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.