The surprising story of secateurs

Why florist’s scissors are the perfect tool for flower arranging and more.

The doorbell rings. Greeted with a smile, you take your flowers, unpack them, spy the flower card, spread out your stems and, most likely, reach for the requisite tool of any florist, gardener, vintner or flower fan –

Secateurs.

The most important flower arranging tool you’ve never thought of, yet its history is more surprising than you think! So for all of the gardening scissors, hand pruners, pruning shears and florist cutters out there, this is an ode to your shear beauty.

They’re an extension of your hand, you literally see the personal touch.”

– Teresa Collennette; curator of ‘The Secret Life of Scissors

Let’s cut to it – secateurs (noun) derives from the French word sécateur, the etymology of which, comes from the Latin ‘secare’, to cut. Pretty fitting for a pair of pruners!

Whether you need to snip, style, prune, cut or trim your flowers, it’s hard to imagine arranging them or doing the gardening without the help of these curved cutters. Their invention, however, came from unexpected beginnings.

Cutting edge design

Back in the 19th Century, French aristocrat Marquis Bertrand de Molleville (1744-1818) fled to England having narrowly escaped the guillotine (unlike Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette) during the tumult of The French Revolution.

The Marquis, they say, took inspiration from the angled blade of the guillotine as he developed secateurs as a hobby. He originally designed them for vigneron’s who pruned grape vines. Anything for wine!

Centuries old spring scissors

The invention of scissors, though, goes back further in history – three to four thousand years back, in Mesopotamia (modern day Middle East).

‘Spring scissors’ are two sharp blades forged together with a curved strip of bronze. The blades were pressed together and manually pulled apart. The early spring scissors were used right up until the 16th Century, when scissors were invented on a pivot.

Flower care

Secateurs are ingenious. They really are cutting edge. Designed for precision, the blades are the perfect tool to cut everything, from the woodiest branches to the softest stems in your bouquet. The curved, ultra-sharp top blade against the anvil makes slicing through tough stems like cutting through butter. Simple, sharp, clean.

And a clean cut for flowers stems is vital! Flowers draw up nutrients through their stems (think: drinking straw). In order to bloom, that ‘straw’ needs to absorb water and flower food from your vase without obstruction. Secateurs give a clean cut without crushing or damaging the stem (unlike a blunt or serrated knife) to allow the flowers in your vase to happily slurp up all the nutrients so you can enjoy a long, happy bloom.

Sharpest tool in the shed

Just like flowers need love and care, so do secateurs! Keep your cutters clean with one simple tip. Wash them after every use to stop them getting sticky and clogged with sap – use a weak solution of soap and bleach and towel dry after. Easy peasy.

AVAILABLE TO ORDER: bloomon secateurs

We’ve launched a Style Kit! Be the first to get your hands on a stylish pair of bloomon secateurs. Snip your stems and arrange them like a pro. Simply add the Style Kit as an extra to your next delivery!

Order Style Kit

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