15 Dec 2011

Magic Mistletoe!

Mistletoe grows in clusters on tree branches almost like a birds nest. Despite being highly poisonous and causing stomach pain with low pulse, Mistletoe is most commonly used as Christmas decoration and well known for being the kissing plant!

Ancient culture has passed on the tradition that the mistletoe sprig, once cut, shouldn’t come into contact with the ground and is hung above a door way to preserve the house from lightning or fire.

The ‘kissing under the Mistletoe’ is believed to originate from Scandinavia where a man and a woman meet under the Mistletoe to share a kiss. A berry is then plucked from the bunch. This goes on until all the berries are removed.

Here at Quintessentially Flowers we think this is a lovely, fun concept and encourage you all to buy a bunch of Mistletoe for your door arch and get picking those berries!

14 Dec 2011

Christmas Colours!

Christmas Day is only just around the corner so it’s definitely time to start getting into the festive spirit…but what colour theme for the decorations? With regards to style, you have a few to choose from. The traditional red, green and gold adds a warm, cozy feeling to your home and gives more of an indulgent look. It would be perfect for a grand hall or an older style house.

If you’re looking for something a little more contemporary, why not go for the modern icy look with frosty blue, sliver and white? This colour combination gives of a winter wonderland type feel, and allows you to go a little kitsch and sparkly with silver and white glitter sticks and blue glitzy baubles. Suitable for theatrics and glitter lovers!

Alternatively, purple sits in between the traditional and modern style. Equally as seasonal and festive, purple has a comfortable and relaxing vibe. Paired up with silver or gold, adds a glitzy edge for a glamorous Christmas.

Quintessentially Flowers can aid you in choosing your Christmas decorations no matter what your style!

2 Dec 2011

Flowers and Their Ancient Sygnificance...

Flowers carry great symbolic meaning according to Greek mythology. Each flower has a specific meaning and story behind it portraying different emotions.

Due to the fleeting life cycle of flowers, they have often been linked with youthful, innocent beauty and natural life cycles, hence being related to weddings and christenings. As well as being beautiful when they bloom, flowers also wilt, giving them the symbolic meaning of youthful death. This is why flowers are also traditionally used at funerals as a way of representing the life and death of a person.

The lily flower suggests fertility, creation and chastity with reference to virgin saints and Greek goddesses. The poppy signifies dreams, sleep and hypnosis relating to the opium extracted from the poppy.
The word narcissist derives from a narcissus flower, also known as the daffodil. In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a beautifully hansom young man who was pined over by many women. His arrogance and lack of respect for his loved ones angered the Gods, who made him fall in love with his reflection. Narcissus was so encapsulated by his reflection in a nearby lake, he drowned. And in that spot, a narcissus/ daffodil sprouted from the ground.

It’s interesting how an ancient myth can have such a knock on effect on meanings and symbols today. These symbolic references are still used as we relate flowers to significant and appropriate events.

25 Nov 2011

Chocolate cosmos

Flowering from mid to late summer the chocolate cosmos acquired its name from an unusual characteristic. Its natural scent has a bizarre similarity to the poignant aroma of chocolate. Stunningly delicate, the rich dark red/ maroon-brown petals balance precariously on a thin green stem, adding to its incredible beauty. The cosmos is a cultivated flower native to Mexico but isn’t widely used in the floristry industry. Apart from being fairly rare, this flower has a particularly short life span once cut, maintaining a fresh look for less than a day. This makes it a very fragile and unreliable material to use, but the thought of having a chocolate essence bouquet is rather desirable!

24 Nov 2011

Orchid by Day, Flowering Beauty by Night...

For the first time, a night flowering Orchid has been discovered by Dutch botanists. Found on an island near the Papua New Guinea, the Bulbophyllum nocturnum is the first Orchid species to flower nocturnally out of 25,000.

The remarkable Orchid has a very brief flowering life, opening from just a few hours after dusk, lasting only until a few hours after sunrise, making it rather tricky to catch sight of the full bloom.

The reason for its peculiar flowering pattern is yet to be discovered leaving budding botanists intrigued and keen to investigate.

Incredibly, the flowers are thought to pollinate through miniscule flies, mistaking it for a fungi, as the Orchid flower mimics the look of the fungi. It is believed to hold a scent similar to the fungi to attract the insects whilst being undetectable by humans. Quite an incredible creation.

The unique Orchid was found in amongst a logging area, now thought to be holding an unknown amount of other undiscovered species tucked away in this secluded unexplored part of the world. Local environmentalists are desperately trying to preserve the area for further research development and protect the Orchids from being exposed to full sunlight, as this could potentially damage their flowering cycle. Exciting stuff and we’re hoping to find out more in the near future!

18 Nov 2011

The Potted Option...

Want something different to decorate your home or event? Instead or as well as using cut flower arrangements, mix it up with a few potted plants. They can be suitable for parties, wedding receptions tables, restaurants or just around the house for a long lasting decoration. Water about once a week and they’ll stay looking fresh and beautiful!

Dotting them around the tables is perfect for a more rustic, organic wedding/ event. It also allows the guests to take the plants home at the end of the night which is quite a nice gesture and prevents wastage of flowers.

Marigolds are a lovely option, with that gorgeous uplifting orange and Bouvardia is also a really pretty plant to use with a slightly more feminine look. Cyclamen is also a fabulous option, coming in a selection of colours with a vibrant style.

17 Nov 2011

Spring's Come Early...

Now that summer has passed and we’re creeping closer to the frosty winter ahead, the flowers will have shut down, preparing for rebirth in Spring. However, Spring seems to have come early! Due to the recent fluctuating weather, flowers are blooming for a second time this year. The cool August and warmer September and October, has shocked the flowers into thinking it Spring already. This temperature change means our beautiful blooms are having to adjust their natural cycle, altering their availability. We’re finding there are materials around that aren’t in even season! Bizarre.

16 Nov 2011

Lush Hydrangeas!

Hydrangeas. A lush, beautiful and indulgent flower. They come in an array of vivid colours, from blues and pinks to greens and white and look fabulous in bulk. However, they also look amazing on their own as a single flower. They’re heads are made up of a mass of individual flowers making it look abundant and luscious!

The pure white works really well for a slick, corporate look, whereas the more vibrant colours can suit both the traditional arrangements and look equally good for a more quirky look. This variation of designs makes the hydrangea perfect for almost every occasion.

They last a good while if regularly watered and look fabulous on display for about a week. Once they’ve started to wilt, leave them to dry out and reuse them in a different arrangement. When dried, they work particularly well in Christmas wreaths.

11 Nov 2011

Making your Home Festive…

Ordering the right Christmas decorations for your home can be a difficult decision. With Quintessentially Flowers we can assist you in making the perfect choice in the simplest and most enjoyable way possible.

We have a selection of festive wreaths on our website to help ease you into the Christmas mode. Quintessentially Flowers can also customize wreaths to fit your personal style and décor.

From traditional reds and greens to the more innovative icy blue and silver, we are able to bring the Christmas vibe into your home.

4 Nov 2011

The Winter choice...

As winter approaches and we’re left with the Autumnal rusty coloured leaves, you may think that our wonderful blooms disappear for the winter seasons. However, as well as having access to gorgeous pines and sparkling baubles, there are some beautiful flowering blooms around in winter and with gorgeous scents too!

Of course the traditional rose is available in both Autumn and Winter along with the more delicate spray roses, which will always lighten up a room and have a positive enlightening effect on the atmosphere. Hypericums are a particularly Christmassy material. The little coloured berries, usually red or green, make a lovely accompaniment to a bouquet or design and add an alternate texture. Nerine is a beautiful flower and great for a slightly funkier option. It’s a more exotic looking flower with slender petals curled up like gift ribbon. Having not a hugely strong scent, its form and vibrant hot pink and pale pink colour, make this an eye catching and distinctive flower. It’s also available in pure white.

If you’re looking for a large headed flower with strong dominance and impact, the Dahlia would be perfect. With abundant layers of petals drawing your eye in and an array of vibrant colours, Dahlias ensure they attract attention and make any design stand out.

For best smells, dried lavender is always a favourite and perfect for a bathroom windowsill. Also, adding a few sprigs of rosemary to a bouquet will give it a beautiful natural fragrance! Mint is another alternative scented herb which will give off a lovely aroma good enough to eat! So there are lots of options for the coming seasons if you’re looking for something with a bit of colour and a splendid fragrance.

28 Oct 2011

Sparkling Amaryllis

In every area of life there are those who stand head and shoulders above the crowd. Making a statement. Leading the way. Giving us that comforting feeling of safety. The flower kingdom is no different. For as we swiftly move towards the cold and darkness, that is autumn\ winter. Allow Quintessentially to ease you into defining luxury and to guide you into the strong bold statement that is Amaryllis.

Its name means to sparkle and OH how it sparkles. The true beauty of this flower comes in many guises. We are totally spoilt with the length of the stem, easily standing over 100cm, more or less depending on taste, so this gives you the option to make an impact with a tall arrangement in a larger vase that you may normally struggle to fill. However that’s not to say that this flower isn't going to have just as much impact being cut very short and placed in a small cube vase, it's completely your choice.

The reason behind its versatility is because of the flower itself... Starting off reasonably small, but once open the flower is bold and strong… So strong it doesn't look real… it’s the sort of thing you'd expect to see on a film set on some tropical location. Its presence dominates a room, creating impression and normally lasts a couple of weeks… the only downside is the brittleness of the stem. However our team of florists are skilled enough to arrange them into hand-ties as well as free standing dramatic arrangements.

Simplicity is sometimes key, that’s why we’d opt for 5 stems of deep rich red Amaryllis, 7 stems of Pussy Willow and finished off with some soft Ruscus. This would allow you to maximize the length of the stem. The most popular colours are red, white and pink, and as we head closer towards Christmas (which is only around the corner after all!), Amaryllis are one of those seasonal traditional favorites that add the WOW factor.

However you choose to display your Amaryllis, Quintessentially can guide you into making the right choice.

26 Oct 2011

The Worlds Most Expensive Flowers…

Fancy going that little bit further for that special person? Here is a list of the top 5 most expensive flowers around!

Saffron Crocus - £600 per pound. Despite the Crocus being a fairly average priced flower, this particular variety is far from cheap. Hence the name, the Saffron Crocus makes the Saffron spice, the most expensive spice in the world, costing £600 per pound!

Bouquet consisting of white orchids, white lilies, moonflowers and the root of a 100 year old ficus. £80,000. As well as including luxurious flowers and antique ficus root, this bouquet also contains 90 two-carat red ruby facets, nine one-carat diamonds, and a 21.6-carat star ruby! This stunning pricey bouquet is available to view in the Ruby Plaza, Vietnam.

Gold of Kinabalu Orchid - £3,000 per stem. The endangered species of Orchid, only blooming in April-May, is found only in a specific cornered off area in a Malaysian National Park, making it an extremely rare and pricey flower!

Shenzhen Nongke Orchid - £160,000. This is a man-made Orchid from China, taking 8 years to perfect the variety. It was auctioned at £160,000 in 2005, making it the most expensive flower ever bought.

Kadupul Flower – Priceless! This gorgeous flower tops the lot. It holds a priceless beauty and lasting for only a few hours, even the natives of Sri Lanka rarely have the pleasure to view its beauty. Its short life span gives it an almost magical quality as its divine beauty perishes within hours due to its rare and fragile state.

14 Oct 2011

Autumn’s here!

It’s that time of year again; the leaves are dropping from the trees, covering the streets with rusty orange. Winter jackets and scarves slowly creeping into your everyday wardrobe. That comforting, crisp feeling in the air. It’s a wonderful time for nature with gorgeous colours and textures coming out.

Physalis lanterns are a brilliant texture and shape in an Autumn bouquet or arrangement and fit perfectly with Halloween. Leucospermum, commonly known as pin-cusion, is also a great flower to use in Autumn, coming in shades of orange, red and yellow. And of course the typical plane tree leaf is perfect for creating that cosy, Autumn feel. Having the right colours in your home creates a good atmosphere and will get you into a positive mood for the coming winter.

13 Oct 2011

Why do flowers make us feel so good?

Why do flowers make us feel so good? Even if your day isn’t going as planned, you open the door to a delivery of a beautiful bouquet of flowers just for you, you can’t help but smile!
The sight of flowers is proven to have a positive effect on our mood. Depending on the colours and flowers used, the moods can differ, so choosing suitable materials for an environment is important.
In a working environment, a focused and calm atmosphere is needed. A mix of greens and whites would create a calm vibe and should help with concentration. You could also use violet and purple as they also have a cooling effect. By adding a touch of red or a subtle pink, it would inject a boost of energy into the office.

Electric indigo enhances confidence and clears the mind of unnecessary fears and worries, making it an ideal colour scheme for a meeting room, guest room or waiting area for example, to help break the ice and relax the guests. Stunning Iris or gladioli would be perfect.

Flowers are a fabulous item to have in any environment. They release endorphins, making us feel happier, lightened and chirpy, which is never a bad thing!

12 Oct 2011

General Conditioning for Longer Lasting Flowers…

• Remove packaging
• Cut about an inch off stems at a 45degree angle.
• Remove leaves below water level to avoid contaminating the water.
• Arrange in a suitable vase with appropriate flower food (usually attached to the bouquet)

Suitable conditions vary from flower to flower, for example, anthuriums prefer room temperature, but roses would wilt in warm conditions. (See earlier post for rose revival tips!)
So generally, when choosing the perfect spot for your beautiful flowers, it’s best to avoid direct sunlight, heat, cold draughts and air conditioned rooms. Flowers can be very sensitive to sudden changes in their environment.
Top up the water levels regularly and change the water as often as possible to keep your flowers fresh and lasting, removing any dying flower heads or leaves.

Keep an eye on their condition and you’ll be able to enjoy them in all their beauty for much longer!

Top tip: Avoid putting fruit and flowers next to one another. The fruits produce ethylene gas which affects the longevity of your flowers!

6 Oct 2011

Bluebells in a bottle…

There’s something so magical about walking through the woods in early spring and stumbling across a field full of beautiful bluebells; the delicate blue-violet tone spreading as far as your eye can see. As well as being visually stunning, the bluebells signature scent, so delicate and light yet strong and memorable, is equally as gorgeous…

This fabulous scent is now available to wear! Jo Malone and master perfumer Christine Nagel, have created a Wild Bluebell Cologne in an attempt to preserve the endangered wild flower. Although seemingly abundant, the English bluebell is in fear of being wiped out by the Spanish bluebell. These bluebells have a lighter, less pigmented smell, are paler and don’t have such a delicate droop. The English bluebell’s endangerment is also due to people illegally collecting these beautiful droplets, trying to capture some of their sweetness. The Wild Bluebell Cologne is to be launched this Autumn and allows you to have their scent with you whenever you please so we can leave these enchanting flowers to flourish in their natural environment.

5 Oct 2011

Gorgeous Amaranthus, caudatus

This fabulous draping flower, also known as ‘Love lies bleeding', comes in two beautifully rich colours, fresh green and rich burgundy red. Its natural cascading structure makes it the perfect material to drape over the edge of a large pedestal arrangement, giving the feeling of luxurious abundance. The vibrant pigment against the lime green foliage is an extraordinary contrast which adds to the beauty and unique appeal of the amaranthus flower.

Available in Summer and Autumn, it’s right in season and looks fabulous in a grand entrance hall or beautiful dining room. Although the amaranthus doesn’t have a strong aroma, its colour and indulgent style is enough to bring a luxurious atmosphere to any room.

29 Sep 2011

Radiant Ranunculus...

In life we need pioneers to go beyond the norm pushing the boundaries and creating new trends… most people play it safe and follow the crowd allowing the status quo to dictate how we conduct our lives. I appreciate that everyone has their own opinion on their particular taste, but sometimes we need to be the ones who step over the fresh hold and create new trends. At Quintessentially we provide the perfect launch pad for you to do just that…

That is why this year the hottest flower is the Ranunculus. Just saying the word should be enough already, but for those of you who don't know about this, I will bring you into the loop of the flower-world’s best kept secret... we have only just started to see this year’s early crop available for us to buy. Therefore at the moment they are limited in size and colour, but do not worry, you are now entering into a long season in which to really enjoy this amazing specimen. In about 6 weeks when we start to receive the English and Italian variety, being patriotic it hurts me to say it, but the Italian Ranunculus are of another world their beauty is stylish... this flower can't properly be described in words and a photo also doesn't do justice to the magical sense you get when you’re able to enjoy it in the comfort of your own home. To start with they last about two weeks and in that time their appearance just keeps getting better. They have a layered soft delicate petal that has an endless sense of comfort. As they open the depth continues to add a density as the petals simply spread and grow to what becomes a heavenly vision. Like a fine wine they improve with age allowing you to really be able to enjoy the charm that is Ranunculus. They come in just about every colour and look great by themselves. When the English ones arrive shortly you can buy a mixture of colours and really enjoy a rainbow effect which will add real joy to any office or home.

Only true style guru's already know about this flower, that’s why I'm letting you in on it now, so you know early on in the season, so you too can claim some of their magic. You can have them tied up with green, with berries, as part of a bouquet, or simply by themselves. Whatever your choice, contact us with your order and we will be happy to send you some of this alchemy…

23 Sep 2011

Rose Revival

Roses are renowned for drooping. This tends to happen when the water hasn't been changed regularly. Air travels up the stem causing an air bubble blockage just below the head and stopping the flow of water to the flower.

Great tip!

You can now revive your roses. Take them out of the vase, cut the stems at an angle and lay the bottom of the stems into boiling water. Leave them for about 30seconds to a minute. Then transfer them straight into cold water. Leave them for a couple of minutes. Re-cut the stems and arrange in a vase with fresh water. The heads should now be upright and brought back to life. The combination of the hot and cold water shifts the air bubble and works as a shock treatment. Now you can enjoy your beautiful roses for longer!

15 Sep 2011


Snowberries grow in North and Central America and are part of the much loved honeysuckle family.

They are at their peak in September and look gorgeous when used with any white flower but in particular delicate roses. The contrast in texture adds an extra element of interest to a design. Alternatively, the berries look stunning in a bunch on their own, tied with pretty ribbon to cover the stems. Why not add some pearl beads or pins to decorate. The pearls mimics the form of the berries and enhance the look.

8 Sep 2011

The Anemone

We are just starting the Anemone season, a delicate papery flower. A favourite that comes in around 120 varieties. Some of the best examples of colours are classic purple or a vibrant cerise pink. This is a flower that looks beautiful by itself, simply choose your favourite colour and fill a fish bowl or short cylinder vase with these rich, deep, velvet looking, ''relatives of the buttercup family,'' flowers. Please be aware that their capacity for water is massive so to get the complete shelf life you should top up the vase every 2 days with fresh water. They are beautiful at every stage of flowering - from its early stages as the deep dark stems, ends with a whispering soft leaf that magically holds the intense bud.. It opens to reveal, what can only be described as the essence of nature itself. For its hypnotic velvet centre, intense blackness that is the centrepiece of this flowery dream, displaying the paper like petals abundant in colour.

As it is very early season the stems are shorter and colours less varied, but over the next few months be prepared to be spoiled with this amazing flower. Its availability will be daily here at Quintessentially ready for you to enjoy

30 Aug 2011

Meadow Flowers

Most of us get caught up in everyday life, work, family and friends and therefore are too busy to engage in the great outdoors, this is especially if you live in the city. It is important for our sense of well-being to incorporate nature in our day to day lives- from the flowers you have in your home, that add style and bring the amazement of nature inside, to our back gardens, local heaths and parks. all of these are ready for us to enjoy whenever we choose. Beautiful flowers such as larkspur, baby blue eyes, scabious, scarlet flax, cornflower and corn chamomile are all found in local meadows and heaths and are also available for you to buy here at Quintessentially.  

Meadow flowers are becoming more and more rare and unusual. In order to demonstrate our support for wild flowers and their conservation we have created a limited edition 'Support The UK Flower Meadows’ bouquet, which features a number of rare British flowers.

To read the full article please click here

15 Aug 2011

Green with Envy

As we said last week you don't have to simply use traditional greens in your arrangements to increase the density of the look. Adding depth and character to the flowers can be created with with an abundance of alternatives from Blackberries to Chilies,to Baby Alliums and Heather. Lavender or Herbs, to Mints and Grasses.

All of these can be combined with traditional Salal and eucalyptus. Birch or Berried Ivy to completely alter the aesthetics of a desired look. You should use greens like accessories to enhance a particular theme and garnish it with a purpose.

As we all saw in this years Royal wedding the pure genius and simplicity of using greens and foliage, trees and country grasses to develop an understated look of breathtaking class.

11 Aug 2011


Another top tip from Q Flowers -

Gladioli: These flowers are easy, colourful, bright and make great cut flowers.

They look fantastic in the office and in your home because they have a large presence and can make a big impression on a room.

As soon as the blooms start to open you will need to cut the steams at an angle to ensure they last as long as possible. The best time to do this is in the morning. Do not pick off too many leaves!

10 Aug 2011

English Garden Dahlia's

We have the most lovely English Garden Dahlia's in today.

These beautiful flowers are very popular at the moment and will continue to be throughout the summertime, all the way into Autumn, and the first frosts of winter.

They look fantastic and make a striking addition to any arrangement. They come in wide variety of quirky and bright colours. View on the left.

9 Aug 2011

Blackberries - The New Foliage!

Blackberries are back in season and make a delicious alternative to eucalyptus or salal. Yum!

8 Aug 2011

Keep It English

In today’s modern world, with genetically modified this.... and all year round that....  the seasons have simply blurred into a high street, watered down, frenzy of nothingness..
Step back with Quintessentially Flowers and let us can guide you back into the arms of English flowers.

This country spoils us with an abundance of beautiful wild flowers locally harvested in and around the British isles. Already this summer we have been spoiled with a bumper crop of peonies and sweet peas. Stocks with their dense thick stems and intense scent have yet again gone beyond the call of duty.

View Our Sunflower Bouquet
As we approach mid-summer there is an abundance of quality English flowers, from lush country Larkspur to Hydrangea, both available in several colours. Classic Royal blue Cornflower the school flower of Dulwich College, traditional England at its best. Rich purple and pink Asters can really give your townhouse sitting room that country garden look and feel.

In a nutshell we as a nation grow everything from Arum Lilies to Freesia's, Dahlia to Gladioli, Electric blue Brodiaea to glorious wild English Delphiniums. Not forgetting the English Rose which is a flower steeped in history, with each individual colour having its own hidden meaning and definition. This summer why not keep it simple, keep it English and keep it elegant.

5 Aug 2011


We have the most stunning, bright agapanthus in today

They flower in the summer and are mainly grown for their beautiful showy colours. They are commonly grown in shades of purple and blue but also come in whites and pinks.

They thrive in well-drained fertile soil and for best results you should feed them weekly or fortnightly with liquid feed.

They are perfect summer flowers and look fabulous in the garden or in the home

3 Aug 2011

Bright Is The New White

The summer time is a great excuse to be adventurous and live outside of the box - why not use your home or office as an opportunity to experiment with your creativity and introduce some vibrant electric colours into your life? We all tend to play it safe with whites, creams and pastels but this year why not exercise some change? why not use flowers as the catalyst to the new you?

Check out these gorgeous Dutch electric Arum lillies that we have in today. Funky and bright these are guaranteed to brighten up a room or office, send online flowers they make are very quirky and stylish gift.

2 Aug 2011

What's Hot

Bright colours are in this summer and make the perfect colourful gift!

Hot pinks, reds and burned orange are the colours of the moment. With hydrangea, dahlia and a variety of roses mixed with gelder berries and dark foliage to bring out the colour

See one of our flower bouquets we made earlier below - absolutely gorgeous!

29 Jul 2011

A Budding Summer Ahead With Quintessentially Flowers

Quintessentially Flowers is very proud to announce that we have launched a brand new range of beautiful bouquets on our website. Popular summer bouquets include our gorgeous Summer Vintage Bouquet (see picture) which is classic to the season and is composed of stunning pink peonies, purple hydrangeas and delicate pink spray roses.

For a quirky summer gift our Electric Summer Bouquet is perfect. It is made up with Cerise peonies, red celosia, red astilbe and marie claire roses that combined look absolutely stunning.

For something more exotic our Tropical Electric Bouquet is very unique and unusual. Its intention is to bring all the fragrances of the Caribbean together, the Tropical Electric bouquet is composed of Calla Lilies, Brenda Red Proteas, Friendship roses and Red Hypericum

Please let us know what you think of our new range and comment below – we would love to hear your feedback!

29 Jun 2011

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is held in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace from the 5th-10th July. It is the rival show to the world famous Chelsea Flower Show that took place this year back in late May. It is a pilgrimage for anyone who is interested in the great outdoors. 

The first show was held in 1993 and was considered a considerable success and the following year it was acknowledged as the best outdoor public event of 1994. The 20 acre showground allowed the show to grow considerably.

There are many things to do and see. A must see is the RHS edible garden. This stunning centrepiece is the largest in the entire show and it showcases the very best in grow your own and most of it is edible. It is designed by award winning designers Anita Foy and Jon Wheatley and most of the yield is grown in the UK . Another must see is the ‘food for free’ area with plants that can found in the wild. Features include a lavender field, olive trees, a tropical zone and a cider orchard. It’s a must see for anyone who loves nature and the outdoors –we look forward to seeing you there!

22 Jun 2011

Party Flowers

There are many florists who specialize in corporate and event work. Flowers for events are very different to the flowers in the home as they don’t need to last as long however they need to make a serious impact on a room and look impressive.

When thinking about centrepieces they should either be low or tall and thin so that people can still talk and see each other. It is important to bear in mind that scented flowers at a dinner is not advisable as the smell of flowers and food is not always effective. In stark contrast, scented flowers at a drinks reception can work wonderfully as it helps guests relax and feel energised unless of course they suffer from hay fever!

Flowers or large potted plants at the entrance to an event or party can look fantastic and also set the vibe for the evening. They can also complement the theme of the evening very well for example – orchids would work well for a winter wonderland theme and hydrangeas for a more formal event. Either way flowers at parties can really add to the atmosphere and have a positive impact on the mood of the guests.

21 Jun 2011

The Dahlia Flower

The Dahlia is a spectacular garden flower and is named after a Swedish 18th century botanist called Anders Dahl. He originally regarded it as a vegetable rather than a garden flower however this changed when the first varieties with large double flowers were produced in Belgium around 1815.

They are native to the mountainous regions of Mexico, although they live in warm countries they actually grow better in cooler conditions. Dahlia’s liked well drained, rich moist soil and also direct sunlight. They are not particularly hardy plants but they will survive and benefit from a cooler climate and lots of rain.

Dahlia’s bloom from Mid-summer all the way up to late autumn and look even more spectacular as the weather cools, they produce an even more beautiful display if they are properly pinched and deadheaded. We highly recommend the Dahlia flower as a beautiful addition to your garden this summer!

17 Jun 2011

Popular Plants In Japan

The Cherry Blossom
The Cherry Blossom is Japan’s unofficial national flower. There are many different varieties of cherry trees in Japan for example the Somei Yoshino, Kikuzakura and Ichiyo. Most of these bloom for a couple of days in spring. The Japanese celebrate springtime with Hanami which involves having parties under the blossoming trees.

The Ume or the Japanese Plum
These bloom several weeks before the cherry blossom and show an early sign of spring. In Tokyo and the surrounding areas they typically flower in Febuary and March. As a celebration of this plum festivals are held in public parks and temples.

The Momiji or the Japanese Maple
The Japanese maple produces the most incredible autumn colours and is a popular decorative tree in Japanese gardens.

The Matsu or Pine
The Matsu is green throughout the year and is also popularly used as a decorative plant in Japanese gardens. The pine symbolises youth and longevity.

Take or Bamboo Plant
The bamboo plant has a number of different uses. It is often used in construction, gardens and several arts and crafts. It is one of the fastest growing plants in the world.

16 Jun 2011

Ikebana - The Japanese Art Of Flower Arranging

Ikebana or popularly known as Kado is the Japanese art of flower arranging. It is a disciplined form of art in which humanity and nature are brought together. Its constituents are leaves, branches, blossoms and grasses and its true beauty is the result of its colour combinations, lines and shapes.

Ikebana has become highly acclaimed and respected in the west – the Japanese have a huge appreciation for nature and when visiting Tokyo it is not unusual to find taxi drivers have put a little vase with flower at the edge of their windshield. In addition it is very rare to see a Japanese house that does not feature some sort of floral arrangement.

Arrangers tend to use several different types of plants in a single arrangement and even when a single flower is used the arranger will ensure that an effort is made to bring out the full implications of nature. There is also a deep appreciation of the spiritual aspect of Ikebana. People who practice this very skillful art form feel as though it helps you “live in the moment” and experience a sense of deep appreciation of nature that would have seemed insignificant before.

10 Jun 2011

Caring for your Bonsai Plant

The Bonsai plant is thought to have originated from Japan and China. It is notoriously difficult to keep and maintain and requires great skill and patience. Caring for a Bonsai can sometimes be compared to caring for a human!

They must be watered regularly – if they are not they will become vulnerable to weakness, disease and pests. It is advisable to plant in sterile soil which has a balanced PH level otherwise the plant will not grow. You should also test the water that you give your bonsai is PH neutral. They should be kept at a consistent temperature as this can cause stress – they are in particularly vulnerable to colder conditions.  Bonsai plants do not enjoy windy conditions, direct sunlight, excessive shade and damp conditions. When feeding your bonsai plant you should choose organic plant food whichhas low nitrogen levels as this will encourage growth and prevent wounds from developing. Bonsai plants are prone to fungal infections which spread very easily much like flu with humans. All wounds must be sealed.

8 Jun 2011

Flower Scents

Floral scents are very popular especially in the perfume industry. They spend a great deal of time and effort trying to recreate an authentic floral fragrance. Research has shown that floral fragrances can have a significant effect on our emotions – for example lavender can act as a sedative – hence why lavender oil is often recommended as a relaxant and people often put it on their pillows at night to help them sleep. Citrus has the opposite effect and is used as a pick me up.

On the whole white flowers have stronger scents – for example lilies and narcissi. The only exception this are freesia’s – the dark pink and red flowers tend to smell the strongest. See below for various floral scents:

Aromatic: Rosemary, Lavender, Dill, Eucalyptus, Hyacinth

Sweet: Sweet Pea’s, Lilac, Carnations, Lily of the Valley, freesia’s

Spicy: Dianthus (pink), Genista, stock, chrysanthemum

Citrus: eucharis (lemon scent), Acacia, Chamelaucium

7 Jun 2011

Is It Ok To Send Flowers To Men?

Five or ten years ago it was very unusual to send men flowers. However in today’s day and age where change comes fast it is not uncommon to see men going for a facial or manicure and pedicure.

Having spoken to various men about receiving flowers we have established that most men actually do like flowers. Choosing the right flowers however is not easy. From our research we would recommend avoiding sending pastel/pale pink arrangements e.g ones that look very feminine.

The best thing to choose is something more masculine e.g an orchid bouquet for example in purple or white. Sticking to blues, greens and purples is advisable. Sunflower bouquets are often popular with men as well as tropical flowers such as birds of paradise flowers as they have a bold, striking appearance. In addition a Venus fly trap plant would be a fun gift for a man – these plants are carnivorous and live off insects and flies.

6 Jun 2011

Interesting Facts about Flowers

  • The largest flower is the the Rafflesia or “corpse flower” and it has a very pungent scent – hence its nickname because it often smells like rotting flesh
  •  White flowers tend to be more scented than coloured flowers
  •  Sunflower stems used to fill lifejackets before modern technology and materials were invented which proved more effective
  •  Onions contain a mild antibiotic that fights infections
  • There are over 15,000 species of roses grown around the world
  • Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O'Donnell and Barbara Streisand each have a rose named after them
  • Tulip Bulbs can be used instead of onions for cooking
  • The rose family also includes apricots, cherries, peaches, pears, apples, plums and almonds
  • Broccoli is a flower and also a vegetable
  • Saffron comes from the crocus flower
  • In Malta, chrysanthemums are connected with funeral and it is considered bad luck to keep the flower indoors – However Feng shui ideology believes that chrysanthemums bring joy and laughter to any roo
  • Tulips can grow up to an inch a day after being cut
  • There are over 250,000 species of flowering plants in the world
  • During the 1600s, Tulips were so treasured and valuable that their bulbs were worth more than gold

3 Jun 2011

Plant Style For Your Home

People purchase flowers and plants to improve and enhance their homes. It is often a difficult to decide on what flowers or plants that fit into the style of your home. The ideas below may help you when making these decisions and ensure that you choose the perfect plant to fit your style of interior:

Country Living Style
Cottages suit informal plants. The most popular plants to use in a country home are Ivy, ferns, roses and jasmine which smells gorgeous. Use terracotta and wooden pots to keep the style natural.

Groovy & Bright
If you prefer plenty of colour then there are lots of plants to choose from. Gerberas, begonias, kalanchoes and also brightly coloured hydrangeas can look fantastic and funky. To add to the dramatic effect you can use brightly coloured pots.

Elegant interiors suit classy houseplants such as pot roses in pastel shades, white hydrangeas and pretty orchids. Displayed in black glass vases these plants look extra chic and sexy.

A minimal style of interior needs something subtle and simple. Cacti are great for this kind of feel. In addition bromeliads look great as well. Glass and metal containers work well with this kind of style.

For neutral interiors plants can inject a bit of colour into the room. Plants such as gardenia, Jasmine and stephanotis work really well in this environment. They maintain a natural feel but just avoids the room looking bland and boring.

Bold plants are suitable for a Mediterranean style – plants such as cacti, geraniums and pelargoniums. Their pots should be painted brightly or should be in terracotta

2 Jun 2011

Gift Ideas

Flowers are often given to people as gifts – they are great ways to express our emotions. There are many perfect occasions whereby flowers make the perfect gift – for example:

To celebrate a birthday/anniversary
We recommend something bright and quirky that represents the happiness of the occasion. This summer a great choice would be brightly coloured peonies, sweet peas and roses.

To wish someone get well soon
 Giving flowers to someone who is unwell or maybe in hospital is a great way to lift their spirits. Bright flowers are appropriate as these will create a happy environment and brighten up the room. A long lasting plant like an orchid or gerbera is also great as they are low maintenance and are brightly coloured.

To say congratulations
You don’t always have to stick to tradition – for example sending blue flowers to celebrate the birth of a baby boy. The recipient is more likely to appreciate something a bit more daring or personal – send their favourite flowers or the most fashionable flowers at the time e.g a great flower to send at the moment are gorgeous English sweet peas that are beautifully scented and look fantastic – they are also available in lots of colours.

To celebrate an engagement
We would recommend sending romantic flowers – scented pastel colours always look fantastic. Accompanying with a bottle of champagne/wine or chocolates is a great additional gift idea.

For funerals
Funeral flowers celebrate the life of a loved one and are used as symbols of love, respect and honour. Funeral flower trends have changed a lot – the traditional and perhaps predictable choice is lilies but nowadays it is acceptable to have flowers in almost any style or shape. Perhaps a hand tied arrangement of the deceased favourite flowers.

1 Jun 2011

Celebrity Wedding Flowers

Take inspiration from modern day celebrities and  the eternal elegance of the fifties film stars to ensure you feel like a million dollars on your wedding day. Lily of the valley has been a very popular choice amongst celebrities which is hardly a surprise considering it means “you’ve  made my life complete” in the Victorian language of flowers. Kate Middleton who recently married Prince William chose Lily of the Valley for her bridal bouquet. See below for other influential celebrity choices:

Princess Diana:

Diana selected a teardrop shaped  bouquet of yellow ‘Mountbatten’ roses, freesia, orchids, freesias, stephanotis, gardenia and lily of the valley. It also included myrtle and veronica. All the flowers were cut from Queen Victoria’s garden at Osborne House.

Audrey Hepburn:

Audrey’s choice was very simple. For her first marriage she chose a simple headdress of white roses and for her second marriage she chose a scented handtied posy which consisted of lily of the valley and freesia

Barbra Streisand:

Barbra chose gardenias and lily-of-the-valley

Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor:

Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe chose the same bouquet for their weddings. They both opted for a simple posy of three white orchids

Leann Rimes:

Leann who very recently got married chose gorgeous smelling sweet peas mixed with freesias, roses and hydrangeas

Camilla Parker-Bowles:

Camilla carried a posy of white, purple and yellow primroses teamed with lily-of-the-valley when she married Prince Charles.

31 May 2011

Poisonous Plants

There are a number of common poisonous plants and flowers which can be found growing in the countryside, in woods and gardens. These plants are not to be eaten and you should always wash your hands once you’ve picked them!

The most common poisonous plants are listed below:

Daffodil – The bulbs of a daffodil can cause an upset stomach so whatever you do don’t eat them! The stem is also poisonous

Iris: The tubers are particular poisonous but the whole plant can cause a nasty stomach upset and discomfort

Foxglove: These plants are highly toxic and can seriously damage the gastrointestinal system as well as the cardiovascular system

Buttercup: The juice from a buttercups stems can cause irritation to the skin and also upset the gastrointestinal system

Deadly Nightshade; As the name suggests this plant is extremely toxic and mustn’t be eaten
Hyacinth: Again this plant will cause a nasty stomach upset – It is also important to note that the bluebell is in the same family

27 May 2011

Carnivorous Plants

Carnivorous Plants obtain nutrients by trapping and digesting various insects, some have even been known to digest small frogs and mammals. Carnivorous plants are commonly found in bogs and marshes where there is plenty of nutrients.
There are five basic ways in which carnivorous plants trap their prey:

Pitfall Traps: Leaves are filled with digestive enzymes that enable them to trap their prey
Flypaper: Leaves are covered in glands that produce a sticky mucus
Snap Traps: The leaves are hinged and snap shut as soon as their trigger hairs are touched
Suction Traps: highly adapted leaves that suck in prey with a bladder that creates an internal vacuum
Lobster Pot Traps: They have twisted tubular channels that lure its prey – these channels are lined with glands and hairs
The Venus Fly Trap is the most famous and renowned carnivorous plant. Their traps often grow big enough to catch wasps, flies, spiders, slugs and daddy long legs. There is only one species but they come in many different shapes sizes and colours. They are not very large plants and should be grown in pots that are placed in water trays. It is important to use soft water for example rainwater as this encourages strong growth. You should never fertilise the plant through the root system however one can feed the plant live insects during the growing season – live wax worms and meal worms are ideal meals. Do not feed them dead insects as this will cause rot.

26 May 2011

Health Benfits Of Flowers

It is a well- known fact that flowers make people happy. Now however research has been conducted at top educational institutions that shows the behavioural and emotional benefits of flowers and plants. Research in America for example has confirmed that flowers might be the perfect antidote for people who do not consider themselves morning people. Research conducted at Harvard University found that participants in the study felt more positive and energetic after looking at flowers in the morning.

This research has also been applied to the workplace. In today’s economy it is essential for businesses to gain a competitive edge. One of the key’s to gaining a competitive edge is a productive, positive workforce. Research has suggested that by simply adding flowers and plants to the workplace can have a positive impact on productivity and enhance creative performance which could mean the vital difference between mild and great business success.

Flowers when given as gifts say a lot about the people sending them. According to Rutgers University research has exposed that people who send flowers, in comparison to other gifts, are portrayed as intelligent, caring and successful people.

23 May 2011

The Chelsea Flower Show

The Chelsea Flower Show has played an integral part of the British cultural and social scene for almost 150 years. It is an annual festival that lasts five days each year towards the end of May. It exhibits a variety of plants, exotic plants and gardens designed by celebrities and up and coming designers. It is held in the gardens of London’s Royal Hospital. It is one of the most famous and well known flower shows in the world.  
It all began in 1862 when London’s Royal Horticultural society held its first spring show. It took place in Kensington and featured exotic plants from all over the world. This continued and gradually it started to build up a loyal audience. In 1912 they decided they needed to find a new location and it was decided that the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea was the most appropriate. The show grew larger and more successful each year until the war broke out which caused some interruptions, however by 1979 the crowds were so large the attendance was restricted. Today more than 150,000 visit the show to find out the latest trends in horticultural and floral design.

19 May 2011

The Lisianthus

The Lisianthus is a herbaceous annual plant that is found in warm areas of the United States, The Caribbean, Mexico and northern America. There are 3 species of Lisinathus and they range from 15-60cm tall – they are large funnel shaped flowers. They are available in many different colours frim white – cream, pink to mauve and blue-violet. 

They are incredibly popular cut flowers. They are often used in bridal bouquets as they are very simple and when mixed with delicate roses look absolutely stunning. They are also becoming popular in the ornamental market where Japan and New Zealand are leading the way.

Lisianthis are very symbolic and because of this they are very popular gifts. For example they are often sent as thank you flowers because they represent appreciation – they are also given as romantic gifts as they symbolize a deep rooted romantic attachment and they are also given to represent appreciation for a friend.
Lisianthus are available all year round and when cared for properly can last in a vase for upto 12 days. You should always cut the stems under water and remove the foliage underneath. It is also advisable to feed them with commercial flower food that you can buy from your local florist or garden centre.

18 May 2011

The Heather Plant

Heather is an evergreen branching shrub that blooms in late summer. They come in a wide range of colours ranging from pink, white, purple and mauve. Heather is found mostly throughout Western Europe and also in parts of Siberia and Northeaster North America. It is seen as iconic of Scotland which is where it largely grows.

Heather is a very popular ornamental plant in the garden. They prefer sunlight and well drained acidic soil and can be planted anytime the ground is not frozen. When planting heather you should ensure the soil contains compost or processed manure as this will encourage strong growth. The soil must also be well drained.
Caring for your heather plant is fairly easy as they are not very high maintenance. They should be pruned every year, this should take place immediately after flowering and as a result you will see additional flowers the following year. You should fertilize the plants – especially if their colour is poor or they are not growing well this is a good indication that they require feeding. The best time to feed a heather plant is in late spring or late winter.