Showing posts with label Lilac. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lilac. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 181 - 185

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 181 – Bells of Ireland, Moluccella laevis, also known as Molucca balmis and Shellflower, is a summer flowering annual, native to Turkey, Syria and the Caucasus. It is cultivated for its spikes of flowers. In the language of flowers, it represents luck. The tiny white flowers are surrounded by apple green calyces which are persistent. The rounded leaves are pale green. Fast growing, Moluccella laevis will reach 1 metre and spread to 30 centimeters with an erect, branching habit. A member of the mint family, the blooming stems can be cut and used in fresh or dried flower arrangements. The domestic plant is self-seeding, prefers full sun and regular water and are unlikely to do well in hot, humid climates.

Day 182 - It's said that the natives of the Inca Empire worshipped a giant sunflower, and that Incan priestesses wore large sunflower disks made of gold on their garments. Images of sunflowers were found in the temples of the Andes Mountains, and Native American Indians placed bowls of sunflower seeds on the graves of their dead. The Impressionist period of art is famous for its fascination with the sunflower, and this striking flower remains today a commonly photographed and painted icon of uncommon beauty.

Day 183 - The 8th wedding anniversary flower and the state flower of New Hampshire (symbolizing the hardy character of the Granite State’s citizens), lilacs are frequently considered a harbinger of spring, with the time of their bloom signaling whether spring will be early or late. In the language of flowers, purple lilacs symbolize the first emotions of love, while white lilacs represent youthful innocence.

Day 184 – Handle anemones gently. They require the same general care as other cut flowers, but because their stems are very soft and easily damaged, handle them gently and support their stems when re-cutting. The delicate nature of the blossoms means you’ll enjoy them for 3-5 days.

Day 185 - The 3rd wedding anniversary flower and the state flower of Kansas, sunflowers turn to follow the sun. Their open faces symbolize the sun itself, conveying warmth and happiness, adoration and longevity.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 101 - 105

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 101 - Legend has it that the amaryllis - the stunning red flower we've come to associate with the holidays - began as a shy, timid nymph. Amaryllis fell deeply in love with Alteo, a shepherd with Hercules' strength and Apollo's beauty, but her affections were unrequited. Hoping that she could win him over by bestowing upon him the thing he desired most - a flower so unique it had never existed in the world before - Amaryllis sought advice from the oracle of Delphi. Following his instructions, Amaryllis dressed in maiden's white and appeared at Alteo's door for 30 nights, each time piercing her heart with a golden arrow. When at last Alteo opened his door, there before him was a striking crimson flower, sprung from the blood of Amaryllis's heart. With this romantic - albeit tragic - tale as its beginning, it's not surprising that today the amaryllis has come to symbolize pride, determination and radiant beauty.

Day 102 - Wax flower gets its name from the tough, waxy feel of the tiny flowers. It smells pine-y fresh and wonderful, especially when the stems are broken or the petals are crushed. Wax flower comes in basic white and pink colors, but it is available in an array of other colors as well, thanks to floral dyes. With its multiple tiny bowl shaped flowers it is a beautiful subtle accent for many bouquets.

Day 103 - Native to Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia, Russia and North America, heather branches are said to have been used to make baskets, rope, bedding, as thatch for roofs and even to flavor beer or tea. Today, it’s the beautiful heather flowers—in colors ranging from white to pink, purple and red – that draw our attention. Symbolizing admiration and good luck, heather is also believed have protective powers.

Day 104 - The traditional floral symbol of China, the state flower of Indiana, and the 12th wedding anniversary flower, peonies are known as the flower of riches and honor. With their lush, full, rounded bloom, peonies embody romance and prosperity and are regarded as an omen of good fortune and a happy marriage.

Day 105 – The story of lilac, according to Greek mythology, begins with a beautiful nymph named Syringa (lilac’s botanical name). Captivated by her beauty, Pan, the god of the forests and fields, chased Syringa through the forest. Frightened by Pan’s affections, Syringa escaped him by turning herself into an aromatic bush – the flower we now refer to as lilac.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lovely Lilacs

Lilac flowers are one of our favorite harbingers of Spring. Days spent this past week walking through our neighborhoods and driving around town, we are already seeing it beginning to blossom in backyards and it is arriving at our flower shops by the bundle. As soon as it’s processed and in water our designers descend on it like ravenous wolves, incorporating its delicate blooms into a bevy of arrangements. Lilac is fragrant, beautiful, and one of our preferred flowers of the season.

Lilac, botanical name Syringa, is the state flower of New Hampshire, said to symbolize the Granite State’s citizens’ hardy character. And hardy is a perfect way to describe to the plant; draped with a cloud of aromatic blooms, these long-lived shrubs reliably scent the Spring countryside year after year. The timing of their blooms is said to signal whether Spring will come early or late and the beginning of the Vernal planting season.

According to Greek mythology, the story of lilac originates from a beautiful nymph named Syringa. Her beauty captivated Pan, the God of the forests and fields, but Syringa was frightened by his affections. When Pan chased her through the forest she escaped him by turning herself into a sweet-smelling bush, the flower we now refer to has lilac.

In the language of flowers purple lilacs signify the first emotions of love, perfect for the 8th wedding anniversary flower, while white lilacs symbolize youthful innocence. They have a vase life (life as a cut flower) of approximately 6-10 days. They consume large amounts of fresh water, so be sure to add water to your lilac arrangement at least daily and do not smash the stems (a popular misnomer for woody stemmed flowers is that smashing or pounding the stems aids water uptake; however, it simply damages the vascular system of the stem which will inhibit the absorption); rather, your flowers will enjoy a very steep angled cut along the stem or if that isn’t conducive to your arrangement, a cross-cut (like a plus sign +) on the bottom of a straight cut stem.

Besides being beautiful to look at and amazing to smell, lilacs also have a delightful edible aspect. The flavor of lilacs varies from plant to plant, but is typically distinctly lemony with pungent floral overtones. It’s great in salads and crystallized with egg whites and sugar. We discovered the tasty combo of a few lilac blooms with a lemon zest sorbet, whipped cream and some sugary sprinkles, a refreshing combo for warm Spring days.

Lilac tea can also be made from the flowers, leaves and thinner branches of Syringa vulgaris (common lilac), and common white lilac, which has a floral flavor. Claims have been made that this tea has shown some signs that it may produce a light euphoria in higher amounts (3+ cups of strongly brewed tea), but this is relatively unverified with no scientific backing. Some find the white varieties of common lilac to have a sweeter and more pleasurable flavor, but both white and purple seem to produce more palatable tea with more flowers and only a few leaves.

Besides enjoying lilac flowers in their purest form, we also enjoy including their scent and color in other aspects of our lives. Lilacs and lavenders have long been a favorite color of sophisticated ladies, exuding femininity. This shade of purple suggests refinement along with grace and elegance. Add a little lilac to your look with nail polish, makeup, sparkly jewelry or a lilac cami under a sleek gray jacket. Mix up lilac with other colors for fun combos. Lilacs with pinks are very feminine, or add some mint green for a Springy look. Keep lilacs cool with grays and blues for a sophisticated look or take a modern earthy approach with light browns. Add warmth and romance to lilac with reds or burgundies. And don’t forget that heavenly lilac scent. Perfumes, soaps, incense and candles are all perfect when our beloved blooms are no longer in season. You’ve simply got to love lilac!