Carnations are one of the most commonly used flower in bouquets. This sweetly scented flower is also knows as a Dianthus Caryophllus and comes in a large variety of colors. These colors also have their own meanings. For example: Light red carnations represent admiration, while dark red denote deep love and affection. White carnations represent pure love and good luck, while striped (variegated) carnations symbolise regret that a love cannot be shared. However in France, Carnations symbolize bad luck and are most often used in funeral arrangements. The Carnation is also the birth flower for those who are born in the month of January. Carnation is the national flower of Spain, Monaco, and Slovenia and the State flower of Ohio!!
So next time you see a Carnation you will know that as simple a flower it is, its meaning is so much more!!
Love and Flowers,
Oscar Rabines November is for Chrysanthemums
Ah, the Chrysanthemum. A bold yet delicate-looking flower more commonly seen in sympathy arrangements, but the staff at Flower Blog know that these budding beauties are great for any type of arrangement.
Credit: John Harvey
- Named by Carl Linnaeus in the 17th century, “chrysanthemum” is Greek for gold (chrysos) flower (anthemon).
- Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC. In China, the Chrysanthemum is often used for teas; the Koreans use Chrysanthemum blossoms to flavour a rice wine called gukhwaju.
- Chrysanthemum flowers occur in various forms, and can be daisy-like, decorative, pompons or buttons. There are over 140 species of Chrysanthemum recognized by the Royal Horticultural Society today.
- Pyrethrins, an “old world” species of Chrysanthemum, are a natural insecticide. Pyrethrins can have a fatal effect on insects in the right doses and also act as a general insect repellent–it is considered one of the best insecticides to use on food because it is less toxic to mammals and birds versus many synthetic insecticides.
October is for Marigolds
Marigolds are gorgeous flowers, admired for their natural beauty. And as an added bonus, they’re also a low-maintenance flower (perfect for the lazy gardener like us!). Since we’ve already featured the Marigold on our blog before, the staff at Flower Blog decided we’d post some info on growing October’s flower so you can enjoy them next summer:
- Marigolds begin flowering in June up until the first frost. It is recommended to plant Marigold seeds in April because the plants need about 45 days to flower. If you are buying potted Marigolds, it is recommended you do so at the beginning of June.
- Marigolds will grow in nearly any warm to temperate climate, but do not survive in colder climate zones. They prefer full-to-partial sun and do not need constant watering unless there is a drought. It is recommended to water flowered Marigolds early in the morning.
- If you are planting Marigolds from seeds: it is recommended to do so in a greenhouse or indoors. The seeds should be sown 2 cm apart, covered with 1/4 inch of potting soil and sufficiently watered. Plants will appear within a few days. When true leaves have formed, transplant into individual containers or outdoors.
Helpful tip #1: pinch off some of the first Marigold buds before they open. This will lead to a larger number of flowers.
- If you are buying potted Marigolds or you are transplanting your seeded Marigolds outdoors: plant them in full sun, approximately 8-16 inches apart in moist, well-drained soil. As long as the soil is nutrient-rich, Marigolds do not need fertilizers.
Helpful tip #2: When your Marigold seedlings are tall enough, put some mulch under the roots–this will help reduce weeds, retain moisture, cool and fertilize the soil.
September is for Asters
Flower Blog staff have found some great facts for this month’s flower, the aster. Read on to learn about this little gem:
- Asters comes under the class, Magnoliophyta. They belong to the order of Asterales and are placed in the family Asteraceae and genus Aster. With over 600 variations, Asteraceae is the second largest family of flowers.
- Asters are known as the “frost flowers,” Starworts, and/or Michaelmas daisies. Just like their nickname “frost flowers” implies, asters are one of the preferred choice for the flower arrangements in fall and winter.
- The most popular asters are Monte Casino and the New England aster.
- Asters range in colours of white, red, pink, purple, lavender and blue.
- Like the sunflower, the Aster flower is actually a collection of very tiny tubular flowers, which are grouped together in a central disk and surrounded by a “ray” of flowers or petals.
- Asters are one of the easiest garden perennials to cultivate.
August is for Gladiolus
Well, we made a little blunder here at Flower Blog (hey, we’re only humans!), and jumped the gun on the flower of the month–August’s flower is actually the Gladiolus, not the Aster. Sorry folks! Here’s a few fun facts about he Gladiolus for you to share with your friends:
- The Gladiolus flower signifies remembrance, strength of character, faithfulness and honor.
- The English used the gladiolus flower’s stem base (aka corms) as a poultice and for drawing out thorns and splinters; powdered corms mixed with goat’s milk were commonly used to soothe the symptoms of colic.
- An ancient name for the gladiolus was xiphium, from the Greek wordxiphos, also meaning “sword”; it was the original symbol for the Roman Gladiators. Due to its sword shaped leaves, the plant is also referred to as the Sword Lily or Corn Lily.
- Gladiolus bulbs are not actual bulbs, but are called corms. A corm is a shortened and thickened section of the stem at the base of the plant. On the corm are buds for each layer of leaves.
Flower of the Month: July is for Larkspur
Here’s some quick fun facts Flower Blog wanted you to know about the Larkspur:
- Larkspur’s seeds and leaves are poisonous if eaten. While mildly toxic to people or pets, larkspur is highly toxic to cattle.
- Larkspur’s name originates from the Greek word “delphis”, meaning dolphin. Other names for Larkspur include: Lark’s Claw, Lark’s Heel and Knight’s Spur.
- Larkspur are members of the Delphinium family. There are over 1,000 cultivated varieties of Larkspur.
- Larkspur has many meanings in the language of flowers. Generally-speaking, Larkspur symbolizes an open heart and ardent attachment. In Victorian times, it symbolized a desire for laughter and a pure heart. Even the different colours have significance. Pink-coloured Larkspur represents fickleness, while purple Larkspur is often indicative of sweet disposition and first love.
Credit: content from Squidoo
Now go share all this knowledge with friends, you young July Whipper-snappers!
Flower of the Month: June’s flower is the Rose
Summer is right around the corner! Plants are blooming like crazy, the weather is warm and the school year is almost over. With the new month comes the monthly flower, and June is all about roses. Read on to learn a few fun facts about the world’s most popular flower:
- The blooms of roses are edible and taste like green apples or strawberries, but make sure the ones you buy are free of pesticides and herbicides!
- The rose is native to the United States. A fossilized rose – over 35 million years old – was found in Florissant, Colorado.
- Rose hips contain more Vitamin C than any other fruit or vegetable.
- The oldest rose in the world has flourished for over 1,000 years on the wall of Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany.
- There are more than 15,000 different types of rose species and cultivated varieties worldwide.
- Columbus’ crew picked a rose branch out of the ocean on October 11, 1492, signalling the presence of land. The next day, Columbus discovered America.
- The rose is the official National Floral emblem of the United States. President Ronald Reagan signed this legislation into law on October 7, 1986.
- The first Rose Bowl game was in 1902 featuring the Michigan Wolverines versus Stanford. Michigan stomped Stanford so badly they gave up in the 3rd quarter with a final score of 49-0.
Enjoy sharing these fun facts about roses!
Flower of the Month: May is means Lily of the Valley
- From elanordh-stock.deviantart.com
Check out a few fun facts about this delicate flower via Wikipedia:
- Via Kim Romaine Gray
Lily of the Valley was first cultivated in 1420. Lily of the Valley symbolizes: humility, chastity, sweetness, purity and is said to bring luck in love–hence why Lily of the Valley is popular in wedding arrangements.
- Pink Lily of the Valley is very rare.
The flower is also known as Our Lady’s tears or Mary’s tears from Christian legends that it sprang from the weeping of the virgin Mary during the crucifixion of Jesus. Other etiologies its coming into being from Eve’s tears after she was driven with Adam from the Garden of Eden or from the blood shed by Saint Leonard of Noblacduring his battles with a dragon.
- Lily of the valley represents, “return to happiness” and is popular in wedding bouquets.
At the end of the 20th century it became tradition in France to sell lily of the valley on international labour day, May 1, by labour organisations and private persons without paying sales tax (on that day only) as a symbol of spring.
- The red berries contain the seeds for reproduction; the Lily of the Valley flower itself does not provide the means of reproduction.
Note: All parts of the Lily of the Valley are highly poisonous, including the red berries which may be attractive to children. If ingested—even in small amounts—the plant can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, and a reduced heart rate. So parents: be careful planting these in your garden with pets or small animals in the family.
Flower of the Month: April Means Sweet Peas
What a cute flower (and affectionate nickname) perfect for the month of April! Read on to learn a little about this pretty Springtime plant and listen to a cute song dedicated to another Sweet Pea:
- From bigflowers1.com
Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) is a flowering plant native to the Mediterranean. It is an annual climbing plant, growing to a height of 1–2 meters (nearly six feet and six inches), where suitable support is available. The flowers are purple, 2-3.5 centimeters broad, in the wild plant, larger and very variable in colour in the many domesticated species.
- From www-secure.mcfayden.com
- Zone: Annual
- Exposure Needed: Full sun
- Bloom Period: Blooms late spring into summer. Blooming is curtailed by heat. In cooler climates, they can bloom through fall. Southern regions can sow ‘short day’ varieties in the fall.
- Maintenance: Sweet peas are usually direct seeded. To assist germination, seeds should be nicked or soaked in water for several hours, to soften the seed coating. Seed can be started outdoors, as soon as the ground has warmed to about 50 degrees F. and is not too wet. At about 3-6″, pinch the seedlings to encourage strong side shoots. Seed can be started earlier indoors, in pots. Pinch off all flowers and buds when transplanting seedlings, to encourage root development. Sweet pea vines have tendrils and will attach themselves to most any type of support with meshing or lines. Regular deadheading or cutting for display, will keep them blooming longer. Sweet peas require regular watering, especially as the temperature increases. They prefer a somewhat rich soil and can be fed monthly with a fertilizer high in potassium, as used for tomatoes. Adding a bit of blood meal to the soil is thought to help keep the stems long and suitable for cutting.
- From ddeventdesign.wordpress.com
On a completely related topic, here’s an adorable song called “Sweet Pea” by Amos Lee that we simply love. Enjoy!
Have a great weekend!
Your friends at Flowerblog
Flower of the Month: March means Daffodils
Since March is the month for Daffodils, we think it’s appropriate to give a little background on the story of Narcissus . Content compliments of Wikipedia:
Mythology of Narcissus
- Michelangelo Caravaggio’s Narcissus
Narcissus or Narkissos (Greek: Νάρκισσος), possibly derived from ναρκη (narke) meaning “sleep, numbness,” in Greek mythology was a hunter who was renowned for his beauty. He was exceptionally proud, in that he disdained those who loved him. Nemesis saw this and attracted Narcissus to a pool where he saw his own reflection in the waters and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus died.
Daffodil is a common English name, sometimes used now for all varieties, and is the chief common name of horticultural prevalence used by the American Daffodil Society. The range of forms in cultivation has been heavily modified and extended, with new variations available from specialists almost every year.
Your friends on Flowerblog
Flower of February: Violet
Contrary to popular belief, February’s flower is the violet, not the rose! Here’s a little information and images on the beautiful violet compliments of Wikipedia:
Viola is a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae, with around 400–500 species distributed around the world. Most species are found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere; however, viola species (commonly called violets, pansies or heartsease) are also found in widely divergent areas such as Hawaii, Australia, and the Andes.
- Image from americanvioletsociety.org
Most Viola species are perennials, some are annuals, and a few are small shrubs. Viola and violetta are terms used by gardeners and generally in horticulture for neat, small-flowered hybrid plants intermediate in size between pansies and violets.
- Image from commons.wikimedia.org
Flower colours vary in the genus, ranging from violet, as their common name suggests, through various shades of blue, yellow, white, and cream, whilst some types are bicolored, often blue and yellow. Many cultivars and hybrids have been bred in a greater spectrum of colours. Flowering may last for much of the spring and summer.
- Image from guardian.co.uk, Alamy
One quirk of some viola is the elusive scent of their flowers; along with terpenes, a major component of the scent is a ketone compound called ionone, which temporarily desensitizes the receptors of the nose, thus preventing any further scent being detected from the flower until the nerves recover.
Your friends at Flowerblog
Flower of the Month: January’s Carnation
Content Compliments of Wikipedia:
The formal name for carnation, dianthus, comes from Greek for “heavenly flower”, or the flower of Jove.
For the most part, carnations express love, fascination, and distinction, though there are many variations dependent on colour.
- Light red carnations represent admiration, while dark red denote deep love and affection.
- White carnations represent pure love and good luck, while striped (variegated) carnations symbolize regret that a love cannot be shared.
- Purple carnations indicate capriciousness. In France, it is a traditional funeral flower, given in condolence for the death of a loved one.
- Pink carnations have the most symbolic and historical significance. According to a Christian legend, carnations first appeared on Earth as Jesus carried the Cross. The Virgin Mary shed tears at Jesus’ plight, and carnations sprang up from where her tears fell. Thus the pink carnation became the symbol of a mother’s undying love.
- Carnation is the birth flower for those born in the month of January.
Holidays and events
Carnations are often worn on special occasions, especially Mother’s Day and weddings. In 1907 Anna Jarvis chose a white carnation as the emblem of Mother’s Day because it her mother’s favourite flower and to represent the purity of a mother’s love. This tradition is now observed in the United States and Canada on the second Sunday in May. This meaning has evolved over time, and now a red carnation may be worn if one’s mother is alive, and a white one if she has died.
In Korea, red and pink Carnations are used for showing their love and gratitude toward their parents on Parents Day (Korea celebrates Parents Day on May 8th). Sometimes, you can see parents wear a corsage of Carnation(s) on their left chest on Parents Day. Not only on Parents Day, but also on Teacher’s Day (15 May), people express their admiration and gratitude to their teachers with Carnations, as Carnation has the meaning of ‘admiration’, ‘love’, and ‘gratitude’.
Green carnations are for St. Patrick’s Day and were famously worn by the Irish writer Oscar Wilde.
At the University of Oxford, carnations are traditionally worn to all exams; white for the first exam, pink for middle exams and a red for the last exam. Lore suggests originations during the late 1990s; students carried a white carnation that was kept in a red inkpot between exams, so by the last exam it was fully red.
Your flower-crazy friends at Flowerblog
Flower Arrangement for December: The Red Poinsettia
No Christmas festivities should be without this gorgeous Mexican flower! The traditional holiday blooming plant, a Christmas Poinsettia with its dark leaves and deep red flowers in a basket is the perfect gift for family and friends. Snatch up your potted Poinsettia from What a Bloom today!
The Legend of the Poinsettia:
Maria and Pablo lived in a tiny village in Mexico. Because Christmastime at their house did not include many gifts, Maria and Pablo looked forward to the Christmas festivities at the village church with great joy and anticipation.
To honor the birth of Christ, the church displayed a beautiful manger that drew crowds of admirers. Villagers walked miles to admire the manger, bringing lovely, expensive gifts for the Baby Jesus. As Maria and Pablo watched the villagers place their gifts in the soft hay around the manger, they felt sad. They had no money to buy gifts for their family and no money to buy a gift for the Baby Jesus.
One Christmas Eve, Maria and Pablo walked to the church for that evening’s services, wishing desperately that they had a gift to bring. Just then, a soft glowing light shone through the darkness, and the shadowy outline of an angel appeared above them.
Maria and Pablo were afraid, but the angel comforted them, instructing them to pick some of the short green weeds that were growing by the road. They should bring the plants to the church, the angel explained, and place them near the manger as their gift to the Baby Jesus. Then just as quickly as she had appeared, the angel was gone, leaving Maria and Pablo on the road looking up into the dark sky. Confused but excited, the children filled their arms with large bunches of the green weeds and hurried to the church.
When the children entered the church, many of the villagers turned to stare. As Maria and Pablo began placing the weeds around the manger, some of the villagers laughed at them. “Why are those children putting weeds by the manger?” they asked each other. Maria and Pablo began to feel embarrassed and ashamed of their gift to the Baby Jesus, but they stood bravely near the manger, placing the plants on the soft hay, as the angel had instructed.
Suddenly, the dull green leaves on the tops of the plants began to turn a beautiful shade of red, surrounding the Baby with beautiful blooms. The laughing villagers became silent as they watched the green plants transform into the lovely star-shaped crimson flowers we call poinsettias. As they watched the weeds bloom before their eyes, Maria and Pablo knew they had no reason to be ashamed anymore. They had given the Baby Jesus the only gift they could–and it was the most beautiful gift of all.
(Story compliments of Stephanie Herberk)
Your friends at Flowerblog