Oriental Lilies: The Flower of Life

Stretching as far back as 1580 B.C. the Lily has been a symbol of beauty and love. It’s been used in wedding centerpieces and bridal bouquets all over the globe. In fact, its stunning appearance makes it the second most popular flower in world, just behind roses. Many countries actually prefer the Lily over roses and feel they better represent love. The ancient Greeks believed that the Lily was created from the milk of ‘Hera’, or the Queen of the Gods. Today we know them to be a native flower to China, Japan, and most of the northern hemisphere. In some of these societies, the Lily has traditionally stood for good luck, purity, majesty, and even considered holy. Lilies have also been used to treat depression and toxicity in herbal medicinal practices and continue to lift spirits to this day. For many cultures, the trumpet shaped flower has represented the soul leaving the body for the afterlife in a funeral arrangement.

Oriental Lilies

Oriental Lilies are a relatively new breed of Lily. They are a hybrid between two flowers that are also in their genus, Lilium Auratum and Lilium Speciosum. Orientals differ from Asiatic and other Lilies by their growth and cultivation season. The stem length of Oriental’s can reach up to 6ft. in their natural habitat and when the flower is fully open, the diameter can be upwards of 9”. They also bloom later in the season than Asiatic Lilies, sometimes reaching into the fall. Other types of perennial Lilies don’t have the elegantly ruffled petals that the Oriental Lily features. There’s anywhere between 3-6 flowers per stem and here at Wholesale Flowers and Supplies, we sell them in grower’s bunches of 5 stems. The two commonly known types of Oriental Lilies are identified as the pink Stargazer and the huge, white Casablanca. Both of which are notorious for their romantic fragrance, which led to them becoming some of the most beloved flowers in the world. Depending on the species, some pink or Stargazer Lilies can be seen with naturally spotted petals and white edges, while others are one solid pink color. The Lily bulbs will open at different times over a period of 1-2 weeks, a characteristic that makes them a wonderful choice for your vase or arrangement. The opening of the flower has been closely related to the birth of a child or the beginning of a relationship. Prolong the life of your Lilies and prevent staining or discoloring the petals by removing the stamens that are used to pollinate and reproduce. The Lily is edible to humans and various animals due to its high starch content. It is worth noting that the ASPCA has reported it can be toxic to cats.

Lilies have always been pleasing and noteworthy. Their beauty catches your eye and they are usually the first flower you can identify in an arrangement. The Oriental Lily is, without a doubt, one of the most marvelous flowers in the world and has rightfully symbolized everlasting love and beauty throughout history. It’s large, ruffled edge petals have been adorned in wedding arrangements for centuries and will continue to be a staple in wedding flowers. Oriental Lilies continue to be one of the most respected, fragrant, and appealing flowers in the modern world.

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other. – Chinese Proverb

Roses: The Silent Messenger

With roses being this week’s special, we’d like to take the opportunity to share the meaning and significance behind their beautifully distinguished colors. For thousands of years, the rose has evoked feelings and emotions without ever needing to say a word. The Latin saying “sub rosa” translates to “under the rose”, which means that something was told in secret. They’re the most popular flower in history, making the rose a timeless expression of admiration and respect. Cultures all over the world have used the varying colors of the rose to convey different messages. They’ve been used for political significance, religious meaning, and social expressions of gratitude. Throughout history, the different colors of roses have carried with them a whole new depth to the elegantly fragrant flower. We’ve put together a guide on the color significance of roses to help you convey the right message.

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RED– Traditionally red roses are a symbol of love and enduring passion. Some even call them the “lover’s rose.” The classical red rose also conveys respect, courage, and the creative spirit of love; making it the most gifted and admired color.

WHITE– Often referred to as the “bridal rose”, white roses represent humility, purity, innocence, and young love. By symbolizing truth and reverence, it expresses loyalty to your loved ones or friends.

YELLOW– During the Victorian era, yellow roses were actually a symbol of jealousy. Today, we associate yellow roses with friendship, joy, and caring for others. It’s a color that evokes warmth and undeniable happiness.

ORANGE– With its warm and vibrant tone, an orange rose symbolizes enthusiasm and desire. They carry an underlying message of admiration and passion. A bouquet of orange roses sends a powerful and meaningful message.

PURPLE– Traditionally associated with royalty, the lavender rose suggests majesty and splendor. The purple flower is used display love at first sight. Historically, the purple rose has been used to distinguish oneself from the rest.

PINK– Pink roses are generally a gentile and feminine flower given as a gift or sign of love. Dark pink express gratitude and appreciation, while light pink roses represent grace, gentleness, and happiness. Like the red rose, pink roses symbolize admiration, but in a softer, more familiar tone.

GREEN– The color that represents life, abundant growth, and energy is that of the green rose. It’s often said that the green rose can invoke a sense of balance, peace, and stability to the human mind. The green rose will effortlessly lift spirits with its earthy tone.

Any selection of roses will make a wonderful statement. The rose is the most distinguished and likeable flower known to man. It’ stood the test of time as a classically admirable flower in both the floral industry and homes alike.

 

Carnations: Flower of the Gods

It is a common misconception and an unfair reputation that the Carnation flower is a boring, plain or old fashion flower. With these misconceptions, the carnation has been thought of as a “cheap” flower because of its low cost. The carnation is part of the Dianthus family but does not resemble many of its family members. The dianthus family has a vast array of flowers and the carnation is only one of the many different options. The carnation is becoming more and more popular in modern culture because of its shape and texture that can be used to make incredible floral arrangements. Carnations are used so frequently because of how versatile they are, their long life after being cut, color variety and size options. They come in almost every color imaginable and if you cannot find the color you want, you can easily stem dye the flower with some food coloring. Carnations grow in traditional varieties as well as mini or spray carnations. These flowers have been used for over 2,000 years, making them the oldest cultivated flowers in the world. Their botanical name actually translates to “Flower of the Gods”. Carnations are the National Flower of Spain and the State flower of Ohio.

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Pink blooms are used to express motherly love and compassion. Light red shows admiration while dark red displays deep love. White carnations show devotion while yellow blooms are used to acknowledge disappointment. Carnations are most often incorporated in prom boutonnieres, funeral bouquets and Mother’s Day arrangements. Also very popular at Indian weddings, carnations have been used for creating leis and garlands to decorate. This isn’t the first time these flowers have been used as decorations; the ancient Greek and Roman people even weaved them into their garlands thousands of years ago.

Sunflowers: the golden sun

 

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Standing tall with its large round head and brilliant yellow color, the sunflower truly represents the golden sun. Sunflowers are known to symbolize loyalty, devotion and admiration because of their love and dedication to the sun. Also, they bring happiness to anyone’s day.  Its scientific name Helianthus literally translates to Helios- sun, Anthos- flower. The daily orientation of the flower to the sun is a direct result of differential growth in the stem. A plant-growth regulator, or Auxin, accumulates on the shaded side of a plant when conditions of unequal light are present. This accumulation causes the darker side to grow at a faster rate than the sunlit side. Thus, the stem bends towards the sun. Sunflowers are very unique in the fact that their heads track the sun as it moves during the day. The flowers will follow the movement of the sun through a process called Heliotropism. This makes their name an even better fit! Sunflowers produce seeds which can be used for many different things. Black seeds are used to make sunflower oil, bird seed and some pet foods. Striped seeds are used to make the snack many of us enjoy.

Do you wish you had more birds in your yard? Attract them with some beautiful sunflowers. Birds love them! Also, ancient Aztecs worshiped sunflowers and considered them to be a form of a Solar Deity. Recently they have developed a low pollen sunflower. This new variation is perfect for people who are allergic to pollen or have any problems with asthma. This variation is not only better for people with allergies but it has an extended life.

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Native to North America, they have been used for centuries for their beauty and many other attributes. Sunflowers were used by early settlers for dye, food, medicine, building material and more. Dyes are made from the yellow petals and are used for many different tasks. Other than the traditional sunflower seed snack, they are also used to make Sunbutter. Sunbutter is a peanut butter substitute that is made from fresh sunflowers. Not only are they multifunctional flowers, they make a great gift or can easily illuminate your home décor. Stop by our store and pick up some fresh sunflowers to brighten up your summer!

Alstroemeria, the Flower of Friendship

The beautiful Alstroemeria is also commonly known as Peruvian Lily, Lily of the Incas, and Parrot Lily. They are shaped like miniature lilies and they share a lot of common features. Alstroemerias were first grown in the cool Andes Mountains of Chile during the wintertime and in Eastern Brazil during the summer months. In its native South America they were a symbol of wealth and good fortune. Over the years, and with the growth of the flower industry, 190 different varieties of the flower became naturalized in countries all around the world. Alstroemerias were named after the Swedish naturalist Baron Claus von Alstromer who spent his life studying plant and flower seeds throughout Europe during the 18th Century.

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Each stem of Alstroemeria has 2-4 blooms, and when they’re open the flowers have a vase life of approximately one to two weeks. Alstroemerias got their nickname “The Flower of Friendship” because of the leaves of the flower. They grow upside-down! Each one is twisted near the stem so the bottom of the leaf is actually facing upwards. Just like how friendships go through twists and turns as it grows

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Succulents – The Modern House Plants

Did you know succulents can propagate (grow a new plant) from just a single leaf of an old plant? There are thousands of things to read online about succulents but today we want to focus on some interesting facts that are not so widely published or well known.

How many different kinds of succulents exist?

There are roughly 60 families and over 300 genera of succulent plants. The most common types of succulents are: Aeonium- one of the most popular varieties of succulent. Agave- used to make tequila. Aloe- used commonly for Aloe Vera, a treatment for sunburns and bug bites. Cactus- yes those prickly plants are succulents too! Echeveria- very common variety that is used for landscaping in warmer climates. Euphorbia- this also looks very similar to cactus and has many similar attributes. Ice plants- this colorful ground cover is invasive and will take over the soil it plants on. It is very common in San Diego!

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Are you bad with keeping plants alive? Succulents are easy to maintain and do not take much time or energy at all! They will live through a drought, can grow in any kind of soil and don’t require any fertilizer. There is no way succulents can get infected as they are disease and pest resistant.

Another interesting fact is that they are fire resistant and fire retardant! This makes them a great choice for the landscaping surrounding your home.

Succulents are great plants for your bedroom for many reasons. Not only do they look great, but they actually produce oxygen all day and all night long. Succulent plants and Orchid plants both produce oxygen at night. Most other plants will only produce oxygen while they are receiving light. Plant them in any of your favorite dish gardens or terrariums and start breathing in the fresh oxygen tonight!

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Air plants

Are you bored of the same old plants around your house? Are you bad at keeping things alive? The solution is here! Air Plants, also known as Tillandsias are very affordable, easy to take care of and there are plenty of different styles to choose from. Take the hassle out of maintaining your plants. These plants actually get all of the nutrients and water they need to survive from the air, hence their name. No soil is required. Instead, they attach themselves to trees, rocks, fences or other structures. Air plants do not rely on these hosts for survival; they only use them for a place to secure their roots.

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An interesting fact about Air Plants is that they actually help to clean the air. There was a University study that showed that Tillandsias can clean the air around them and remove more of the airborne particles than any other plant on earth. This is also how they stay alive and get their nourishment. Native to Central & South America, Air Plants can also grow in tropical states such as California, Florida, Georgia and Texas.

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Air Plants come in over 550 different varieties and each one is similar in the way they grow but so different among the different species. The plants will usually have a flower that blooms and has a vibrant violet color. Most Tillandsias require bright diffused sunlight or fluorescent lighting. Water them by misting them several times per week as well as a good soak every other week. Place the entire plant into a bucket or bowl of water for several minutes up to an hour. Bottled water and tap water work the best but do not use distilled water. Shake off excess water when putting the Air Plants back in their homes. With proper care, you will have great success with these easy to care for plants!

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​Are you bored of the same old plants around your house? Are you bad at keeping things alive? The solution is here! Air Plants, also known as Tillandsias are very affordable, easy to take care of and there are plenty of different styles to choose from.

 

Dish Gardens

Currently, dish gardens are very popular and can be incorporated into all styles of home decor. Ranging in different sizes and containing many assorted plants, the dish garden possibilities are endless. For this blog we will be switching it up and we are not going to teach you step by step like we usually do. We want you to take the ideas you see from our photos and use your own creativity to make the dish gardens. The only way you can get better, is if you practice. We will give you some hints, but arranging the gardens is all up to you. Planters, sand, shells, airplants, rocks and other supplies can all be found on our website!

Here are a few tips to consider when creating your dish garden:

  • Try not to mix plants that need a lot of water with plants that don’t require much water. For example, overwatering orchids will kill them.
  • Make sure to research how much sunlight certain plants should have. Don’t mix sun happy plants with plants that don’t need sunlight.
  • Using faux succulents and flowers will look good too! Check them out here!
  • If you have any questions or need some more inspiration call us or come into our store and talk to one of our experienced floral designers.
  • Have fun creating!

 

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​Currently, dish gardens are a very popular and can be incorporated into all styles of home decor. Ranging in different sizes and containing many assorted plants, the dish garden possibilities are endless.

 

Recycle your Christmas Centerpiece, Use it for New Years!

Don’t want to spend any extra money replacing your holiday centerpiece? Recycle the current pieces and use them to create a beautiful New Years Arrangement! Why waste money buying a completely new floral design? Do not throw away your old creations; just give them a makeover for the next holiday.

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You will want to keep the basic structure of your arrangement and any of the pines/ greenery you have in it. Pinecones, rocks, branches or any other accents you have can be spray painted silver or gold. Glitter can also be added if you want to give it an extra sparkle. Any candles previously in your centerpiece should be removed for the New Years holiday.

 

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To give the design an extra party feel, you can add small disco balls, shiny objects, glitter and anything else catching to the eye. To add height and texture to the design, branches such as curly willow, dogwood and ting ting can be used as accents. These will make the arrangement look larger and will give a broader spectrum of view.

 

Terrariums: Holiday Gift Idea

Need a creative Christmas gift idea? Terrariums are a great gift to give with a personal touch! They are easy to make and once you know how to make them, you will be addicted to creating different designs. There are hundreds of different ways to make a beautiful terrarium so it’s up to you to put your imagination to work and create something unique.

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First thing you need to do is find a terrarium that you like. There are many different choices; it all just depends on personal preference. Once you have chosen the one you like, it is time to pick out the succulents, air plants, rocks, and all other accents you want to fill it with.

 

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Step 1 is to fill the bottom of your terrarium with a base layer. This layer should consist of rocks, gravel, or sand. This is what will be used for drainage in your design. The base layer should be at least 1 inch of material evenly spread around the bottom.

Step 2 is to place potting soil or sand on top of your base layer. It is important that you have enough so that the roots of the plants will be surrounded and will not touch the base layer. You can play around with the soil to add depth or create different levels.

Step 3 is to add your plants! Imagine in your head how you want them to look and begin to dig holes in the soil to place them. Once they are in a place that you like, pack soil tightly around them and make sure they are securely in place.

The final step is to add your finishing touches. This is where your creativity really comes out. Accents such as large rocks, decorative moss, sticks, and shells are popular ways to spruce up your terrarium.

 

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​Need a creative Christmas gift idea? Terrariums are a great gift to give with a personal touch! They are easy to make and once you know how to make them, you will be addicted to creating different designs.