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Monday, April 22, 2013

How to make Floral Water



Making Floral Water
With the arrival of winter and the temporary disappearance of the garden, it is still possible to revitalize your home with floral fragrance and beauty. Of course, as anyone knows, fresh cut bouquets will certainly enhance the memory of spring; but there is also another way. For over 5000 years, distillate waters (hydrosols), the most famous being rose water (in which history records both Cleopatra and Marie Antoinette bathed) have served to soothe the souls of those who embrace them as part of their routines. These sweet fragranced waters are simple to prepare and far less expensive than if purchased online, and the benefit of making your own floral waters is that you can create a unique signature scent to suit your own tastes. There are many ways to make floral waters, but here are two of the simplest:
1) Making floral water with fresh flower petals
You will need:
Fresh flower petals;
Distilled water;
Alcohol;
Two large glass bowls;
A fine muslin cloth;
and several pretty glass bottles.
In a large glass bowl, mix the distilled water and alcohol in equal parts and set aside. Pour a cup of fresh flower petals into the second bowl; thoroughly mix the distilled water and alcohol, then pour it over the petals until they are completely covered. Set the bowl in a warm room and allow it to sit untouched for seven to ten days; this will permit the petal fragrance to completely infuse the water and alcohol. Once you have reached the end of the waiting period, use the muslin cloth to assiduously strain the floral water, and pour it into the decorative glass bottles. Store the floral water in the refrigerator in order to maintain the shelf life for eight months to a year.
2) Making floral water with essential oils
You will need:
Essential oils;
Distilled water;
Vitamin E oil;
A glass measuring cup;
and several decorative glass bottles.
Using essential oils in place of petals allows you to produce the floral water without the seven to ten day wait! All you need to do is stop by your local Edmonton health food or holistic medicine store and select the floral essential oils which speak to your soul. Of course, the various scents have many different properties, so you can choose according to how you intend to use them. Examples of the ways essential oils affect our senses in aromatherapy are: Blue cypress is for balance, Lavender for relaxation, Myrhh for meditation and prayer, Peppermint is refreshing and Rose is soothing, and there are many more. If you wish, you can experiment by mixing two or more essential oils to create an exclusive fragrance.
Once you’ve selected your favourite essential oils, take the glass measuring cup and fill it with distilled water. Thoroughly mix fifteen drops of essential oil and two drops of Vitamin E oil (a natural preservative). Then pour into the glass bottles and store in your refrigerator; every so often you will also want to agitate the floral waters in order to disperse the fragrance. Always shake well before every use as the oils will settle when sitting idle.

Making use of floral water
There are many ways to use your floral waters and you might be surprised at how easily they replace a common, chemical laden everyday household product – the air freshener. How does this work? Simply pour your floral water into a spray bottle; you will immediately notice how much more natural and refreshing it is than the ones you buy in the store, and it is also much better for your health. You can even use it as a fabric freshener, for bedding, your sofa, clothes and lingerie, or use it to add that close-your-eyes-and-sigh-with-delight scent to any room by spraying it in the air. Floral waters bring spring to your home no matter what time of year! Share the love and give a few bottles as presents to friends and family. These rich, splendid fragrances are well worth the little time out of your day it takes to make them, and they will surely bring a sense of well being and floral communion to everyone, for, as Heinrich Heine said, “Perfumes are the feelings of flowers.”  Brought to you by a Mater Florist in Edmonton.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

How To Make Your Own Terrarium

Terrariums are very popular and they are a great way to bring plant life indoors that will flourish for months on end. 



You Will Need:
  • Glass containers without lids
  • Gravel, pebbles, marbles or stones
  • Terrarium plants
  • Sterile potting mix
  • Moss (optional)
  • Decorative elements (optional)
Selecting Your Container

For your terrarium, look for a jar or container with a mouth wide enough for your hand to fit through easily. While it is possible to use something with a small opening, it is much easier to add plants if your container has a wider mouth.


 
If you are using a larger container, you will have a greater choice of types and size plants you can use as well as the option of fitting in decorative elements, such as shells, figurines or ornaments.

Selecting Your Plants 

When choosing terrarium plants, make sure they are small enough to fit in your container, preferably without touching the sides or crowding. You'll also want to buy plants that don’t mind a humid environment.

The following are very popular and have proven to be some of the best terrarium plants:
  • Artillery Fern
  • Aluminum Plant
  • Polka Dot Plant or Hypoestes
  • Peperomia
  • Button Fern
  • Creeping Fig or Ficus Primula 
  • Dracaena 
Preparing The Container

Your container will not have drainage holes in the bottom so you’ll want to create a place for extra water to go that keeps it away from your plants’ roots.

Put at least 2” layer of stones in the bottom, for more shallow containers, you can get away with 1" of stones or pebbles. 



With a large spoon or small shovel, add sterile potting mix on top of your stones or pebbles. Add as much potting mix as you can - at least a couple of inches. You will want to make sure your plants will fit into your terrarium, so you might have to hold your plants up to measure as you add soil.

At this point it’s important to think about the design of your terrarium. You probably want to put your tallest plant in back, or in the middle. You can also contour your soil so that it mounds and sinks to create depth and texture.

Planting


 Remove your plants from their pots. You may find that they are root bound, in which case you will want to tease the roots apart, even cutting some off. By cutting off some of the roots, called root pruning, you will also retard your plant’s growth, which is usually a good thing when growing plants in the confines of a terrarium. You'll also want to take off any excess soil as well.

Some plants can be separated by gently pulling them apart. If you’re not sure, look at the base of the plant; there may be several small plants grouped tightly together even though it just looks like one plant. This can come in handy if the plant looks too big once you've tried it out in your terrarium.


 Using a large spoon, or your fingers, dig a hole in the potting mix. Place your plant in the hole and gently pat the soil around it, making sure it is level and the roots are sufficiently covered.

Adding Decor


 
Once your plants are in place, you may want to create a trail of pebbles, some decorative moss, or even a little garden gnome. This is the part where you get creative, and make your terrarium unique to your taste.

Just ensure that your decorative items do not overwhelm the plants, or do not block them too much from growth or light.

Caring For Your Terrarium



Using a spray bottle or watering can, water your terrarium. You don’t want it to be soaking wet, just damp. You can also use the spray bottle to clean off any dirt that has clung to the glass sides of your container.

Never use glass cleaner on the inside of a planted terrarium, as it could make your plants sick and they may die. 

Caring for your terrarium is easy. Check every couple of weeks to see if your terrarium needs water. Feel the soil to see if it is dry and add water if it is.

Pull off any leaves that show signs of yellowing or damage and prune plants if they grow too large.

Don’t fertilize your terrarium because you don’t want to encourage growth. 

And last but not least, enjoy your terrarium! Place it any room where you need a fresh reminder of nature. 


Monday, March 4, 2013

Floral Symbols & The Zodiac Signs



Capricorn

Dec 21st - Jan 19th

The Chrysanthemum

Often called "mums", the chrysanthemum was first discovered in China, it can be found as a large inspiration in Asian art. Although the chrysanthemum has many meanings within different cultures, the primary meaning and symbolism behind this beautiful flower is Truth.


Aquarious

Jan 20th - Feb 18th

The Daffodil

The daffodil carries the meaning Chivalry. An elegant, hardy flower, the daffodil is native to Europe, North Africa and Asia. 


Pisces

Feb 19th - March 20th

The Freesia

The freesia stems from Africa, and is a very popular design choice for gardens. The freesia is also very fragrant, and it's scent is widely used for lotions, soaps and candles. This upbeat flower means Spirited, and is true to it's name.


Aries

March 21st - April 20th

The Tulip

With more than 109 species, the tulip is one of the most common flowers in the world. As such a diverse flower, the tulip carries several meanings, depending on the colour. A pink tulip meansCaring, a purple tulip symbolizes Royalty, a red tulip is a declaration of True Love, a white tulip is for Forgiveness, and a yellow tulip means you are Hopelessly In Love. 


Taurus

April 21st - May 19th

The Iris 

Iris is Greek for rainbow, which is suiting for it's burst of colour. The iris is a perennial flower (meaning it returns anually, after being planted) and truly sparks the meaning ofInspiration.


Gemini

May 20th - June 20th 

The Alstroemeria

Often called the peruvian lily, the alstroemeria is native to South America. They are perennial blooms, and are one of the longest lasting fresh cut flower species, it's no wonder that alstroemeria means Aspiring.


Cancer

June 21st - July 21st

The Rose

The rose is the most commonly recognized flower in the world, with over 100 species year round, it is a staple for floral arrangements and bouquets. The ultimate symbol of romance, it's so surprise that the rose stands for Love.


Leo

July 22nd - Aug 21st

The Carnation

The carnation is a very common choice for weddings and holidays such as Mother's Day. Their meanings vary depending on the colour of the carnation, but as a whole they generally representFascination.


Virgo

Aug 22nd - Sep 22nd

The Gladiolus

The gladiolus is derived from the latin word gladius, meaning sword. A very fragrant flower, the gladiolus also survives many climates. The gladiolus speaks to one's Strength of Character.


Libra

Sep 23rd - Oct 22nd

The Dahlia

The dahlia comes from Mexico, Central America and Columbia. They come in a variety of bright hues, except blue. The Dahlia is one of the most common garden flowers, and symbolizes Dignity.


Scorpio

Oct 23rd - Nov 21st

The Gerbera Daisy

The gerbera daisy is bound to make anyone smile, they come in such a vast variety of colours, they are sure to please. So suited that the gerbera daisy symbolizes Cheerfulness.


Sagittarius

Nov 22nd - Dec 20th

The Anemone

There are over 120 species of anemone, and they can be found in purple or white colours, but are sometimes seen in red or pink. Anemones are a very popular choice for weddings and are a strong symbol for Fragility.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Preparing For Valentines Day


 


Another year has gone by and already Valentine’s Day has arrived. On February 14 millions of people worldwide will flock to the shops to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for their loved ones, shower them with flowers and spend a romantic evening together. Flowers are the most popular choice for a Valentine’s Day gift for many reasons; they symbolize beauty and romance, and they capture the spirit of the holiday.


Have you given any thought over what kind of flowers you are going to send this Valentine’s Day? Every flower has a secret meaning and history, giving some thought to the flower you choose this year is not only fun, but lets your significant other know that you care enough about them to put in the time and effort to do so.



There is more than one history of the origins of Valentine’s Day. The difficulty is that there have been several saints named Valentine, it is hard to pinpoint exactly which Saint the holiday takes it traditions from. The most popular story lends itself to a St Valentine of Roman times. When marriage was banned, Emperor Claudius II deemed it as distracting to young soldiers, Valentine married lovers in secret. Jailed and eventually executed for his acts, Valentine’s last act was to leave a letter and a red rose for his secret love, the jailer’s daughter. Red roses have since been a symbol of love, passion and romance.

You don’t need to stick with tradition this Valentine’s Day when ordering your flowers online. Carnations represent longing and heartache, if you’re missing a long distance love then having a beautiful bunch delivered to their door is a great way to let them know that they are in your thoughts. The iris stands for friendship and wisdom, if you have a friend and you would like them to know you care about them, they always make a good choice

 
Like many holidays, Valentine’s Day is one that we honor the traditions we have learned and observed over time. Although there are many versions on the origins of Valentine’s Day, the same themes continue appearing. Love, courage and dedication shine through every tale of Valentine’s Day. This year when you give your own valentine a gift, let the true nature of the spirit of Valentine ring true. Give gifts with true thought behind them; shower them with flowers, write love letters and treasure every moment you can with the one you love.