Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Endangered flower species

What follows is a sampling of endangered plants recently collected by garden botanists:

Moraea neopavonia is a south African wildflower threatened by wheat farming.

Barringtonia butonica is a member of the Brazil nut family from Madagascar.

Blossoms of the Madagascar Symphonia nectarifera tree.

Iliamna remota found only in virginia Indiana.

Symbolanthus pulcherrimus, a member of the gentian family native to Central America.

Gloxinia dodsonii was discored in Ecuador by Cal Dodson.

Lindmania holstii was named for Bruce Holst, who found it on a mesa in Venezuela.

Minquartia guianensis is a tree used throughout the Amazon region because it resists rot. Medicine men use it's bark to fight intestinal parasites, bronchial disorders, and tuberculosis.

In any temperate forest, such as a grove of oaks and hickories in Missouri, you find numerous trees but only a few species.

Metasequoia, or dawn redwood, long thought extinct until a forester in the 1940s found some growing near a mountain village in China.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Banana skins and roses

Banana skins can do wonders for the health of your roses if they are dug in around the roots just below the surface with the inside of the peel facing down. Banana skins are packed with phosphates, sodium, magnesium, silica, potassium, sulphur and calcium.

Many rose-lovers swear that meat fat buried around the roots will also yield stunning blooms.

The scent and health of roses is thought to be improved by planting parsley nearby.

Foolproof Guide to Growing Roses

Monday, July 27, 2009

The origins of some flowers.

Acer also known as maple: Acer is Latin for sharp. Romans used the tree to make arrows.

Aquilegia: From Latin aquila for eagle. So called because of its wing-shaped petals.

Buddleja: Named after the seventeeth-century english botanis Adam Buddle.

Campanula: From Latin campano for bell. Flowers are bell-shaped.

Forsythia: After the eighteeth-century Scottish gardener and writer William Forsyth.

Fuchsia: After the sixteeth-century German botanist and herbalist Leonard Fuchs.

Orchid: From the Greek orchis for testicle. Bulbs of many species are shaped like testicles.

Philodendron: From the Greek phileo for I love, and dendron for tree.

Phlox: From the Greek word for flame. Brightly colored flowers.

Raphanus or radish: From the Greek ra for quick, and phainoma for to appear. Fast-growing vegetable.

Sedum: From the Latin sedere, to sit. Low-lying plant.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Assorted Gerbers -

The Language of Flowers

Author: Ing @ Bunches Florapost

Ever wondered why we give flowers as gifts? Or why different flowers symbolise different things? Well, the act of giving flowers dates back to prehistoric times and evidence of flowers having symbolic meanings can be found in Egyptian inscriptions and Chinese writings, as well a Greek and Roman Mythology. The fascinating history behind the language of flowers has developed over hundreds of years.
During the Middle Ages harsh restraints were placed on courtships and this led to the exchange of flowers to grow amongst couples, as the flowers they gave symbolised different messages, allowing couples to express themselves secretly without others seeing or hearing.
Flower meanings progressed through the 1600’s and became so refined that even military messages could be sent in a harmless gift of flowers. As time went on, the context in which flowers were given also began to have meaning. For example flowers handed over in the right hand would mean “yes” to a question, just as flowers handed over in the left hand would mean “no”.
By the Victorian era, great emphasis was placed on flowers and what they represented. Flowers were used to decorate almost everything from hair and clothing to jewellery and people’s homes. However, the same flower found in a different position could have a completely different meaning.
For example wearing a Marigold in the hair expressed mental anguish, while the same flower pinned to the bosom conveyed indifference.
Flowers had taken on so many different meanings and definitions that 1818 saw the very first flower dictionary published by Charlotte de la Tour call Le Language des Fleurs. The handbook was extremely popular and included over 1000 different meanings of flowers, plants and herbs.
By the 19th Century posies and bouquets carried so much meaning as each flower, colour and number held such symbolism. Giving a bouquet then was the equivalent of sending a text message on your mobile phone today!
Flowers and plants still carry different meanings and are used to represent and symbolise many things from cultures and nationalities to emotions and the marking of occasions. For example the red rose has multiple meanings. It is one of England’s national emblems, found on England rugby shirts and sometimes on the England flag.
The story of the red rose representing England dates back to the 15th Century when the War of the Roses took place from 1455-1487. The House of York adopted a white Rose, the House of Lancaster decided to take a red rose. The winner of this war, Tudor Henry VII, merged his Lancastrian Rose with the red Rose of his York bride and therefore created the Tudor Rose, the Rose of England. The red rose is also known worldwide as the symbol of love and romance and is traditionally sent on St. Valentine’s Day. The Language of Flowers is largely forgotten today and not as widely in bouquet choices as it once was. The tradition of communicating through flowers can add an element of fun to the flowers you buy as gifts - that is why we are bringing it back!

About the Author:

IT & Web Assistant @

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Gerbera Daisy Vase -

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How Do Florists Create Flower Arrangements?

Many people who are unfamiliar with the art of floristry simply believe that a florist does nothing more than jam a bunch of flowers into a pretty vase and then mark up the price to make a living, this could not be further from the truth. Florists must have excellent coordination, a keen eye for design and a good working knowledge of the plants that they use in order to be even the least bit successful.
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A steady Hand and a keen Eye

A good florist knows how to select the healthiest and heartiest forms of the plant they will use in a particular arrangement. They know how to cut and handle each individual flower (or any other piece of foliage that they are using) so that none of the pieces of the arrangement get damaged during the creative process. A broken and bruised flower has no place in a beautiful arrangement, so the utmost care is taken throughout the entire process to ensure that all the flowers remain healthy.

Knowledge of Color and Design

When creating a custom arrangement, a florist must know what colors will work together in the arrangement as well as what will work in particular surroundings. They must also be aware of textures and smell that will work together in a pleasing manner to make the most overall aesthetically appealing arrangement.

Some florists are capable of this entire part of the process by natural instinct, they can just tell what types of plants and flowers will work together and which will not. Other florists will study art and design in an effort to give them a creative edge in this area to produce the best flower arrangements possible.

Theme Arrangements

Creating beautiful flowers isn't just a seasonal thing; all types of occasions and holiday require the florist to put forth their effort in developing new and exciting arrangements. Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, births, deaths and holidays are all occasions that flower arrangements can be provided for.

During some of these more special or thoughtful occasions, florists may go to an extra level to create a particularly beautiful piece. Some florists will create arrangements using a customers favorite flower as the centerpiece upon request - in these arrangements a florist may have to use materials that they are not entirely familiar working with so the creative part of their personality must really come into play.
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For other occasions the florist may create an arrangement that looks floral, but doesn't include any flowers. Arrangements may be made from food products or other unusual items to create a truly original and custom arrangement.

For other occasions a florist may be called upon to create floral wreaths, corsages or boutonnieres, which can be even more difficult because these arrangements don't have anything in which to house or contain them.

Floristry is certainly not something that just anyone can do, the how of making a flower arrangement is a difficult task that requires many elements and areas of knowledge to complete as beautifully and perfectly as possible for a special occasion. Flower arrangements are the centerpieces of such forever memorable occasions as weddings and proms and gifts that the memory of will be cherished for years to come.
Large Flower Basket -

Flower arrangements can alter the whole mood of an event; a truly beautiful arrangement can be the icing on the cake, so to speak. It's true that anyone can easily pick some flowers and plop them in a vase, but only a well trained and ultra creative florist can create an arrangement that will not only steal the show, but last through it as well.
Author Resource:- Toronto flowers local shop offering arrangements for all occasions, including; anniversary, birthday and wedding flowers. Learn more about us at: Florists Toronto.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Orchids How To Keep Them Alive

My mother has a new hobby. She recently became interested in orchid care and, being the curious sort of person that I am, I was interested to learn what makes them 'special'. What makes them a plant apart from the normal houseplants grown at home and why do they appear to be a challenge to the green-fingered?
Goldstar Orchids -

My mum has green fingers and she has always been able to look after plants, both indoors and out. It was no surprise when, having been given her first orchid as a present, she got 'hooked' on how to look after them. I have 'brown fingers' not green ones, so I'm full of admiration of anybody that can keep houseplants alive for more than one season.

I did a bit of research after talking with mum and here are some tips for orchid care:

Orchids How To 1: Natural Habitat

Before you buy an orchid, make sure you can recreate the conditions the plant requires in its natural environment. There are all sorts of varieties, some are hardier than others to care for so look at the label to check.

Orchids How To 2: Water Them Carefully

If you watering them about every 4 - 7 days that should be enough, but it does depend on the season. To check if the plant needs water, push a wooden stick or pencil into the medium, if it comes out darker then the plant probably does not need watering. Orchids can require different amounts of water at different times of the year, so keep checking!

Orchids How To 3: How to Feed

Orchids tend to benefit from a specialist orchid fertilizer that is fed as a weak solution and applied once a week. To do this, use only half the amount mentioned on the packet. The type of fertilizer will depend on what your orchid is growing in, so it is wise to check that first.

Orchids How To 4: Time to Repot

Whether you like it or not, sooner or later, the orchid is going to need repotting. Take the old mix out of the pot, being careful not to damage the roots. Wash the roots and trim off any hollow or mushy ones, as they are considered dead. carefully place the plant into a new pot, orchids appear to like being root-bound, so there should only be about 1" between the roots and the edge of the pot. Add the new mix/medium to the pot and tap the sides to make sure it settles properly. Press gently to settle the plant but not too hard because roots may break. Use a stick to support the plant in the pot so it is secure. If your plant is growing in sphagnum moss, make sure it is damp before wrapping it round the roots and repotting, that way you don't have to worry about pockets of air. After repotting the plant should not be watered for 3 - 5 days to allow it to recover.

Orchids How To 5: When it Has Flowered

Find out whether your orchid flowers only once from the flower spike or whether it will flower repeatedly from the same spike. When the plant has finished flowering the spike needs to be removed at the base with a sharp instrument to lessen damage to the plant itself. If you aren't sure, don't cut it off!

Orchids How To 6: Orchid Care

A very important part of orchid care is looking out for various fungi or parasites. Isolate any plant that has a problem, check it out, find the remedy and start treating as soon as possible.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Philippines’ Favorite Flowers

In the Philippines, the month of May is about two things – feasts and flowers. All over the country, different places celebrate different kinds of festivals but one event is held everywhere – the Santacruzan procession which is held any time in May.
Philippines - Culture Smart!

This festival celebrates the Virgin Mary and young girls who are dressed in white cover the statues of the Virgin with flowers. The whole of the Philippines celebrates Flores de Mayo in honor of the Virgin Mary.

The Kadayawan festival of Davao is usually held on the third week of August. This is mainly a harvest celebration where people dance in merriment for a bountiful harvest of orchids, fruits and flowers. The parade of floats is the main event in the festival.

High in the Cordillera mountain ranges, another flower festival is also held during the start of February. It is a month long celebration for the blossoming of flowers and this festival is aptly named as Panagbenga, an Ilocano term.

Everywhere in the Philippines, the beauty of flowers is highly appreciated – and it’s no wonder why there are so many flower festivals in the country. In a place where hospitality reigns supreme, the atmosphere is of beauty and warmth. Here, sending someone flowers means a lot of things, and it will surely be gratefully received. But before you contact a florist to send flowers to your loved ones in the Philippines, take some time to know about the different favorites of Filipinos. Here are some of them:

1. Ylang Ylang got its name from the Tagalog term for “rare”. It is famous for its fragrant scent which remains unmatched up to this time. Its oils are now used for aromatherapy and are believed to relieve high blood pressure and can normalize sebum secretion for those who have skin problems. The ylang ylang tree is a native of the Philippines and is known to grow in slightly acidic soil. Its flowers are yellow green in color and are shaped like a star fish.

2. Sampaguita is a native of tropical Asia and is the Philippines’ native flower. It’s very petite and is usually made into garlands which are used to welcome dignitaries and honorary symbols. These garlands are sometimes sold in the streets of Manila to adorn vehicles. The flower also has medicinal value and is used as lactifuge, sedative, anaesthetic, and vulnerary.

3. Waling Waling is a rare orchid found in the island of Mindanao, particularly in the foothills of Mount Apo, the tallest mountain in the country. It blossoms seasonally for a two week period, most common during the months of July to December. It is regarded as the “Queen of Philippine Orchids” and is considered as the best orchid variety because of it stunning colors. Because of its captivating traits, it almost became extinct, but was prevented thanks to tissue culture.

4. Dama de Noche is famous for its unusual biorhythm which has become a subject for different myths and legends in the country. Its flowers bloom at night and emit a sweet scent. Unknown to many, Dama de Noche is a native of tropical America.

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