Flower Blog Archive - January 2006
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Can't wait until spring? Start an indoor garden
You can still garden on a scale that's comfortable for whatever interior space is yours.
Here are some indoor gardening projects - some geared specifically for families - from North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the American Association of Nurserymen:
Create a windowsill garden. All you need is a sunny spot and a few containers of soil. Herbs thrive in sun-filled windowsills; you'll find small pots of herbs at local garden centers. Pre-potted bulbs like crocus and daffodils from garden centers also look pretty and perky on a gray winter day.
Pick a peculiar plant. Turn your children on to gardening by helping them pick out a peculiar plant, like an insect-eating Venus flytrap. You'll find them at garden centers, sometimes even in the floral sections of grocery stores. After you buy the plant, help your child research the plant, using your local library or the Internet. Read more....
Avoiding the "Groundhog Day" Movie in Your Flower Garden
This Thursday is Groundhog Day, so it's a good time to reflect on not only the holiday itself and the "Groundhog Day" movie, but also on groundhog (Marmota monax) control.
If you live in an area inhabited by groundhogs (or similar pests), the need for groundhog control is often associated only with vegetable gardens, but groundhogs have a wide-ranging diet and will also eat your flowering plants! So let's look into ways to protect your precious flowers from marauding groundhogs!
In my 5-page article on Groundhog Day and the Groundhog Day Movie, I begin by discussing options for groundhog control. But I work in some reflections on the "Groundhog Day" movie, because it just happens to be my favorite movie of all time! The movie has become inextricably intertwined with the Groundhog Day holiday itself, for many, including myself.
In the latter part of the article, my focus is on Groundhog Day: especially the history of the holiday and its psychological significance? "What?" you ask. "Psychological significance?" Okay, call me strange. But far from regarding Groundhog Day as a minor holiday, I look forward to it with great anticipation. For me, regardless of what Punxsutawney Phil predicts, Groundhog Day is an important signpost on the way to spring, as I argue on Page 5 of my article....
Why Does the Bride Carry Flowers?
During even earlier times of "primitive marriage," when the fear of demons was most prevalent, the brides carried stinking garlands of herbs and spices for the purpose of frightening off evil spirits. Today, brides carry flowers in the color scheme of their wedding, bringing beauty and elegance as well as old world customs to their special day.
Landscaping With Flowers
There is a long-standing tradition of matching up rose colors with their intended meanings as gifts. I have laid out these matches in my article on rose color meanings. By adhering to this time-honored formula, you insure that your rose gift will have its intended impact on the recipient.
Firewitch is the Perennial Plant of the Year
Firewitch is known botanically as Dianthus gratianopolitanus. The name Dianthus originates from the Greek "dios and anthos," meaning the divine flower. It refers to the flower of a god, an indication of the esteem in which this flower always has been held. The common name associated with this dianthus is cheddar pink.
The origin of the term "pink" or "pinks" likely is from the Dutch Pinkster or the German Pfingsten for Pentecost, the time of year in which the plants bloom. Cheddar pinks are named for Cheddar Gorge in southwest England, one of the locations where they grow wild. Firewitch, hardy in zones 3-9, is a low-growing, mat-forming plant with narrow, bluish-gray foliage that remains evergreen. The foliage reaches 3 to 4 inches tall and forms a mature clump 6 to 12 inches wide. Brilliant purplish-pink flowers reach 6 to 8 inches high and cover the plant at bloom time.
The flower color has been variously described as hot pink or purple red or magenta, and the color combination of the foliage and flowers is striking at peak bloom in early spring. If that weren't enough, the air becomes perfumed with a spicy, clove-like fragrance from the flowers. Firewitch is tops in offering a rebloom throughout the season. The cheddar pink is an evergreen perennial performing best in full sun in well-drained soils. The landscape possibilities are vast. It is excellent as a border edger, as a rock garden plant, planted in wall crevices, or as a ground cover on a sunny slope. It is at home in the herb garden, a formal border or a cottage garden. Know more about firewitch.
Science meets art in flower radiographs
But an exhibit of lily and other flower radiographs on display in the penthouse of the Rosenstiel Basic Medical Science Research Center through Feb. 24, 2006, reveals another side of these plants: a stunningly ethereal beauty captured by a technology used to detect breast cancer. Read the original article.
Flowers & Foliages - Scented !
Floral scents are one of the most popular smells, and the perfume industry expends a great deal of effort trying to reproduce the authentic fragrance of fresh flowers. It has also been discovered that certain fragrances can have an effect on our emotions and wellbeing. The scent of orange blossom or lavender can act as a sedative, while citrus smells are great pick-me-ups.
To cultivate cut flowers that have consistent quality, long vase life, good colour, disease resistance, and the strength to grow profusely, some of the scent genes are bred out in the process. It is a side-effect of the molecular structure of flowers. Because of this, growers and geneticists have recently started breeding more perfume back into cut flowers again. Flowers and foliage are also beginning to be graded with a scent scale, like a bottle of wine, based on strength of perfume and the type of scent - sweet, spicy, woody, exotic and so forth.
In general, white and pale flowers are particularly strongly scented, eg oriental lilies, tuberose, tazetta narcissi. Freesia are an exception to this - darker red and pink varieties have the strongest scent.
Let your Flower Boquet Live Long!!
1. When the flowers arrive, cut their stems slant-wise, this allows the flowers to drink properly.
2. Cut stems under water that is fresh, clean, and warm. Add floral preservative.
3. Transfer cut flowers to a vase or container filled with water. Remove all foliage that will be below the water line.
4. Place arranged flowers in a cool location, especially at night. Keep away from heat sources, drafts, and air conditioners.
5. Re-cut the stems and change the water every 2-3 days.
Market Analysis of Fresh and Cut Flowers in China
The market for fresh flowers in China is growing rapidly as increased personal incomes allow more and more consumers to purchase fresh flowers as a gift or treat. Additionally, the government is encouraging gardening as an activity as part of Chinaâs âgreeningâ campaign in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to compliment the new parks, green spaces and flower baskets cities are installing.
This growth is occurring at a time when Chinaâs logistics and transportation system is improving to a level that makes moving flowers around the country from the rural areas to the cities, which are the main markets, far easier than previously. Reflecting the two trends above most of Chinaâs major cities have seen both new flower markets as well as burgeoning chains of florists in recent years. Additionally all cities have clusters of flower sellers such as those found around the Shanghai Flower market between Shaanxi Lu and Maoming Nan Lu in Shanghai where many florists stay open until 20:00 hours or later at night.
Additionally, people are using flowers to decorate their homes as part of the general improvement of homes in China as people purchase their properties. Finally, the growth of flower giving at events such as Spring Festival and newer imported traditions such as Christmas, Motherâs Day and Valentineâs Day are boosting the market. Finally, there is a growing internal and export market for sub-tropical plants from Chinaâs southern provinces.
China is also a major producer of flowers. Currently, China has the greatest amount of land area in the world devoted to the growing of flowers and plants -a third of the world's total flower producing area. However, cultivation is highly inefficient and China only accounts for 0.5% of the world's total production while in contrast the Netherlands makes up only 10% of the world's total, while the country's export volume accounts for 70%.
Increasing the value of cut flowers and foliage
Helping Flowers Fight Soil-Dwelling Foes
In fields where blooms will be produced for the cut-flower market, growers typically apply methyl bromide plus chloropicrin, a combination that zaps soilborne pathogens and weed seeds. Methyl bromide is being phased out, however, because of indications that it depletes Earth's ozone layer. The layer shields us--and other living things--from harmful doses of ultraviolet radiation.
To help growers of cut flowers cope with the impending loss of this widely used fumigant, ARS scientists in California and their university colleagues are working with flower growers to test an array of promising alternatives. The California Cut Flower Commission, based in Watsonville, is helping coordinate the research. Propargyl bromide is among the chemicals that might be used in place of methyl bromide.
Perfect for summer parties and weddings, lisianthus is available in a wide range of colours which will inject the season's sense of fun and relaxation into any event.
The official name for lisianthus is Eustoma (pronounced YOU-stow- ma) russelianum. The flower originates from the American states of Nebraska and Colorado. Its name literally means 'a good mouth' or less literally 'a pretty face', hence its natural affiliation to romance and weddings. Learn more ideas on how to use lisianthus.
Orchids are Jewels of the Garden
To attract pollinators, the flower is often designed in such a way that it mimics the scent or looks like another insect. The critters are tricked into landing on the flower, and then "the insect is fooled into a pseudo-copulation until it realizes, 'Oh, you're not a bug' and flies away," says Van Cleef.
While insects have certainly contributed to the growth of the 25,000 known species, it's the combination of man's experimentation and the orchid's breeding capabilities that have led to the 100,000 man-made hybrids. Most plants aren't able to hybridize among the same genera, but evidently the orchid is far luckier when it comes to getting its lovin' on. Read more on Orchids.
Flowers as Medicine
Imagine instead of simply placing such a bouquet in a vase of water until its treasure wilts a dies, we envision another purpose such as using organic red rose petals as a tea with honey for someone experiencing sadness or depression, violet flower and honey tea for one who feels tense and irritated or has a cough or sore throat, calendula flower tea for a woman experiencing premenstrual discomfort or a tea of fresh or dried marigold flowers to treat symptoms of a colds, coughs or diarrhea, branches of flower decked honeysuckle vines taken as a tea for influenza, arthritis or rheumatic complaints. Could this be yet another of the profound gifts to ease our sometimes troubled path from the Great Spirit's natural bounty? Throughout Central and South America native people have an ancient healing custom that imparts a whole new dimension to the meaning of a bouquet of flowers. Imagine, if you will, picking or even purchasing a special bouquet of flowers whose assortment represents not only aesthetic beauty but a variety of physical healing benefits as well. Instead of presenting these to your loved one merely to be exhibited in a vase of water, offer them as a personally administered flower bath given with special words of praise, blessing and prayers...Learn more about the flowers used as medicine.
Get Your New Year Garden Resolutions Right
1. Take a class.
2. Join a local garden club or plant society.
3. Visit your local library and bookstore for beautiful gardening books filled with photographs and diagrams.
4. Get information from Journals about seed packs and clipped articles from garden magazine that just kept growing larger all last spring through fall.
5. Take photos.
6. Plan. Get out a pencil and paper and start sketching ideas for a new front border, additional flower beds or a water feature.
7. Get organized. Just as your basement, closets and attic could use a spring cleaning, your garden shed could use the same.
8. Share. Make it a point to introduce at least one other person to gardening this year.
9. Bring the garden indoors and the comforts of the indoors out.
10. Expand your garden interests. Go outside your comfort zone and widen your garden universe this year. If you always plant edibles, add some flowers. If you only do flowers, add in some edibles...
Read the detailed article by Kathy.
How to Grow Zinnias?
Zinnias propagate through seeds. Seeds can be sown directly in the ground and it will germinate in one to two weeks. To encourage quick growth and best performance, enrich the soil with compost and transplant in ground 30cm apart according to variety or in pots.
Zinnias are sensitive to root disturbance, so be especially careful when transplanting. If the taproot is disturbed, the double flowers may revert to single forms. The plants may also self-seed in the garden and some varieties are available from nurseries. Successive sowing every couple of weeks beginning from April through early July will ensure continuous flowering till winter. Most zinnias will bloom around three months to bloom from seed.
If growth is slow or leaves look pale green, fertilize with a soluble or controlled release fertilizer. Pinch young plants when they are 4-6inches high to promote compact, bushy growth. Good air circulation helps prevent onset of fungal leaf diseases. Deadhead spent flowers weekly if possible to promote additional bloom and maintain plant appearance.
Marigolds sometimes take a short break from blooming in the heat of summer. They will come back strong in the fall if you fertilize in mid-summer with the same fertilizer used in spring. Sprinkle the fertilizer onto the soil between the plants and water well.
Do not switch to a high nitrogen fertilizer because too much nitrogen makes marigolds big and leafy with only a few blooms. When growing marigolds in containers, fertilize them monthly by sprinkling a teaspoon of fertilizer per plant atop the soil in the pots and watering well. Also, pinch off faded blooms before they have a chance to form seeds. This will help plants stay fresh and continue blooming.
The Beloved Christmas Art of Charles Wysocki Featured on Christmas Bouquets
After majoring in design and advertising illustration at the Art Center in Los Angeles, Wysocki formed the highly successful advertising agency âGroup Westâ with three other artists.
Then something happened that completely changed his life â he met his future wife, Elizabeth, whose parents lived on a farm in the picturesque San Fernando Valley. Smitten by the simplicity of farm life, Wysockiâs genius for primitive art began to blossom.
After a one-man show at which he sold every painting, he decided to leave commercial art and focus on his Americana art, resulting in a long and successful career.
Wysocki painted up to his death at the age of 73 on July 29, 2002.
Purchasing Flowers and Gifts From FTD Will Assist Children's Miracle Network Fundraising Efforts
FTD.COM has created unique online floral boutiques for each individual Children's Miracle Network hospital. Consumers can purchase products at their preferred Children's Miracle Network hospital FTD.COM site and 15 percent of the merchandise proceeds will be donated to the hospital. For a list of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and customized FTD.COM web site addresses, go to http://www.cmn.org/ftd.php
Another bouquet for a talented florist
Ms Barton, a second-year apprentice, took first place in the awards last month, cementing her reputation as one of the best young florists in Victoria.
She made five items for the competition, including a hand-tied linear bouquet, a wreath with a focal, a fully wired crescent bouquet, a posy in a holder and a corporate design.
Her marks from the judges were consistent through all five items and she will now go on to represent Victoria at the national finals in May at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.
Forget the Latest Gizmos, Most Women, and More Than Half of All Men Say They Like to Receive Flowers During the Holidays
According to the results of the survey, 71 percent of U.S. adults like to receive flowers during the holiday season. Interestingly, more than half of all men (56%) and not surprisingly, women (85%) say they like to receive them. Nearly three in ten (29%) said they are planning on giving flowers this holiday season, with spouses or significant others (13%) emerging as the number one recipients, followed by family (13%) and friends (8%).
Also not surprisingly, it was men, chronically last minute gift givers, who plan on doing the most flower sending. Men are more likely than women to give flowers this holiday season (35% men vs. 23% women) and these flowers will most likely be for their spouse or significant other (24% men vs. 3% women).
America's top five favorite flowers to receive during the holiday season, according to the Teleflora/Harris survey, are, in order of preference, Poinsettias (38%), Roses (35%), Carnations (18%), Orchids (13%) and Lilies (13%).
Proflowers Uses WebSideStory's HitBox Commerce
Stocks Finish 2005 Lower
1-800-FLOWERS.COM(R) to Design One-of-a-Kind Teddy Bears for Online Auction to Benefit SAVE THE CHILDREN
CARLE PLACE, N.Y., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/-- Top names from the worlds of film, fashion and sports have taken on a new role this holiday season -- that of "teddy bear stylist" -- to help 1-800-FLOWERS.COM raise funds for international children's charity Save the Children. Each of the participating stars created and autographed designs that were used to exquisitely attire the one-of-a-kind 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Lotsa Love(TM) bear. The celeb-styled bears will be auctioned online beginning January 5th to raise funds for this leading children's charity.
Pre-chilling and Forcing Bulbs
However, people who live in very mild winter regions must select their bulbs very carefully. Daffodils should be planted in December or January (the coldest time of the year), but other hardy bulbs, such as tulips, crocuses, and hyacinths, may require special treatment in mild-winter areas. Gardeners in these regions of the country should select from among the many varieties that are rated best in warm spring and summer conditions.
Many tulips will grow well as annuals in the South if the bulbs are prechilled. Other good bulbs for warm climates include crocuses, hyacinths, lilies, muscari (grape hyacinth), colchicum (autumn crocus), and alliums (ornamental onions).
The easiest way to prechill bulbs is to store them in the refrigerator, where temperatures can be easily maintained at 40 to 45 degrees F. Store them in breathable mesh bags, like the ones they are often sold in at garden centers. Then, when they have chilled for the requisite number of weeks, simply remove the bulbs from the refrigerator and plant them either outdoors in the ground or in containers.
If you have enough space in the refrigerator, you can even plant bulbs right in their containers and remove the whole pot at the end of the chilling period. Either way, place containers of bulbs that you're forcing into a warm, sunny spot and then sit back and wait for the bulbs to send up their green leaves. After their blooming period is over, you can continue to water the pots, letting the foliage die down naturally, then replant the whole mass of bulbs in the outdoor garden.
The most popular bulb for winter forcing is undoubtedly the paperwhite narcissus, which requires no period of prechilling before it will blossom. However, you can also add variety and color to your winter or early spring displays by prechilling many other types of bulbs, then forcing them in containers for indoor bloom.
All the flowers we buy from florists are pesticide and insecticide-sprayed. Now that we have some florists coming into the marked with a promise of flowers free from such harmful chemicals.
Organic Bouquet is one such florist. Let's try out.
Online Magazine Exclusively on Roses!!
The magazine is holistic with all the relevant articles on roses. You can access it through this link.
Paper White Narcissus!!
Now researchers at Cornell University have found a way to keep paper whites within bounds. They forced the bulbs in pots filled with gravel and a 4- to 6-percent alcohol solution, made by mixing 7 parts water with 1 part 80-proof alcohol, such as gin, vodka, tequila, or rum (not beer or wine). It doesnât matter which type of liquor you use, as long as the concentration of alcohol is the same. Continue adding this solution as needed while the bulbs grow.
The result is a perfectly normal narcissus plant and flower that grows only 1/3 to1/2 the normal height. The flowers are just as large and long lasting. Know more about the flower bulb research programme at the Cornell University.
No Threat to Flower Exporters
From December 2007, duty-free non-reciprocal export preferences to Europe for countries classified as developing will be removed and duty paid on imports exposing such imports to stiff competition.
While Kenya's flower exports have continued growing at annual averages of 10 per cent, vegetables and fruits are facing serious competition from countries with more favourable infrastructure and are closer to Europe. According to the Kenya Flower Council, the country in 2005 increased its European Union flower market share from 25 to 31 per cent, consolidating the lead it has maintained since 2000. The country's main rival, Israel, has been ousted from the list of the top three suppliers to the EU, leaving Columbia and Equador in the parley. Equador is a new entrant and is projected to give Kenya a run for supremacy in the EU due to its lower production costs. Read more in the original article.
A Song of Flowers
This song is sung to "Sing a Song of Sixpence".
Sing a song of flowers, flowers all around.
Flowers that are growing, growing in the ground
Flowers of each color make a pretty view.
Red and orange and yellow.
And blue and purple, too.
More songs on flowers.
Regulation of flowering
Hiyama and colleagues from The Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Japan investigated the role of the orthologues of GI, CO and FT - OsGI, Hd1 and Hd3a respectively - in rice, a SD plant. They find that the rice orthologues act differently to control flowering.
Know about the research in detail.