Wednesday, August 14, 2013

365 Days of Floral Education - Days 281 - 285

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 281 - If you grew up in the Pacific Northwest you likely know what ferns are good for: treating stinging nettles. One of the world’s oldest plants, there are many varieties of ferns, but if you’re lucky enough to spy the soft, delicate lady fern, grab some and roll it up between your palms into a rough mash. The juices released will quickly ease stinging nettle burns and can also ease minor cuts, stings and burns (fresh salt water also works in a pinch for bee stings). Bracken fern are similar to lady fern and will work, as well. The rougher, glossier, stiff sword fern and deer fern won’t be as effective, though. Lady ferns actually grow all over North America but are common in areas with high rainfall.

Day 282 - Tansy is an old-world aster and remedy, used ornamentally by florists, as well as for flavoring beer and stews as well as repelling insects. Rubbing the leaves on the skin provides an effective bug repellent, but tansy can also be used to treat worms. It is said to be poisonous when extracted, but a few leaves are not harmful if ingested.

Day 283 - Famous for making cats deliriously crazy, catnip has health properties that are great for humans, too. Catnip can relieve cold symptoms (helpful if you’re on a camping trip and don’t have access to Nyquil). It’s useful in breaking a fever as it promotes sweating. Catnip also helps stop excessive bleeding and swelling when applied rather than ingested. This mint plant is also reportedly helpful in treating gas, stomach aches, and migraines. Catnip can stimulate uterine contractions, so it should not be consumed by pregnant women.

Day 284 - Native to Europe and Asia, sweet violet is cultivated around the world and is a pleasant, delicate purple color. When brewed into a syrup the plant is effective as a treatment for colds, flu and coughs or sore throat. However, when made as a tea, it is wonderfully effective for relieving headaches and muscle and body pain.

Day 285 – These #Jerseyfresh lovelies are Teddy Bear Sunflowers. Teddy Bear’s have lots of short, fluffy petals that are soft to the touch (don’t you just want to pet them?). Golden yellow fully double 6” blooms, well-suited for mild borders, containers and cut flower bouquets. Uniform bush-like plants flower mid-summer on. The ripe heads are attractive to birds. Of course, the most famous representation of sunflowers has to be the Vincent van Gogh series of paintings, some of which include the Teddy Bear variety!

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