In a better world, all flowers would fall gracefully into jam jars and display themselves with effortless perfection. Alas, I have found that some of my favorite (read: cheap and plentiful) flowers don't make things so easy. Take marigolds, the only thing blooming in my vegetable garden now. I have never quite figured out how to bring them into the house--the stems are only a couple of inches long, and they have so many lateral branches that stuffing them down in a vase or jar truly does not look good.
Enter floral oasis. It's a lightweight, strangely dissolving green brick thing in the floral/wedding section of the discount store, and it costs about a dollar. For this morning's marigolds (see above), I took a kitchen knife and cut off a big cube of it, dropped it in my bowl and ran some water over it, then took literally thirty seconds to stick the ends of the marigold stems in, where they are held both gracefully *and* in water. So nice.
Oasis is wonderful for flowers that have some bushiness in the leaves to provide cover, and for flowers that otherwise would unyieldingly stand stiffly upright in a jar. I may never learn to use the mysterious nonsticky green florist's tape or the fiddly wires, but I will happily depend on oasis.