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Monday, November 21, 2011

Make A Floral Kissing Ball

One way to add a touch of color to your home is to create a floral kissing ball. A kissing ball is a round globe covered with dried flowers that has a loop for hanging. It can be hung from arches, gazebos, and even from the ceiling for beautiful and unusual home decor. Kissing balls aren’t just for home decor. They can also be carried by ribbon loops during a wedding ceremony. Historically, these decorative balls were created with mistletoe glued to the center and hung above a doorway, Hence, the name “kissing ball”. They’re so versatile and easy to make that’ll you’ll probably end up making more than one. Here’s how to make a floral kissing ball to brighten your home and add a touch of color:
Supplies needed:
A Styrofoam ball in the size of your choice (one that’s three to four inches in diameter works well)
Spanish moss
Dried flowers of your choice
Wired ribbon
Craft glue
Hot glue gun

Gather your supplies.
Most of the supplies needed to make a floral kissing ball are available at your local craft store. Select a shade of wired ribbon that will coordinate well with your home and flowers that will compliment both your home and the ribbon.

Create the base.
Glue the Spanish moss to the entire perimeter of your Styrofoam ball. The Styrofoam should be completely covered with moss. Allow the glue to dry before proceeding.

Create a bow.
Use your wired ribbon to create a multi-loop bow for your floral kissing ball. Hot glue this to the top of your Styrofoam ball. Take a long strand of your wired ribbon, fold it in half and create a knot at one end. Hot glue the knot to the top of the Styrofoam bowl to create a long loop for hanging your kissing ball.

Decorate your floral kissing ball.
Now comes the fun part. It’s time to decorate your Styrofoam with dried flowers. Arrange your dried flowers in a pleasing arrangement on your moss covered Styrofoam ball. Attach each dried flower with the hot glue gun. Admire your work!

Now that you’ve completed your floral kissing ball, find a suitable place in your home to hang it for all to admire. You can also make a kissing ball out of fresh greenery but it will have a shorter shelf life. You can make a kissing ball even fancier by adding long strands of ribbon to the underneath surface of the ball or even hang strands of beads or an interesting tassel. A handmade floral kissing ball also makes an unusual and thoughtful gift that will be much appreciated. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Buying Funeral Flowers

Elaborate flower bouquets are the traditional funeral gift.  They fill the funeral parlor with beautiful blooms but the gift is short lived.  More often than not, when the funeral is over the flowers are donated to local hospitals or nursing homes.  While this is an honorable ending for the flowers it doesn't offer much to the bereaved family.
 
An alternate choice is to give the gift of flowers that will live on, carrying the memory of the deceased for years to come.  Perennial flower baskets that can later be planted provide blooms for the funeral and they can be planted as a memorial garden afterwards, either at the cemetery or at the homes of the family members. 
 
Ideally there should be enough perennial flowers for each family member to take one home.  You might coordinate your efforts with others to ensure that every family member gets a memory flower.  It may take a little extra effort to choose the right flowers but providing the family with memory flowers will help soften the loss.  Memory flowers are a gift that will forever honor their loved one.
 
You can choose from a number of perennials that are commonly used in funeral arrangements.  Hydrangeas are always a popular choice with their showy flowers of pink, blue or white.  Go with a traditional variety or look for an unusual variant such as the Oakleaf Hydrangea or the Variegated Hydrangea. 
 
Roses offer another possibility.  You can never go wrong with a gift of roses.  You might buy three different colors, setting all three pots inside of a big basket and covering them with a decorative moss to hide the pots.  Tie a big ribbon on the handle, add a card and you're good to go.
 
Both roses and hydrangeas offer colors that can be combined for military veterans.  Three plants using any combination of roses and hydrangeas for a red, white and blue flower arrangement would make an ideal funeral gift.
 
Chrysanthemums in the fall offer a mound of vivid colors in choices of yellow, orange, red, purple, magenta and white flowers.  If you know the favorite color of the deceased you might try matching it with the blooms.  You can also choose colors that are favored by the family members.
 
Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) are another hardy perennial with big yellow flowers and a raised brown center.  In full bloom they offer a splash of sunshine to brighten anyone's day.
 
Canna lilies or any showy variety of lily would be suitable for a funeral gift basket.  Astilbes can be used as a colorful, feathery backdrop of red, pink, lavender or white and ferns in a pot can be added to simulate ferns in a cut flower bouquet.  The possibilities are endless as any hardy perennial with big, bright flowers can be offered as a funeral gift. 
 
Another benefit is that perennial flowers will be appreciated by family members who don't live near the cemetery and cannot regularly visit the gravesite.  The flowers can be taken home and planted as a memorial of honor in their own backyard.  Give the gift of a perennial flower basket that will forever carry the memories with a garden of blooms.

Send Flowers Edmonton

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Emotional Impact Of Flowers

** The Following Information is courtesy of The Society Of American Florists

With today's high-tech and fast-paced lifestyle taking its daily toll on our lives, experts advise exercise and other personal lifestyle changes to relieve stress. According to behavioral research conducted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, nature provides us with a simple way to improve emotional health - flowers. The presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive manner far beyond what is normally believed.

"What's most exciting about this study is that it challenges established scientific beliefs about how people can manage their day-to-day moods in a healthy and natural way," said Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Rutgers and lead researcher on the study.

Research Findings

A team of researchers explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction in a 10-month study of participants' behavioral and emotional responses to receiving flowers. The results show that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods.

  1. Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed "true" or "excited" smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.
  2. Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods. Specifically, study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.
  3. Flowers make intimate connections. The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends.

"Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy," said Dr. Haviland-Jones. "Now, science shows that not only do flowers make us happier than we know, they have strong positive effects on our emotional well being."


Sharing Space

The study also explored where in their homes people display flowers. The arrangements were placed in areas of the home that are open to visitors - such as foyers, living rooms and dining rooms - suggesting that flowers are a symbol for sharing.


"Flowers bring about positive emotional feelings in those who enter a room," said Dr. Haviland-Jones. "They make the space more welcoming and create a sharing atmosphere."

Monday, November 14, 2011

History Of The Bonsai Trees

Everybody has heard of the Bonsai tree but very few people know anything about the history of the miniature shrub or where the tradition came from.

Bonsai is a Japanese term which, in its native language, translates to mean “tray gardening”. This term describes exactly what bonsai is as it is a tree which is grown in a small pot or tub enabling it to be kept indoors. These trees are not always genetically predisposed to be small and so they are kept this way through careful pruning. The ability to care for a bonsai tree, keeping it small and healthy, is an art form in itself. The trees are commonly pruned in to an aesthetically pleasing shape, another reason why they are seen as works of art and not just as plants.

The term bonsai is widely known and understood and yet the art was originally found in China, by the name of penjing. The Japanese art of bonsai stemmed from this and so is actually more modern than the Chinese. However, the Japanese version is the one which is more widely known.

Discoveries have been made in Egyptian tombs of sketches showing miniature trees in pots. These are thought to have been kept for decorative purposes and the pictures date back to 4000 years ago! After this time there is evidence to suggest that trees were transported in the caravans of Asia as they traveled around as they were used for their medicinal properties should someone have fallen ill.

The art of bonsai as we know it stems from the Chinese art of penjing, which is a 2000 year old tradition. It was brought to Japan somewhere between the 7th – 9th centuries by the Imperial Embassies to Tang China. Initially it was enjoyed only by the nobility and was not a hobby which was enjoyed by the masses. However, over time it began to filter down through the social hierarchy and became something which much of the population enjoyed.

The practice of pruning and shaping miniature trees is still in place in both China and Japan. However, the Chinese tend to keep them for outdoor displays and so, although still smaller than normal trees, they are somewhat larger than the Japanese versions, who create the pieces of art to be displayed primarily in the home.

For anyone considering turning their hand to this hobby, it is well worth reading up on the subject beforehand as the trees require careful nurturing. It is not just the leaves which require trimming, the roots need to be tended to also and the amount of water they require is practically an art form in itself. Information on this is widely available on the Internet, meaning that anyone serious about trying this should be able to do so successfully.  Send Flowers Edmonton

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How To Make Perfume From Flowers

Applying a beautiful smelling fragrance can be a real mood lifter but the synthetic perfumes you buy at the drugstore and department store are not only expensive but also contain a variety of chemicals that are thought to be harmful to health. One way to avoid the chemicals and still enjoy fragrance is to make your own perfume from flowers. If you grow your own flowers, you already have a source for making your own natural perfume. If not, you can buy the flower petals of your choice at your local florist or even ask a neighbor if you can borrow some of their unused petals. Be sure to take them some of the perfume you make to thank them for their kindness. Here’s how to make perfume from flowers:
 
Ingredients needed:
 
One and one-half cups flower blossoms of your choice
Two cups of distilled water
Aluminum pot
Cheesecloth
Funnel
Glass perfume bottle
 
Make perfume from flowers: Gather your ingredients
 
You can use any of a variety of flower petals to make your own perfume. You can be a purist and use the blossoms from a single flower or mix blossoms from several flowers to create your own unique signature fragrance. To make your first perfume, you’ll need around a cup and a half of flower blossoms. Choose blossoms that haven’t been sprayed. If you buy them from a florist or gardening center, verify with them that they’re free of chemicals or pesticides.
 
Make perfume from flowers: Prepare your blossoms
 
Place your chosen flower blossoms into the aluminum pan along with two cups of distilled water. Turn the heat on high and allow your water to come to a complete boil. Once the water boils, turn down the heat to keep the temperature just below the boiling point. Allow the mixture to simmer for two and a half hours.
 
Make perfume from flowers: Prepare your perfume
 
Once the mixture has simmered for the allotted time, turn the heat down and allow your flower water to cool. Place cheesecloth into a funnel and slowly strain the flower water through the cheesecloth several times until all of the pulp is removed. Transfer your freshly made perfume to a pretty glass perfume bottle to enjoy at a later time.
 
Making perfume from flowers is so easy and inexpensive that you’ll never go back to the chemical laden perfumes that abound at your local department and drugstores. Keep in mind that homemade perfume without preservatives will have a shorter shelf life. Homemade, all natural perfume in a decorative bottle also makes a thoughtful gift for almost any occasion. Don’t forget to keep several bottles of your homemade perfume handy for your own enjoyment. 
Flowers Edmonton, the best way to send flowers in Canada

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Great History Of Roses

“It was roses, roses all the way.”
- Robert Browning

“What's in a name? That which we call a rose; By any other name would smell as sweet.”
- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 scene 2

Roses have a long and colorful history. According to fossil evidence, the rose is 35 million years old. Today, there are over 30,000 varieties of roses and it has the most complicated family tree of any known flower species.

The cultivation of roses most likely began in Asia around 5000 years ago. They have been part of the human experience ever since and mentions of the flower are woven into a great many tales from the ancient world.

And there are so many beautiful stories that include roses through out the ages that we all can recognize.

Greek mythology tells us that it was Aphrodite who gave the rose its name, but it was the goddess of flowers, Chloris, who created it. One day while Chloris was cleaning in the forest she found the lifeless body of a beautiful nymph. To right this wrong Chloris enlisted the help of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who gave her beauty; then called upon Dionysus, the god of wine, who added nectar to give her a sweet scent. When it was their turn the three Graces gave Chloris charm, brightness and joy. Then Zephyr, the West Wind, blew away the clouds so that Apollo, the sun god, could shine and make the flower bloom. And so the Rose was...

In another story, an ancient Hindu legend, Brahma (the creator of the world) and Vishnu (the protector of the world) argued over whether the lotus was more beautiful than the rose. Vishnu backed the rose, while Brahma supported the lotus. But Brahma had never seen a rose before and when he did he immediately recanted. As a reward Brahma created a bride for Vishnu and called her Lakshmi — she was created from 108 large and 1008 small rose petals.

Several thousands of years later, on the other side of the world in Crete , there are Frescoes which date to c. 1700BC illustrating a rose with five-pedaled pink blooms. Discoveries of tombs in Egypt have revealed wreaths made with flowers, with roses among them. The wreath in the tomb of Hawara (discovered by the English archaeologist William Flinders Petrie) dates to about AD 170, and represents the oldest preserved record of a rose species still living.

Roses later became synonymous with the worst excesses of the Roman Empire when the peasants were reduced to growing roses instead of food crops in order to satisfy the demands of their rulers. The emperors filled their swimming baths and fountains with rose-water and sat on carpets of rose petals for their feasts and orgies. Roses were used as confetti at celebrations, for medicinal purposes, and as a source of perfume. Heliogabalus used to enjoy showering his guests with rose petals which tumbled down from the ceiling during the festivities.

During the fifteenth century, the factions fighting to control England used the rose as a symbol. The white rose represented York , and the red rose symbolized Lancaster . Not surprisingly, the conflict between these factions became known as the War of the Roses.

In the seventeenth century roses were in such high demand that roses and rose water were considered as legal tender. In this capacity they were used as barter in the markets as well as for any payments the common people had to make to royalty. Napoleon's wife Josephine loved roses so much she established an extensive collection at Chateau de Malmaison, an estate seven miles west of Paris . This garden of more than 250 rose varieties became the setting for Pierre Joseph Redoute's work as a botanical illustrator and it was here Redoute completed his watercolor collection "Les Rose," which is still considered one of the finest records of botanical illustration.

Cultivated roses weren’t introduced into Europe until the late eighteenth century. These introductions came from China and were repeat bloomers, making them of great interest to hybridizers who no longer had to wait once a year for their roses to bloom.

From this introduction, experts today tend to divide all roses into two groups. There are “old roses” (those cultivated in Europe before 1800) and “modern roses” (those which began to be cultivated in England and France around the turn of the 19th century).

Until the beginning of the 19th century, all roses in Europe were shades of pink or white. Our romantic symbol of the red rose first came from China around 1800. Unusual green roses arrived a few decades later.

Bright yellow roses entered the palette around 1900. It was the Frenchman Joseph Permet-Ducher who is credited with the discovery. After more than 20 years of breeding roses in a search for a hardy yellow variety, he luck changed when one day he simply stumbled across a mutant yellow flower in a field. We have had yellow and orange roses ever since.

The rose is a phenomenal plant and is rightly known as ‘the world’s favorite flower’. No other flower has ever experienced the same popularity that the rose has enjoyed in the last fifth years. In temperate climates, roses are more widely grown than any other ornamental plant, and as cut flowers they are forever in fashion.

It has been estimated that 150 million plants are purchased by gardeners worldwide every year, and sophisticated breeding programs have produced a plant that dominates the world’s cut flower market; the annual crop is calculated in tons. Roses have also made a tremendous contribution to the perfume industry.

Roses boast an ancient lineage, and they are intricately entwined in our history and culture. As a motif, the rose has been and still is depicted in many national emblems. It has been adopted by countless political factions, and even by businesses and several international events. It is no wonder so many of the beautiful rose varietals are greatly appreciated and cultivated by hobby gardeners around the world.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Flowers For Thanksgiving

In Canada and the United States, Thanksgiving day was traditionally celebrated as a festival giving thanks to god for the harvest. Although historically a religious holiday today Thanksgiving is a secular holiday.
A favorite Thanksgiving holiday floral gift is a cornucopia filled with a floral arrangement. The cornucopia is typically a hollow, horn shaped wicker basket then filled with flowers. Traditional Thanksgiving flowers include carnations and chrysanthemums in the fall colors including red, yellow and bronze.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentines Days Facts and Trivia

Like Christmas, Valentines comes but once a year. Unlike Christmas though, and perhaps fortunately so, preparations for Valentine's Day don't begin a month before the occasion itself. And yet, the frenzy into which people go to prove that they’re both loved and have someone to love can sometimes beggar belief and commonsense.

Going around the world…

A gimmick that originated as a marketing campaign by chocolate companies has now become a firmly entrenched tradition on Valentines Day in Japan. The men can look forward to receiving gifts and chocolate from women! The reciprocal counterpart of Valentines Day is known as White Day. It falls on March 14, and this is when the men are expected to give gifts in return to the women.

Die-hard romantics have sent 1000's of cards every year to Verona, Italy. This is the city in which Shakespeare set his famous tragedy, Romeo and Juliet.

You might want to keep that to yourself…

Penicillin, which is also used to treat sexually-transmitted diseases such as syphilis, was introduced on, you guessed it, February 14, 1929.

There are three kinds of untruths: lies, damned lies and statistics…

Do you know that up to 15 percent of US women send themselves flowers on Valentines Day? You yourself might even have been tempted to do that once, and within reason too, as 64 percent of American men have absolutely nothing up their sleeve for Valentines Day for that special person in their life. However, they make up for this by spending nearly twice as much as women do.

In Malaysia, the price of a single rose can jump to as much as 6 times its original price when February 14 rolls around, while a dozen of the same in the US will cost up to 30 percent more. Red roses are perennial favorites, and make up the majority of the 110 million roses that are sold and delivered within a period of 3 days. Condom sales, too, increase 20-30 percent around Valentine's Day. One wonders why…

In recent times, Valentines Day has counted pet owners among the ranks of gift givers. Three percent of these animal lovers actually give gifts to their pets! Valentine's Day is also the second-largest card-posting occasion of the year after Christmas, with up to 1 billion Valentines Day cards being sent and exchanged.

Have a great Valentines Day!!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Valentines Day Statistics

Estimated number of roses produced for Valentine's Day in 2010: 198 million

Holiday Ranking

(Based on consumer purchases
of fresh flowers and plants for holidays at all outlets.)
TransactionsDollar Volume
Christmas/Chanukah30%30%
Mother's Day24%25%
Valentine's Day
  • Of fresh flower purchases only, Valentine's Day ranks No. 1, capturing 36% of holiday transactions and 40% of holiday dollar volume.
  • Valentine's Day the No. 1 holiday for florists.
20%25%
Easter/Passover13%10%
Thanksgiving6%5%

What are consumers buying?

(Multiple Responses Allowed)
Percent
Mixed Flowers44%
Red Roses43%
Roses (not red)29%
Other type of flower (not roses) such as all tulips, all carnations, all lilies, etc.23%
Plants20%

Who's buying for Valentine's Day?

Twenty-five percent of adults purchased flowers or plants as gifts for Valentine's Day 2010; of those, 60% were men and 40% were women.
According to the National Retail Federations' 2011 Valentines Day Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey,  34% of consumers planned to celebrate the holiday with flowers.

For whom are they buying?

While men buy mostly for romantic reasons, women use Valentine's Day as an opportunity to show they care to mothers, daughters and friends, as well as their sweethearts. Women even treat themselves on Valentine's Day
(Multiple responses allowed)AllMenWomen
Spouse47%57%32%
Mother26%21%33%
Significant other20%25%12%
Friend or acquaintance11%7%17%
Self9%0%23%
Other relative7%2%13%
Child6%7%6%
Grandparent4%3%4%
Sister4%2%6%
Father1%0%1%
Other2%3%1%

Data collected by IPSOS-Insight FloralTrends Consumer Tracking Study, 2005; and eNation National On-Line Research, Synovate, 2010.
The above information provided courtesy of The Society  Of American Florists
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