Sunday, July 14, 2013

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 136 - 140

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration at Stein Your Florist Co. we are sharing a year of floral education, November 1, 2012 thru October 31, 2013. Each day we will post something new on our Facebook page to share our knowledge of our favorite things, flowers and plants and we'll be updating our blog every 5 days or so. No need for pencils and notebooks, just sharing some simple lessons in floristry.

Day 136 – The globe artichoke is a perennial thistle originating in southern Europe around the Mediterranean. It grows tall, with arching, deeply lobed, silvery-green leaves 20–30” long. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud about 3-6” in diameter with numerous triangular scales, with the flower eventually blooming in a lovely shade of purple. The edible portions of the buds consist primarily of the fleshy lower portions of the involucral bracts and the base, known as the "heart"; the mass of immature florets in the center of the bud is called the "choke" or beard. They lend themselves well to many floral designs, especially centerpieces.

Day 137 - The shamrock refers to the young sprigs of clover or trefoil. It is known as a symbol of Ireland, with St. Patrick having used it as a metaphor for the Christian Trinity, according to legend. The name shamrock is derived from Irish seamróg, which is the diminutive version of the Irish word for clover (seamair) meaning simply "little clover" or "young clover". Shamrock is usually considered to refer to either the species Trifolium dubium (lesser clover, Irish: seamair bhuí) or Trifolium repens (white clover, Irish: seamair bhán). However, other three-leaved plants—such as Medicago lupulina, Trifolium pratense, and Oxalis acetosella—are sometimes called shamrocks or clovers. The shamrock was traditionally used for its medicinal properties and was a popular motif in Victorian times.

Day 138 - Velvet Centaurea, is – like some other plants – also known as "dusty miller". It is a small plant in the family Asteraceae and originates from the Island of Capraia in Italy. Dusty miller is a favorite because it looks good with just about everything in a garden or an arrangement. The silvery-white color is great and its fine-textured foliage creates a beautiful contrast against other plants' green foliage. Dusty miller has also earned its place in the garden because it's delightfully easy to grow, withstanding heat and drought like a champion and loving full sun.

Day 139 - According to the International Geranium Society, the flowers America most commonly refer to as "geraniums" are not true geraniums at all, but are actually pelargoniums. Both belong to the Geraniaceae family and both are native to South Africa, having been imported to America in the 1700s. They are similar in appearance but have notable differences. By the late 1800s, arborists realized the differences and wanted to call them by separate names, but Europe had already set the trend and refused to change so America followed suit. To this day, pelargoniums are grown and sold globally under the name of geraniums.
Day 140 - Azaleas are called “the royalty of the garden.” Azaleas have been hybridized for hundreds of years. Over 10,000 different azalea plants have been registered or named, although far fewer are in the trade. This provides a very wide variety of plant habits, sizes, colors and bloom times to meet almost every landscaping need or personal preference. The arrival of spring brings these beautiful blooming plants into our flower shops and our gardens.

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