) is designated to be $50, the donor must pay from sources other than her DAF/foundation for the full value of the ticket ($200) and not just for the non-tax-deductible amount ($50).
    • We recommend you confer with your financial advisor to confirm if any of these examples of how donors may still use their DAF to support an event would work for you:
      • A donor could sponsor the event, and not attend, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event using DAF/foundation funds and attend by purchasing an individual ticket through non-DAF/foundation funds.
      • A donor could sponsor the event, join the event as a guest of another donor/table guest, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event and host the afforded number of people at their chosen level as long as they pay for the seats at the lowest ticket price ($200 for Edible Garden) outside of their DAF.
        • As an example, a $1,500 sponsor that covers 2 guests, could pay for their sponsorship with $400 from a different source of funds, and then give an additional gift of $1,100 out of their DAF.


Please email Tod Thorpe, Director of Development at to discuss your gift to Marin Art and Garden Center