Thursday, December 29, 2011

Beautiful Landscaping With Winter Trees

One of nature's great ironies is that the warm colors of fall are soon followed by the stark monochrome of winter. One way to combat cold weather boredom in your yard is with winter trees and shrubs. Evergreens are classics in the winter landscape, but some deciduous (leaf dropping) trees and shrubs can provide visual pop that pines and hollies can't match.

Most of us are familiar with the features of a good landscape tree. We look for an attractive shape, interesting flowers or good fall color. But what about a tree that has shed its leaves? Selecting trees with interesting winter features will result in a landscape that will be enjoyable throughout the year.

Looking Good Naked
When thinking about winter trees, consider what they bring to the landscape when they're naked. Two features to look at when considering a winter tree are its shape and its bark.
A tree with a weeping habit will create an interesting shape against the gray winter sky. Cherry and birch trees both come in weeping forms and provide year-round interest. A winter tree with a unique branch pattern will cast eye-catching shadows on freshly fallen snow. Corkscrew Willow and Harry Lauder's Walking Stick are two plants with curving, quirky branches.
A great winter tree may also provide interest in the form of a unique or colorful bark. Birch trees have curly, peeling bark that ranges in color from gold to salmon to white. Red Twig Dogwood has bark that turns a showy red to orange during winter months. These and other plants will provide an interesting contrast to common evergreens in the winter landscape.
Don't Forget the Evergreens
Although interesting bare trees may become the focus of your winter landscaping, many unique evergreen plants can do more than just provide a splash of color. Dragon's Eye pines have quirky, twisted forms and variegated yellow and green needles. The Blue Holly is a fast-growing evergreen that produces bright red berries in winter. These berries will brighten the yard and provide food for winter birds.
Planning Your Winter Landscape
When laying out your winter landscape, think about where you'll be viewing your plantings. Whether it's from the family room, kitchen or a cozy sun room, most views of your winter trees will be from the inside looking out. The windows of your home create a picture frame for viewing the landscape. Planting with these interior frames in mind will give you great views all year long.
Planted singly or in small groups, winter trees will cry out for the spotlight in the landscape. They will benefit from a backdrop of evergreens, winter shrubs or ornamental grasses. Hardscape features such as fences or walls can also provide backdrops for unique winter trees.
Going Green with Green
Some trees can even deliver energy savings. Plantings of evergreen trees and shrubs on the north- or west-facing sides of your property will create a windbreak. This green barrier will redirect the flow of cold air around your house, reducing heating costs when the plantings have matured.
Deciduous plantings, by contrast, are better placed on the southern side of your home. In warmer months, their leaves will provide cooling shade. When they drop their leaves in the winter, they will allow sunshine to warm your home.
10 Great Winter Trees and Shrubs
  • Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (Corylus avellana "Contorta") Zones 3 to 9
Upright, medium shrub with twisted, tree-like branches. Spiraling, quirky growth habit gives this plant its winter interest.
  • River Birch (Betula nigra "Heritage") Zones 4 to 9
Rapidly growing upright tree. Commonly multi-trunked with peeling, salmon-colored bark that gives great winter texture.
  • Linden Viburnum (Viburnum dilatatum) Zones 4b to 8
A medium-sized, rounded shrub that will produce numerous bright red berries that last well into winter.
  • Young's Weeping Birch (Betula pendula "Youngii") Zones 3 to 6
Medium- to large-arched weeping tree. Bark is white, non-peeling with strong vertical black stripes. Showy in the winter landscape.
  • Red-Twig Dogwood (Cornus alba) Zones 2 to 8
Vigorous, medium to large shrub. In winter, this plant displays bold red to orange bark on many upright stems.
  • Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana "Tortuosa") Zones 4 to 8
Small to medium upright tree, featuring contorted and twisted branches and twigs.
  • Dragon's Eye Pine (Pinus densiflora "Oculus-draconis") Zones 4 to 7
Slow-growing medium to large evergreen. This pine develops a twisted trunk and dark-orange bark as it matures. Needles are bi-colored yellow and green.
  • Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum) Zones 4 to 8
Slow-growing small to medium tree. Cinnamon to reddish-brown bark peels to reveal purple-brown older bark.
  • Blue Holly (Ilex X meserveae) Zones 5 to 7
Fast-growing medium to large shrub. Evergreen with blue-green leaves. Male and female plants must be grown to produce bright-red berries in winter.
  • Serbian Spruce (Picea omorika) Zones 4 to 7
Towering, fast-growing evergreen. This is an extremely easy to grow pine that develops into a tall, narrow pyramid. Cones grow to more than two inches and are blue-black when young, then turn cinnamon when mature.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

How To Protect Trees And Shrubs From Ravages Of Winter

The ravages of a Maine winter play havoc with the garden’s trees and shrubs. Winter sun, wind and cold can bleach and desiccate evergreen foliage, damage bark and injure or kill branches, flower buds and roots. Hungry mice burrow beneath the snow to feed on bark and twigs while deer and rabbits nosh on flower buds and foliage.
What can the gardener do to mitigate this damage?
Protecting against sunscald
On cold, sunny days, the bark exposed to direct sunlight (usually the south and southwestern sides of the tree) heats up to the point where living cells beneath the bark become active. These cells, called cambial cells, are responsible for producing new water and food conduction tissues within the trunk. When the sun becomes blocked by a cloud or building, the bark temperature drops precipitously, killing the cambial cells. The resulting damage is called sunscald.
Sunscald is characterized by sunken, dried or cracked areas of dead bark. Young trees and newly planted trees are highly susceptible, as are thin-barked trees such as cherries, crab apples, maples, birches and mountain ash. Also, pruning evergreen trees or shrubs in late summer or fall to remove lower branches may expose previously shaded trunk tissue to direct winter sun, resulting in potential sunscald injury.
Protect sensitive trees by wrapping the trunk with light-colored material that will reflect sunlight, keeping the bark temperature more constant. Commercial tree wrap, a polyurethane spiral wrap that expands as the tree grows, or any light-colored material will work. Wrap the tree in early November and remove the wrap in April.
Newly planted trees should be wrapped each winter for at least the first two years, thin-barked species for five years or more.
There is no remedy for sunscald after it has occurred, other than to carefully cut away the damaged bark with a sharp pruning knife and hope for the tree’s natural wound-healing capacity to work. Do make damaged trees a priority for wrapping in subsequent winters.
Protecting evergreen foliage from browning, bleaching
Whenever the winter sun warms conifer needles, transpiration occurs. Water is lost from the needles while the roots are frozen, and this results in desiccation of the needles and destruction of chlorophyll, followed by needle browning or bleaching. Browning or bleaching of broad-leaved evergreens, such as rhododendrons, occurs in the same manner.
Among the conifers, the most susceptible types are yews, arborvitae (Mainers call it “cedar”) and hemlock. All conifers, however, can be affected.
Solutions to this problem begin with proper placement of conifers and broad-leaved evergreens in the landscape. They are best planted on the east side of buildings, certainly not on the south or southwest sides or in windy, sunny sites.
To protect low-growing conifers from winter wind and sun, prop pine boughs against or over the plants once the ground has frozen. The boughs will act as a windbreak and catch insulating snow.
For larger conifers and sensitive rhododendrons, burlap wind barriers can be constructed on the south, southwest and windward sides of plantings. These barriers, if tall enough, also may protect against salt-spray damage to plants near driveways and roads.
Stakes for the barriers should be installed in early November, before the ground freezes. Later in the month, attach the burlap sheets to the stakes with staples or sturdy twine. Make the enclosure as tall as feasible to block wind from hitting the uppermost branches. Leave the top of the enclosure open.
Water-stressed trees and shrubs are ill-prepared for winter winds and cold. Throughout the growing season, your trees should receive an inch of water a week from rain or irrigation. Beginning in late autumn until freeze-up, they should receive an inch of water per month by rain or irrigation. Waiting until October to begin watering as needed will not maximize stress resistance.
Some gardeners spray evergreens with anti-desiccants or anti-transpirants to reduce winter damage. Save your money. Most studies show these materials to be ineffective.
Rabbits and mice and deer, oh my!
Most of our garden mice spend the winter in the woodpile below the porch sunflower feeders. In a really hard winter, however, we have experienced mice damage on the lower trunks of newly planted shrubs and trees, enough to start placing cylinders of quarter-inch hardware cloth around the bases of sensitive plants. To be effective, these wire cylinders must extend two to three inches below ground.
Cylinders made of the same wire will deter the garden’s rabbits from feeding on specific shrubs or trees, but they should extend at least 18-24 inches above the ground to deter nibbling of tender lower branches. In all cases, these wire barricades may be left in place all year, but be sure to enlarge them as the trunks grows larger.
As for the noshing deer, we built a fence to keep them away from the blueberries and raspberries. Beyond that solution, you’re on your own. In my mind, deer at the edges of the winter garden are part of the joy of gardening in Maine.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How to Take Care of Bulbophyllum Orchid

The genus Bulbophyllum is the largest one in the entire orchid family Orchidaceae and currently contains over 1800 orchid species, and new species are constantly being described and added to this vast genus. It is currently one of the largest genera in the entire plant kingdom, only Euphorbia and Senecio contain more species. In the floral trade, Bulbophyllum is abbreviated Bulb.
The forests of Papua New Guinea in South East Asia are believed to be the evolutionary homeland of the Bulbophyllum orchids since this is where you can find the largest diversity. Over 600 different Bulbophyllum species have been discovered here. Bulbophyllum orchids can not only be found in South East Asia, they are also naturally occurring in tropical parts of Australia and Africa, and even in South- and Central America. Over 200 species can be found on the island of Borneo alone, and 135 species have been discovered on Madagascar.
It is impossible to provide any Bulbophyllum orchid care guidelines that will be true for every single species in this enormous genus and it is therefore best to look for more detailed information about your specific Bulbophyllum species. Bulbophyllum orchids come in a wide range of forms and shapes. Some are epiphytic and grow on plants, while others are lithophytic and grown on stones and cliffs. Some are root climbers that slowly creep their way up along tree trunks, and yet another group of Bulbophyllum orchids are the tall plants that develop cane-shaped stems. In this genus, you can find orchids that have become almost entirely leafless since their pseudobulbs carry out most of the necessary photosynthesis, as well as orchid species that have adapted to dry conditions and developed succulent foliage. The general characteristics for the genus Bulbophyllum are the basal inflorescence, the mobile lip, and the single-noded pseudobulbs.
Watering Bulbophyllum orchids
As mentioned above, it is impossible to provide any guidelines that will be true for all Bulbophyllum species. Many of them are however used to rainy environments and need a lot of water. If you keep one of these species potted, you can water your Bulbophyllum orchid every 3-4 day and allow only a slight drying out between each watering. If you keep the orchids mounted, you can water them twice a day. If a new leaf is smaller than the old one, your Bulbophyllum orchids needs more watering.
Nutrients for Bulbophyllum orchids
If you fail to find species specific information regarding nutrient requirements for your Bulbophyllum orchid, try using a balanced fertilizer (20-20-20) two times per month. Divisions should only be given half strength. Seedlings can benefit from a fertilizer high in nitrogen until they are large enough to blossom.
Bulbophyllum orchid temperature
Most Bulbophyllum orchids are used to tropical environments and need warm to intermediate conditions. Do not let the temperature drop below 55 degrees F (13 degrees C) or rise above 95 degrees F (35 degrees C).
Bulbophyllum orchid light
It is hard to provide any specific recommendations since Bulbophyllum orchids are found in such a myriad of different environments. If you are unable to find species specific guidelines you can assume that the wider the leaves are, the less light demanding will the plant be.
Potting medium for a Bulbophyllum orchid
Most species will do well in fine seedling bark mixed with perlite. You can also mount many Bulbophyllum orchid species on a piece of wood or similar. Which potting medium you choose will affect the recommended watering frequency; a mounted Bulbophyllum orchid should be watered more frequently than a potted one.
Repotting a Bulbophyllum orchid
How and when to repot your Bulbophyllum orchid will greatly depend on the species. Always repot your Bulbophyllum orchid immediately if the potting medium goes bad, e.g. if it becomes infested with mould or starts smelling bad.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Care for Moth Orchids Tips

Moth Orchids are one of the most popular types of Orchid flowers. They look very beautiful and give an elegant look to your garden. They are commonly found in South East Asia and Northern parts of Australia. They can be grown in homes as they are a perfect option for an amateur grower. These flowers are very easy to grow as compared to the other types of Orchids but still they need proper care and handling.
Here some important and helpful information is given that would guide you to care for your Moth Orchids. The important factors to be considered are:
Now these factors would be described one by one.
Orchids grow very finely at the normal temperatures in houses. They require different temperatures in day and night. So the ideal temperature in the day time is 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and in night time these flowers require 60 to 70 degree Fahrenheit.
Moth Orchids require indirect light. It is ideal and preferable to place them in front of east-facing window. The color of its foliage indicates that how much light is required by them.
Bright Green Foliage (means its getting correct amount of light)
Deep Green Leaves (light is not sufficient)
Yellow Leaves (absorbing too much light)
Moth Orchids like humidity that’s why they are mostly found in rain forests. In warm weather, they require moisture after one or two days. The humidity is lower in homes, so it becomes necessary to moist them. To do this you can place a tray containing stones and water below your plant. Due to evaporation, the surrounding air will become moist and humidity requirements would be fulfilled.
It is better to water your Moth Orchids early in the morning once a week. They require more water in summer season as compared to that of winter. Some people get confused about watering their Orchids. The best time to water them is when the pot becomes dry.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Flowers In Spring

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
Anne Bradstreet.
Spring is the season that is loved by every person because the vibrant colors of flowers all around create such an ambiance everywhere that brings the best beauty to watch. The changing season brings up a great change in plants and trees. After the very cold freezing winters the mild hot weather brings life to plants and they spread the colors. This season brings to human the creativity of Mother Nature and provide with blessings for eyes to watch. All these spring flowers and more are the sign of new life into plants and hence create the same effect over humans as flowers bring message of happy living for everyone.Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty. Roses are often considered as the most perfect flowers for expression of love. Roses, in particular, define love so well because of all the various shades some of which are natural and some are man-made; that symbolize the various stages and emotions of love and romance. Here is some really interesting information about roses.
A single rose of any color in full bloom means “I love you.”
Two roses put together to form a single stem means an impending engagement or marriage.
A dozen roses in a bouquet represent a traditional romance, but can signify something more particular, such as a dozen ways that I love you.
Two dozen roses in a bouquet represent an even deeper attraction and can tell your beloved that you think of them every hour.
Three dozen roses symbolize a romance that is unlike any other.
Four dozen roses represent an unchanging and unconditional love.
One red rose combined with several yellow roses means joviality.
Pale colored roses symbolize friendship instead than romantic love.
Deeper colored roses symbolize a more romantic love with passion and intimacy.
All roses symbolize love, but certain colors of roses can take on specia

Friday, December 9, 2011

Rose In Four Seasons

The stunning, architectural quality of the roses at the foyer of the Four Seasons in Istanbul, in this earlier post, is classic Jeff Leatham style. Mr. Leatham shot up to floral fame when he became the head florist at the George V Hotel in Paris and later, the Four Seasons Group of Hotels (owned by the Saudi prince who also owned Gucci, parts of Citibank, The Raffles Group), and he revolutionized the fresh floral arrangements in hotel public spaces. His pieces are simple yet opulent, using hundreds if not thousands of the same or similarly colored blooms to create living canvasses
The roses they sell in bulk at the Dimasalang flower market at say PHP80-100 a bundle of 24 blooms are incredibly well-priced, but you might say they are irregulars, with the blooms not the perfectly shaped rose of western hothouses that have managed to figure out just how to precisely manipulate a bloom to look perfect nearly every single time… But I find that for say PHP300 or so, you can create a pretty eye-stopping arrangement, and that is a FRACTION of the cost of the original. Here, I use two rather tall glass vases ( I have had them for years, you can get them for a few hundred pesos each at Landmark home section), almost filled to the brim with water.
The weight of the water in the vase helps to steady the arrangement. Then I take some 60-80 blooms and strip them of thorns and all but the topmost leaves and slowly form them into a very tight bunch, trying to mass the blooms together. I then rest them at a precarious looking angle using only the top 4-5 inches of the vase. They look like they are unsteady and about to tumble over, but they never have. Make sure your roses are fresh, soak them in cool water until just below the buds for several hours before arranging them. This arrangement should last you 4+ days in a cool room.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Orchid Care In Seasons

Orchid Care - Among the Fundamentals
If you obtain or buy an orchid for the primary time something in your world modifications forever. You will receive a way of enthusiasm and it'll thrive on having more orchids. To ensure that your orchids to thrive you have to grasp orchid care.
Lots of people are postpone from buying orchids as a result of they're costly and have a reputation as being tough to look after. Each of those are true but with a bit of observe it is possible for you to to improve your orchid care skills. Time beyond regulation you will grow to be more assured and as you get more orchids you will begin to turn into extra adventurous.
I will give you an introduction to the weather of orchid care. Watering is where numerous individuals make mistakes. This is very true for beginners because they really feel they must be doing something. Do not water your orchid too much. You solely must water it once every week and if it isn't completely dry then you possibly can depart it longer than that.
Once you're snug with the watering it is advisable to take into consideration temperatures. Not each orchid is identical however most do prefer a warmer temperature. In case you are protecting them indoors or in a greenhouse then they need to be fine. If alternatively you have got them outdoors please pay additional consideration on cold nights.
You will discover that orchids thrive once they get plenty of light. You do not wish to depart you orchids in direct sunlight all day. This is one thing that many get wrong with orchid care resulting within the leaves going yellow.
I hope that you do not get delay by the difficulty of orchid care and purchase your first orchid. It's a very rewarding experience that I'm positive you'll enjoy.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Four Seasons Of This Year

I think it is fair to say that what we have seen in 2011 is a massive failure of all three of these schemes to deal with the vacuum left behind by the upward flow of wealth. And since it is all happening at once, you might call it a “perfect storm.” Now it is possible to argue that societies around the world should have found a better way to deal with this income disparity. But in many cases their options were limited.
The real problem with regard to the global debt crisis is that most of the wealth that should have benefited the global population is now firmly in the grip of the wealthy one percent, who in most cases have not shouldered their fair share of taxation. If the wealth of the one percent were distributed more evenly in the world there would likely be no debt crisis, even if everyone at the top kept a few million dollars of pocket change.
For many years the problem was hidden behind impressive reports of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures around the world. For example, Tunisia – where this new way of doing business had been implemented successfully – regularly showed annual increases in their GDP. But where did the benefits of that growth end up? In the laps of the top one percent, of course.
What happened in Tunisia had literally happened around the world. So when the youth in Tunisia launched the Arab Spring, as it came to be known, they were not just protesting against their own sorry lot, they were uncovering global financial inequity that had similar faces all around the world, including in western democracies.
As spring turned to summer and Arab revolutions kept smoldering, serious social problems brought on by huge government debts began appearing in Europe. A young and restless generation had begun to understand that their futures had been sacrificed on the altar of this new world order. Everywhere they looked, they saw multi-billionaires not paying their fair share of taxes while sovereign states were going bankrupt or simply abandoning their poor.
And then fall brought with it a global expression of discontent, beginning in the United States. In the matter of a few weeks, the Occupy Movement had been ignited in more than 1600 cities around the world.
As expected, at first the media portrayed this movement as a minor irritation that would soon go away. But then governments began using riot police to clear away protestors – eerily reminiscent of tactics used at first in the Arab Spring and European Summer.
Now winter has come and it is likely that Occupiers will go home shortly to keep warm. But spring is coming soon and I expect that they will be back in greater numbers and with greater backing.
The seasons of 2011 have indeed been unprecedented in world history. Perhaps it is a sign of climate change beginning to happen.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Small Town Seasoning Blend Has National Flavor

"The American Dream is different for every individual, but the ingredients are always the same: blood, sweat, tears, and imagination," says Tim Lawhorn, CEO of Lawhorn's Signature Seasonings. The final product of these dreams sometimes reaches the public, in some way, shape or form, and revolutionizes the way they live. The microwave revolutionized the way we cook in the kitchen, the Corvette, the way sports cars are built, and the TV, the way families spend time together.
Lawhorn is making his own revolution in the kitchen with Lawhorn's Signature Seasonings. This All-Natural, Kosher seasoning blend contains 65-70% less sodium than most regular all-purpose seasoned salts. Lawhorn's revolutionary seasoning blend's versatility far surpasses anything in the Spice Isle on America's grocery shelves today. The incredible natural flavor-enhancing properties prompts first time tasters young and old alike to say things like, "WOW!", "Awesome!","Amazing" and "Oh My God!".
Over the past year, Lawhorn has held cooking demonstrations in local grocery stores across the state of Florida. Here, he sometimes records the raving reactions of the public, as they taste the seasoning on steak, chicken, vegetables, and more. Videos on the company's YouTube channel and facebook page show moms with notoriously picky-eaters, watching their kids eating squash and zucchini and loving it! You can watch these videos here.
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The creator of this "miracle blend" former Restaurateur & Executive Chef, Tim Lawhorn says, "People like the fact that it's all-natural and is lower in sodium than most blends out there, it's healthier for them… but what really gets their attention is its flavor-enhancing value, the way it tastes different on everything you cook with it."
After spending most of his career in the Food and Beverage Industry, with no entrepreneurial experience, Lawhorn believes that his success has to be the work of God, "because I'm just not that smart," he says laughing. "We've been blessed beyond belief!"
Lawhorn's Signature Seasonings, based in Haines City, Florida, was introduced commercially in mid 2009 in select Publix Super Markets across Florida. In just 18 months time they have expanded their distribution to a national audience through Wal-Mart's new "Neighborhood Stores" and regional placements in Winn-Dixie, Whole Foods Market, Sweet Bay and Chamberlin's/Akin's Natural Food Stores across the Southern US.
National Food Service Director, Mitch DiMarco of Spice World, Inc., a packaging company based in Orlando, FL, thought Tim was nuts when he when he met with the company 3 years ago holding a zip-lock baggie sample in the conference room. DiMarco says, "He told me once when we first started getting his stuff together that ‘one day Lawhorn's Signature Seasonings is going to be a household name in America!' I laughed about it back then, but you know what? He is making it happen. I believe it now!"
Lawhorn is driving his company full speed into the future, announcing this week the hiring of Tampa, FL based AMT Sales and Marketing and its subsidiary, Consumer Product Management in Atlanta GA to manage and facilitate their national branding and placement efforts. AMT/CPM will be leading the attack on Supermarket and Natural Foods retailers across the U.S. developing distributors, brokers and retail outlets in support of the brand. Also ahead, Lawhorn confirmed that they are in the final stages of product testing for a Mexican and Italian variation of their seasoning to hit stores sometime early next year. Between the three blends, there's no cuisine that Lawhorn's wouldn't make better!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Seasons On Earth

The Earth's seasons are not caused by the differences in the distance from the Sun throughout the year (these differences are extremely small). The seasons are the result of the tilt of the Earth's axis.
The Earth's axis is tilted from perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic by 23.45°. This tilting is what gives us the four seasons of the year - spring, summer, autumn (fall) and winter. Since the axis is tilted, different parts of the globe are oriented towards the Sun at different times of the year.
Summer is warmer than winter (in each hemisphere) because the Sun's rays hit the Earth at a more direct angle during summer than during winter and also because the days are much longer than the nights during the summer. During the winter, the Sun's rays hit the Earth at an extreme angle, and the days are very short. These effects are due to the tilt of the Earth's axis.
The solstices are days when the Sun reaches its farthest northern and southern declinations. The winter solstice occurs on December 21 or 22 and marks the beginning of winter (this is the shortest day of the year). The summer solstice occurs on June 21 and marks the beginning of summer (this is the longest day of the year).
Equinoxes are days in which day and night are of equal duration. The two yearly equinoxes occur when the Sun crosses the celestial equator.
The vernal equinox occurs in late March (this is the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of fall in the Southern Hemisphere); the autumnal equinox occurs in late September (this is the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of spring in the Southern Hemisphere).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fall Is The Best Season In Four For Planting

Fall is the best season to plant just about everything in Southern California, from holiday color to spring bloom, says Wendy Akiyama, who with her husband, Ron, owns Sunflower Farms Nursery in Torrance.
"Go ahead and plant this month," she says. "Don't wait for spring. Now is the time to get your gardens and landscape ready for the holidays and get a head start in establishing roots for maximum spring bloom."
If you have been longing to plant a tree that reflects the four seasons, choose a deciduous variety such as Japanese maple, liquidambar, gingko or white birch.
Other good candidates for flowering trees are Chinese fringe tree, which blooms in spring with clusters of beautiful white flowers; flowering cherry "Pink Cloud"; purple leaf plum; Tabebuia tree with trumpet-shaped flowers in gold, purple or pink; and crape myrtle, with red, coral, pink or lavender flowers.
As a general rule, when planting a tree, never bury any part of the trunk. If you bury even a half-inch of the trunk, it could be fatal to young trees, Akiyama says. In fact, this is the most common cause of death of a newly planted tree. Plant just above the root ball, and leave soil exactly at the same level that it is in the pot.
November also is the perfect time for planting flowering shrubs. Look for dwarf sweet pea bush, lantana, Mexican marigold, breath of heaven, salvia mystic spires, escallonia, leptospermum, pyracantha (with red berries for holiday

decorating), anisodontea (cape mallow), purple princess flower, buddleja and lavatera.
Increasingly, homeowners are forsaking hybrid tea roses in their garden landscapes and moving to floribunda roses, which are more prolific bloomers and offer ongoing color from March/April to January, when they should be pruned.
Akiyama favors the ever-popular Iceberg along with other ultra-disease-resistant varieties such as Livin' Easy, Bonica, Hot Cocoa and the red rose Trumpeter. She says you still can get one last bloom show in time for Christmas from these and other floribundas by deadheading and fertilizing those in your garden. Or add some new ones now.
For instant color to welcome guests for Thanksgiving and other holiday parties, plant winter/spring blooming annuals such as pansies, snapdragons, stock, viola, ornamental kale and Iceland poppies. You can also plant English primroses now for color in the new year.
For holiday color that won't look dated after the holidays, try red and white cyclamen, which are in good supply at nurseries and will last well into spring. This year, our cyclamen planted last December bloomed nearly all year, probably because of our mostly cool summer weather.
And for a tropical Christmas, try red anthuriums, which can stay outdoors until the cold weather hits (50s at night), then keep them on a sheltered patio or bring them indoors.
Perennials you can plant now for instant color include campanula, chrysanthemums, gaillardia, Oriental poppies, salvia chiapensis and physostegia virginiana - a spectacular plant with spiky blooms resembling snapdragons. Also plant spring-blooming perennials such as adenophora (lady bells), foxglove, delphinium, echinacea (cornflower) and veronica.
Winter- and spring-producing vegetables are available in nurseries for instant planting and in many cases holiday harvesting. Look for spinach, lettuces, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Swiss chard, sugar peas, onions and strawberries. These vegetables don't have to be planted strictly in a vegetable garden. They can be attractive additions to any garden bed or border.
Consider adding other edibles, such as rosemary, society garlic, blueberries, pineapple guava, strawberry bush, artichokes, gray sage and lemongrass. These also will add fragrance to your garden.
If you haven't been to Sunflower Farms Nursery, do yourself a favor and make a visit. It's at 17609 S. Western Ave. , just north of Artesia Boulevard.
I hadn't been there in several months and was surprised to see some significant changes. Be sure to visit the area that Akiyama calls the "Bali section," where you can walk down a pathway laden with tropical plants and almost believe you are in the South Seas. In fact, this was the setting the Akiyamas' daughter, Lisa Akiyama Robenson, chose for her wedding last year, under a pergola her dad built years ago from branches of trimmed trees.
The nursery still has its secret garden, which is fun for children and others to try to discover. But best of all, the quality of plants is first-rate and the nursery staff is knowledgeable and ready to help with everything from plant selection to loading plants into your car.
They also will do on-the-spot garden designs. Bring in a photograph of the area with measurements and sun/shade exposure, and you can walk out with a customized plan for a beautiful landscape.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Four Seasons Nurseries Coupon Codes

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Four Seasons Baltimore offers luxury Experience

  "I've opened many hotels and have never seen this demand," said Carralero, who opened the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace in Budapest, where he served as general manager for nine years, and also managed the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris.
  The $200 million luxury hotel opens as the U.S. travel industry is recovering slowly. But the hotel — long planned as one of the final pieces of the Harbor East neighborhood of offices, condos, apartments and shops just east of the Inner Harbor — should help boost tourism downtown, experts said.
  The opening of the hotel, one of five in Harbor East, also comes on the heels of a double whammy: the recession and a hotel building boom in Baltimore. Average hotel occupancy in downtown Baltimore has declined over the past couple of years, though business has been recovering along with the economy. Occupancy grew 3 percent to just over 60 percent in 2010 over the previous year.
  Business travel, driven by strong corporate earnings, has been the first tourism segment to recover, followed by group and convention business, which is growing slowly, said Rod Petrik, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus in Baltimore, who added that the leisure segment has remained flat. Experts say tourism nationwide is not likely to recover fully until at least 2013.
  "The concern with the downtown marketplace is we probably went from having too few hotel rooms to having too many in a matter of a few years," Petrik said.
  Baltimore's biggest hotel — the city-owned, 757-room Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel — opened in 2008 with a goal of boosting convention center business.
  "Now that we have the rooms … [downtown] is going to go through a couple of tough years with oversupply," which can slow the growth in room rates, Petrik said.
  The 256-room Four Seasons, just steps from the harbor, offers rooms and suites with waterfront views and features such as Blu-ray DVD players, 40-inch LCD TVs and marble baths with soaking tubs. Guests have plenty of options: a spa and fitness center; an elevated deck with an infinity pool, hot tubs and cabanas; and a tavern and café. Rates range from $279 to $1,500 per night for most rooms.
  "It's a positive reflection of downtown Baltimore's health that we have continued to open up new product" in a still-struggling economy, said Kirby Fowler, president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Inc. "It's always in downtown's benefit to add a high-caliber hotel like the Four Seasons."
  With the Hotel Monaco, an upscale boutique hotel in the center of downtown, and the Four Seasons on the waterfront, he said, Baltimore has "two strong pillars for high-end travelers."
  Though it touts itself as an urban resort, the Four Seasons is unlikely to attract guests who come just for the hotel, Petrik said.
  The hotel will likely appeal to a mix of business travelers, downtown tourists, convention-goers seeking high-end accommodations, and patients undergoing long-term care at nearby medical facilities, he said.
  "I don't think that the Four Seasons is a destination unto itself," Petrik said. "It will be the highest-priced hotel in the city. It remains to be seen whether Baltimore can support a hotel like the Four Seasons."
  The Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, which operates the hotel, as well as H&S Properties Development Corp. and city tourism officials are all betting on the hotel's success.
  "I look at the Four Seasons as balancing out our entire [hotel] package," said Tom Noonan, president and chief executive of Visit Baltimore, the city's tourism and convention bureau.
  Continued Noonan: "What I tell customers, when they're looking at us as a convention destination, is: 'Thirty years ago you had fish markets and fruit stands. … Thirty years later you have Ritz-Carlton [condominiums] on the left and on the right is Four Seasons.' And that's symbolic of how much the city has changed. Those are two higher-end brands and both are in downtown Baltimore."
  Noonan said he expected the Four Seasons would inspire other area hotels, much as the Hilton did when it opened as a convention center hotel.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Flowering Loropetalum is a Shrub for All Seasons

  Photo: Wikimedia Commons
“I was sorry because I had no loropetalum, and then I met a man who had no snowdrop.”
With tongue in cheek, the famed garden columnist Henry Mitchell wrote these words three decades ago, and I had to smile when I read them recently in an anthology of his work. The only loropetalum that gardeners knew way back then was the original species – Loropetalum chinense, sometimes known as the Chinese fringe flower, a rather nondescript evergreen shrub that wasn’t especially popular.
But things things have changed since then!
If the great man were alive today, I bet he’d trade his snowdrops in a heartbeat to get his hands on one of the modern loropetalum cultivars pictured here. The hybridizers and nurserymen have really done their magic. Today, bright flowers, burgundy foliage, and a graceful, arching habit combine to give loropetalum year-round appeal.
It was back in the early 1990s when these pink-flowered selections made their debut, and I can still remember when they first hit the garden centers. They’re usually classified as Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum, and they are currently seen absolutely everywhere where winters are relatively mild (they are hardy as far north as zone 6).

  Photo: Terry DelValle, University of Florida extension service
In early spring, usually March, loropetalum will be in its full glory. The hot pink flowers are like little tassels, made up of delicate, fringe-like petals. The show starts slowly, as just a few blossoms open at a time, but by the time the shrub reaches its peak, it can rival an azalea in full bloom. Altogether you can expect three weeks of flowers from loropetalum. At one time, I happened to underplant one of mine with a creeping veronica (Veronica peduncularis ‘Georgia Blue’) and it was a happy accident to find that the two bloom at exactly the same time. The brilliant, cobalt blue veronica combined with the fuchsia tassels of the loropetalum is probably the most spectacular plant combination I’ve ever seen – and it was especially gorgeous where loropetalum’s branches would arch down low toward the ground, so the colors could really mingle. I wish I had a picture of it, but I don’t.
More than any other flowering shrub I can think of, loropetalum has year-round appeal. After they bloom, most of these new cultivars put out reddish-colored new growth that can actually look like flowers from a distance. This new foliage eventually matures to a dark olive or purplish green that makes a nice backdrop for your summer perennials. When cool weather arrives in fall, the foliage deepens again, to a deep burgundy shade – and because it’s evergreen, it makes a nice focal point in the winter garden. During warm spells in December and January, the shrubs will even surprise you by throwing out a few colorful, sporadic blossoms – just a little taste of what’s to come again in the spring.
All things considered, you just can’t go wrong with loropetalum. It fits in everywhere and no matter what the season, as my next-door neighbor puts it, “it just always looks good.”

Monday, October 31, 2011

The potential of pumpkins

  Just because Halloween comes and goes does not have to usher in the rush to chuck that pumpkin on Tuesday, not when there is another month to use it, through Thanksgiving.
Pumpkins still have plenty of potential uses for the final month of harvest season.
Randy Rogers, manager of Flowers by Richard in Myrtle Beach, said October starts a two-month season in which four shades of colors reign: yellows, oranges, rusts and butterscotches. Pair them up with live, uncarved pumpkins, and they can doll up any room, he said.

  Randy Rogers, of Flowers by Richard, shows off his centerpiece as it nears completion. It began with a pumpkin.“It’s still kind of fallish,” he said, happy to doll up a table, mantel and any “nook or cranny” of a house.
Inside his family store, named after his father, Rogers put together a fall flower arrangement Monday afternoon using a “baking” or pie pumpkin 8 inches in diameter as a pot. He cleaned the pumpkin out and sprayed it with a sealer coating inside and out to prevent fast rotting, then placed a moistened green floral foam base in a 4-inch-tall liner cup that fit into the pumpkin.
Rogers’ fun started with filling the green base – a pincushion for plant stems – with cattails, then adding a variety of other plants and colors to round out the design in dimension and color. Options included revilia dyed red, as well as red rovers, lilies, button mums, golden aster, purple liatrus and red coffee berries, which he said make a popular component in Christmastime arrangements.
Eager to add his declared “touch of spookiness,” Rogers made a spider and a web to help stretch the Halloween angle into more of an overall autumn edge. Having cut a piece of round foam and spray painted it black, he held the body in his palm. He inserted two dressage pins with red heads to serve as the eyes on the body, and added eight bent pipe cleaners as legs, which he curled on the leaves.
“It looks like he’s actually walking on it,” Rogers said.
Such flexibility with items available in a flower or craft store allows for decorations that go beyond Halloween because “you add your own touch to it,” he said.
‘All over the house’
Billie Caswell, owner of Four Seasons Interiors in Myrtle Beach, also sees pumpkins’ extended value this season.
“Some of the more decorative pumpkins make great table arrangements,” she said. “You can get all kind of gourds. They’re wonderful if you put flowers in a centerpiece.”
Other prime pumpkin spots beyond go beyond dining room tables, to kitchen tables and counters.
“You could really put them all over the house,” Caswell said.
She said blending gourds with leaves entails a quick way to “tablescape” an arrangement, and that the leaves “will pick up the colors.”
Caswell said the store receives inquiries from customers about decor for the various seasons.
“You can always do something a little festive,” she said, calling Halloween’s standing among holidays “a big one.”
Sara Millar, manager of horticulture at Brookgreen Gardens, near Murrells Inlet, said pumpkins are a Halloween tradition, but are still part of a bigger season that extends through Thanksgiving.
“For special dinners and functions here at Brookgreen,” she said, “we fill large vases with small pumpkins and gourds and combine with fresh-cut flowers to make unique fall arrangements.”
Besides turning hollowed pumpkins into flower pots, Brookgreen officials spread them out.
“We also mix pumpkins and gourds with corn, dried flowers, seed pods and twigs to create a cornucopia of colorful decor,” Millar said.
For outdoor use, as long as pumpkins are kept out of sunlight and away from moisture, they can last “for a suprisingly long time,” she said.
Seeds for thought
Carved pumpkins also have another life as containers for fall annuals, and later for direct planting in the ground.
“Pumpkins are full of nutrients and make a great addition to a compost pile or simply buried in the garden to enrich the soil,” Millar said. “Pumpkins that were carved are not fit for human consumption, but they can certainly be enjoyed by birds, deer and other wildlife.”
The pumpkins that don’t go under the knife for carving can become ingredients for a variety of culinary dishes, even for Christmas.
“Pumpkin seeds can be roasted, and the flesh used for pies, breads and soups,” Millar said. “Pumpkins can be hollowed out and used as decorative serving bowls for soups, salads and dips. Here at Brookgreen Gardens, our favorite pumpkins to use as decorations are the heirloom varieties. They often have unusual shape, color and texture and are very unique, especially long-lived, and have wonderful flavor.”
Thoughts of spring always sprout early for Millar, even before winter sets in.
“My favorite thing to do with pumpkins after fall is over is to remove the seeds and try to grow them in the garden the next year,” she said. “Collect your seeds, dry them and store in a cool place until the following spring. After the threat of frost is gone, seeds can be planted in the garden. Pumpkins and gourds enjoy full sun, and need room to spread.”

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Four Seasons Flowers

Event Flowers



Funeral Flowers
  Four Seasons Flowers is one of San Diego's premier florists. We invite you to explore our photo gallery and use it as a source of inspiration for your special event. We love guiding our clients in the art of expressing emotions through flowers. Carma White, the owner of Four Seasons Flowers, personally works with each client to make sure his/her true vision comes to life.
We're equipped to accommodate every customer and every event, regardless of size. Whether it is arranging every day flowers, designing funeral flowers, adorning a bride with her dream flowers or completing an event planner's vision, our unique and creative floral art makes a distinctive and memorable statement. Knowing that true beauty requires the freshest quality, Carma personally picks out all of her flowers direct from the growers.
We'd be honored to assist you with your floral needs--whether it be for a wedding, celebration, business event, funeral or just to say, "I love you." We're here to help. If you need flowers delivered quickly, please visit our ordering site. To discuss your special event, please call us at 800-439-4944 or 858-484-7700
Welcome to Four Seasons Flowers

White mini calla lilies with blue delphinium
  Bridal bouquet of all white mini calla lilies with dark blue delphinium. A stunning and classy way to bring in the color blue into your wedding

Orange roses hand tied
  1 dozen vibrant color orange roses tied with plum ribbon. A simple yet striking look for bridesmaids to carry

  This tropical arrangement is perfect for a business gift, a sympathy arrangement or to just impress someone. Amazing and brilliant in color

  Deco wire adorned with jewels and roses - an alternative to the traditional wrist corsage - it's updated, fun and innovative

  Can be used at a funeral, wedding or podium piece for a special event.

  Chocolate bridal bouquet with breathtaking cymbidium orchids

Friday, October 28, 2011

Time for some beautiful blooms

Time for some beautiful blooms
  Supplied © Enlarge photo
There is nothing like the beauty and fragrance provided by fresh flowers cut straight from the garden.
Samantha Turner, from Garden Elegance in Subiaco, said that as well as providing a readily available supply of beautiful blooms, another advantage of growing your own cut flowers was that your supply could vary with the seasons, depending on what you decided to plant.
So which plants are best to provide fabulous floral displays? We asked the experts for their recommendations.
Robbie Melville, manager of Melville Nurseries in Carmel, said roses were ever-popular because they were inexpensive and provided beautiful perfume and flowers for 10 months of the year (from September through until July).
Hybrid tea roses were the best for cut flowers.
"Kardinal, which is a red rose, is probably the longest-lasting cut rose and will give two weeks in a vase if looked after properly," Mr Melville said.
Lorraine Hoglin, general manager of fresh flower wholesaler Everbloom Flowers, agreed that roses were a great option for cut flowers but when they were not flowering, bulbs would just about be ready to bloom.
"Daffodils, iris and freesia are good to plant," she said. "These can be planted in the same area as the roses and only need to be pulled up every second year and divided; they are dormant when the roses are flowering.
WA is famous for its stunning spring wildflowers, which also make for gorgeous floral arrangements.
Waldecks' Hilton Blake said Bracteantha bracteata, or everlasting daisies, were easy to grow, and also recommended Lucinda's Everlastings seeds (available from Waldecks Garden Centres), which could be simply scattered in autumn.
"Ten grams of Lucinda's Everlastings will produce a 10sqm carpet of the magnificent flowers in spring," he said.
"The cut everlasting in a vase will last a month or so but the flowers can be hung upside down in a dark, airy position to dry and used as a dried flower for the entire year."
PLANTING TIP: "Everlastings are so easy to grow that they will almost grow anywhere, but an open sunny position will give you the most amazing display of colour," Mr Blake said.
Ms Turner recommended sweet peas for their ease of growing and beautiful colours.
Sweet peas were available in dwarf varieties growing up to 40cm, or traditional, which could grow to more than a metre.
"Small ones are ideal to grow in a pot," she said.
"Sow the seeds in autumn in a full sun position, making sure the taller varieties have support.
"This doesn't have to be fancy because the peas will cover it.
"Sow in autumn to have flowers in spring."
PLANTING TIP: Ms Turner said sweet peas may benefit from a little dolomite lime dug into the ground at planting if the soil is not already alkaline.
Ms Turner said kangaroo paws made for great cut flowers because they were long lasting.
There was also the choice of planting dwarf or large-stemmed varieties, depending on how big you wanted your flower arrangements.
"The Big Red is large and gets to about a metre, or for dwarfs, Bush Gems are smaller and available in lots of colours including yellow, red and violet," she said.
Flowering from early spring, kangaroo paws were best planted during winter in full sun.

Flowers & Seasons

  The various Climatic Changes that occur in cyclic pattern are termed as 'Seasons'. There are four general seasons occuring on Earth - Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.
Flowers & Seasons are intimately bound to each other. Most of the flowers are season - specific. Though, some flowers are found through out the year, not particularly affected by changing seasons, viz., Alstromeria, Anthurium, Aster, Bourvardia, Carnation, Chrysanthemum, Gerbera Daisy, Lily, Asiatic Lily.
Spring Flowers

Flowers And Seasons - Spring Flowers
Spring Time the time of growth and renewal of new plant and animal life. Spring comes at diferenrent times in the North and South Hemispheres.   Spring time in the Northern hemisphere is between March - May, and between September - November in the Southern hemisphere.Most flowering plants bloom during spring time. Therefore, flowers that bloom only during spring, Spring Flowers, bloom at different times in the two hemispheres.
Flowers Blooming Spring are:
Agapanthus, Amaryllis, Anemone, Apple blossom, Bird of Paradise, Brodea, Calla lily, Cherry Blossom, Corn flower, Cosmose, Dahlia, Delphinium, Delwood, Forsythia, Freesia, Gardenia, Heather, Helleborus, Hollyhock, Hyacinth, Larkspur, Casa Blanca Lily, Gloriosa Lily, Stargazer, Liatrus, Lilac, Lisianthus, Narcissus, Orchid, Peach blossom, Peony, Phlox, Poppy, Protea, Pussy willow, Ranunculus, Rose, Seeded Eucalyptus, Solidago, Statice, Stephanotis, Stock, Sweet Pea, Tulip, Viburnum, Wax flower, Zinnia.
Summer Flowers

Flowers And Seasons - Summer Flowers
Summer is the time of hot and warm weather. Floral growth is the best in the summer season. The Northern hemisphere experiences summer during june, july, august, while in Southern hemisphere during december - february.   Summer is the season of the Midnight sun in the North pole and Ice land.
Flowers Blooming in Summer are:
Alchemilla, Allium, Alstromeria, Amaranthus, Baby's Breath , Bird of Paradise, Calla lily, Campanula, Carnation, Chrysanthemum, Cockscomb, Cosmos, Dahlia, Delphinium, Dianthus, Didiscus, Euphorbia, Foxglove, Freesia, Gardenia, Genista, Ginger, Gladiolus, Hallaconia, Heather, Hydrangea, Hypericum, Iris, Kangaroo paw, Liatrus, Lilac, Casa Blanca Lily, Gloriosa Lily, Star Gazer, Lisianthus.
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Autumn Flowers
Autumn is the season of the primary harvest. Autumn falls during september - november in the Northern hemisphere, and during september - november in the Southern hemisphere.Crops are harvested during Autumn. Leaves change color are at their beautiful best.
Flowers Blooming in Autumn are:
Acashia, Allium, Alstromeria, Amaranthus, Anemone, Baby's Breath, Bittersweet, Carnation, China berry, Chrysanthemum, Cockscomb, Cosmos, Echinops, Freesia, Gerbera Daisy, Gladiolus, Hypericum, Iris, Juniper, Kangaroo paw, Kalancheo, Liatrus, Lily, Asiatic, Lily, Gloriosa, Misty Blue, Orchid, Pepper berry, Protea, Queen Ann's Lace, Quince, Rover, Roses, Rowen berry, Salvia, Solidago, Statice, Star of Bethlehem, Sunflower, Yarrow, Zinnia.
Winter Flowers

Flowers And Seasons - Winter Flowers
Winter is season of cold weather. The season occurs during december - february in Northern hemisphere . In the Southern hemisphere winter occurs during june - august.   Flowers Blooming in Winter are:
Acashia, Alstromeria, Amaryllis, Carnation, Chrysanthemums, Cyclamen, Evergreens, Gerbera Daisy, Ginger, Helleborus, Holly berry, Lily, Asiatic Lily, Casa Blanca Lily, Narcissus, Orchid, Pansy, Pepperberry, Phlox, Protea, Queen Ann's Lace, Roses, Star of Bethlehem, Statice.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pink Daisy

Pink Daisy Designs

Choosing to compliment your wedding with the addition of pink daisies is a great way to add a touch of class to your storybook day. Not only will these beloved flowers look romantic adorning your personalized stationery, but they will also look elegant and cheery when they are placed throughout the reception area.

Linking your invitations, “save the date” cards, and place setting cards with a few pink daisies strategically designed throughout the room is a creative way to create a special theme. After all, wedding that includes careful detail is a wedding that will be hard to forget!

If you decide to choose pink daises, you will be continuing a long standing tradition of myth, love, innocence, and contentment.

The mysterious daisy is steeped half in mythology and half in tradition, as civilizations have been fascinated with this dainty flower that opens and closes with the sun’s rays.

In more recent times, the daisy became an important symbol of childhood innocence. In fact, young Victorian women with broken hearts often plucked the fair petals of the daisy in the hopes that love would come to them. These young lovers sang the timeless song, “he loves me, he loves me not” as each petal was stripped away.

While the Victorian song centered upon the daisy can still be heard throughout schoolyards today, this flower was an enigma far before the Victorian period.
Roman legend purports that the nymph Belides transformed into a daisy in order to avoid the overbearing attention of the god Vertumnus.

Belides was successful in tricking Vertumnus for the time being, which may be one reason why numerous brides believe that the daisy is a true captivator of both love and virtue.

Pink Daisies’ Color and Meanings

Ever since the Victorian days, colored flowers symbolize certain significant meanings. White often symbolizes innocence and purity, while red almost always means love and attraction. Pink is an interesting color that represents the middle of innocence and love.

Pink is representative of calmness, peace, tranquility, and contentment. While pink is not as bold as red, this soft hue also represents universal love and acceptance. To this day, pink is one of the most popular bridal colors. Many brides find the soothing qualities of the innocent pink daisy to be entirely reflective of their new life path.

Most brides settle on the pink Gerbera Daisy as the flower of their choice, though there are other daisy varieties that are beautiful. Nonetheless, the Gerbera variety remains immensely popular due to its unparalleled sophisticated look.

Pink Gerbera Daisies’ Birth

The Gerbera daisy was born out of the sunflower plant. Named after Traugott Gerber (a German naturalist), the Gerbera grows extensively in South America, Africa, Madagascar, and Asia. Interestingly, the first form of this daisy ever recorded was in a copy of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine that was published in 1889.

Today, this flower is often crossed with various other brands of Gerberas (there are over 30 different species) in order to produce brilliant colors. These lovely flowers can be found in white, yellow, orange, red, and of course, pink. Most of these flowers contain a yellow center, but black centers can also be found.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Choosing the most adequate types of flowers

We adore the white color when it comes to modern weddings and we must confess that we are surprised especially to see just how beautiful and inspiring the antique inspired receptions planned with the white color really look like!

Choosing the most adequate types of flowers and greeneries is always a matter of season. We always advise our brides to choose only seasonal flowers for their wedding bouquet and table centerpieces because these assortments are always more affordable in price and also fresher.

These floral centerpieces decorated with white flowers are great examples of this kind that you can get inspired from for your own wedding, no doubt about it!
The lavish white blooms used for these arrangements and the sage green splashes of color make a fascinating team that can convince even the most suspicious or hard to impress type of bride. We love these white wedding flower centerpieces and we recommend them to both modern and classic brides.

There is something chic, refined and artistic about these floral decorations that make us think of the vintage style. This is why we also suggest you adopt this style if you’re drawn by the beauty and charm of the antique style.

We can tell by the images that these centerpieces were created exclusively for the outdoors weddings. If you’re lucky to be planning a wedding in the spring, summer or fall, you should definitely take into consideration organizing the reception outside the doors.

However, these decorations look so attractive and fashionable that we personally wouldn’t change a thing about them!

The list of qualities of a seasonal wedding flower arrangement is even longer. The flowers available in your season are usually more fragrant, more vibrant and realistic in appearance.

The ruffled blooms with frilly petals and long stems are the trendiest ones or the most sought after types of wedding flowers. Anything fresh-cut and lavish is welcomed or trendy for a wedding bouquet or wedding décor.

These white wedding flower centerpieces can fit both the casual and the formal weddings because they look extremely elegant, fancy and stylish.

This is the way your flower centerpieces will or should like if you adopt the natural style for your wedding! Nevertheless, if you want something that can fit your personal vision, you can change the flowers and the accessories or the design of these arrangements. This way you will obtain something even more original, outstanding and unique.

We invite you to browse through the other posts we feature on white themed wedding floral arrangements on our website! Look for the most adequate style that can flatter your vision and fit the type of reception you’re planning! You surely deserve the best!

We find these creations high class, dainty, feminine and also voguish. They were designed especially for elegant nature inspired weddings. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t use them for fancy indoors receptions as well!
White roses, orchids, tuberoses and eucalyptus leaves are only a few of the blooms used for these arrangements.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Black flowers are mysterious

Black flowers are mysterious, elegant and seem to come straight from some fairytale world. In reality there are no truly black flowers – most are very dark shades of purple or red.

They symbolise power, mystery, elegance, farewell and goodbye. Often the romantic message of black flowers is a negative one, so these should probably be saved for break-ups.

However, a single black flower along with a gift of some sort could be a powerful romantic gesture with a hint of mystery.

A pure black flower is the Holy Grail to all flower breeders. To achieve one would be something truly special.

In Victorian and Edwardian times people used to collect black flowers and would go to many lengths to find the most exotic species.

Take a look at our list of the top 10 black flowers (photo at the top by Design Sponge).

Black Dahlia

These are actually a very deep burgundy or sometimes a chocolate colour, but some can be darker than others. They all look stunning in bouquets or as part of a centrepiece.

Chocolate Cosmos

These are another deep red flower. They can be grown in your own garden – all they need is well-draining soil and full sun. They are particularly loved for their scent of vanilla and hot chocolate.


These flowers are often called Christmas roses because they flower during winter. They come in all sorts of colours, including a dark brownish red. Their leaves can also be very dark too.


The black pansy is such a dark purple that it looks almost completely black. Other varieties have colourful petals with a black spot close to the middle of the flower. These little flowers are hardy and brilliant at brightening up any garden (depending on which colour you get). The black pansy is also said to attract love to one who carries it.

Black Lily

These stunning, showy flowers are a dark purple-red and look fantastic in bouquets. Black lilies could be grown outdoors, too, and could make a great focal point in your garden.

Calla Lily

These are very, very dark flowers that look black but are either maroon or purple. They are much rarer than white calla lilies and can often be hard to get hold of. They look fantastic in bouquets and make a very elegant statement.

Queen of the Night Tulip

These beautiful tulips are a dark purple. They are grown because they bloom late and provide some colour once all other plants have stopped flowering.

Bat Orchid

This fantastic black flower has whiskers dangling down from its centre. These have earned it the name of the bat orchids. It should be grown in a hot conservatory, as it loves heat and humidity.

Black Magic Hollyhock

These blue-black, tall, stately plants look good in any garden. They should be planted at the back of borders to give a beautiful classic garden look. They flower mid to late summer.

Black Velvet Petunia

This was the world’s first all-black petunia. These look good in pots in the garden alongside brighter coloured varieties of the petunia. There is another called Pinstripe that is black with a yellow stripe down the centre of each petal.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bridal Bouquets

Hand tied bridal bouquets are loosely arranged and simplistic by design. Known as a loose-tied bouquet or clutch bouquet. It consists of a simple gathering of flowers, bound and tied with ribbon with stems left exposed. Queen Anne's lace, phlox and cosmos are magnificent examples of this style.

This is a beautiful choice for an outdoor wedding with that just picked from the garden look. It is arranged in a looser manner with the stems left longer and a large ribbon or exotic fabric tied together. It is also a cheaper alternative to the expensive and elaborate cascading bouquet and cresent bouquet.

Even a loose-tied floral arrangment can make a lasting impression on your wedding day, depending on the flowers you choose, for example; if you use exotic, colourful or unique flowers, your bouquet will definately turn heads.
If you're having a white wedding, feast your eyes on our white bridal bouquet ideas and bridal bouquet pictures.

White flowers come in different shades; paper white, cream and ivory and have distinct elegance and formality. Your choice in white will depend on the shade of your bridal gown and if you want it to match or contrast with your gown or bridal accessories.

Here are some examples of gorgeous orange bridal bouquet ideas and bridal bouquet pictures! Dark yellow or orange flowers combine the vibrant energy of red and the hot flame of yellow. A wonderful choice for weddings, and a perfect way to reflect your hopes for the future.

The lighter hue of the orange bouquet doesn't dominate like a deeper red and may better suit certain complexions or bridal gowns. It represents enthusiasm, creativity, new beginnings, attraction and stimulates mental activity. Like yellow, orange bridal bouquets attract attention but highlight significant elements of the design of your bridal bouquets and floral arrangements. Orange flowers correlate to a thirst for action, desire and hot sexual passions - never a bad thing for the modern bride.

These gorgeous bridal bouquet pictures demonstrate various shades of orange, from light apricot, a vibrant orange to a rich burnt orange. The deeper orange flowers have a more of an autumn feel to them.

Have a look at our flower identification guide for your favourite coloured flowers and check to see if they will be in season when it's time to have your wedding celebration.A classic white bouquet works well in all seasons and can make a casual wedding graceful and refined. A lovely flower choice for a white wedding bouquet; calla lily, lily of the valley, roses, anemones, white tiger lily, gladiolus, gardenia, stephanotis and freesia.

White signifies purity, innocence, humility and a new beginning, it also depicts faith and is associated with light and is considered the colour of perfection. White flowers are most often used in bridal bouquets along with green leafy foilage. The green colour is very soothing and relaxing, helping the bride with anxiety and nervousness on the most important day of her life, her wedding day.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The hydrangea is a unique plant

The hydrangea is a unique plant that provides a quick burst of color to any home or bridal bouquet. The trendy hydrangea is both classic and modern, making it a perfect choice for any bride-to-be.

A Hearty History

An early American settler by the name of John Bartram was the first to discover the hydrangea. Bartram enjoyed trekking through forests in search of beautiful flowers. When he happened upon the hydrangea, he knew that he found something truly unique.
Many fossil discoveries prove that hydrangeas have actually been around for 70 million years. Interestingly, it wasn’t until 1739 that the first flower appeared in Europe. As soon as Europeans saw the flower, they immediately began to seek it. In fact, many believe that the French were the first to introduce the flower to wedding bouquets.
A few years after his first discovery, Bartram’s son joined him in the search for native hydrangeas. The two quickly discovered one species of hydrangea that was native to Georgia. Filled with excitement, both father and son set up a large greenhouse inside of their Philadelphia home in order to study this fascinating flower further.

The two decided to name the flower “hydrangea” after the Greek words “hydro” (water) and “angeion” (vase). While it seems as though these two words accurately describe the best way to display these colorful flowers, the truth is that the name describes the seed capsule portion of the plant.
Heavenly Hydrangea Bouquets
Due to their round shape and numerous petals, hydrangeas have the ability to fill out a wedding bouquet unlike any other flower. A large bouquet packed with hydrangeas is truly stunning and majestic. These flowers come in an assortment of colors, which makes creating the perfect bouquet even more appealing.
Not only do these flowers make lovely bouquets, they are also ideal flowers for cake toppers, pew decoration, and wedding stationery. Placing the romantic hydrangea on your wedding invitations will tell your guests that you have found devotion, companionship, and true love.
Hydrangeas can be found in blue, red, pink, purple, and sometimes white hues. If you want to create a bouquet that reflects purity and serenity, search for rare white hydrangeas. Bouquets also take on a special appearance when a few different colors (such as pink and purple) are combined.
Stationery Colors and Ideas
If you do decide to choose hydrangeas, consider mixing and matching a few different styles in order to complete your wedding theme. You can select stationery that includes blue, pink, and purple hydrangeas, and then fill your reception with flowers of all different colors.
Hydrangeas are so full of life that one simple representation of this flower is enough to make stationery sets majestic. Simple, elegant, and ethereal, a well designed hydrangea motif is easy to fall in love with.
It’s easy to see why the hydrangea has become popular once again. Although there are many different bridal flowers that are beautiful, this particular flower is both distinctive and expressive. Lacing our wedding together with colorful hydrangeas is a great way to give your special day a bit of stylish charm.