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.

Create a Flower Crown in a Few Easy Steps!

Whether you are a bride to be, a music festival goer,a fashion lover, or maybe you want to give a nice decorative crown for a little girls birthday. Flower crowns are becoming increasingly popular. They can be expensive to purchase from a florist. These crowns are relatively easy to make and don’t require too much time or supplies, so instead of paying someone to do it, do it yourself!

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First, take your floral wire and wrap it around your head to establish the size you will need when creating your flower crown. Head bands can also be used to hold the greenery and flowers together. Once you have measured your head, take some greenery and leaves and wrap them around the base of the wire or hot glue them onto your head band. This will cover up any wire/ elastic that is showing and give a base layer to your crown. The greenery you use, should be Hold the greenery and leaves close to the wire of the crown and slowly start to wrap in floral tape.

Once the greenery is set up you can start getting creative and adding fresh or silk flowers. Attaching the flowers is just as easy as attaching the greenery. You will just want to tightly wrap using floral tape and wire to secure the flowers into place. You do not need to go all the way around with flowers. Also, you can use a hot glue gun to glue your flowers onto the elastic band. You can leave some of the crown just green for the back and create more of a statement in the front with the flowers. In order to cut the flowers and greenery, it might be a good idea to get a sharp pair of pruning shears.

 

Modern DIY Centerpiece

Are you looking to give your wedding a nice modern touch but don’t want to spend a ton of money? Are you having an event with dim lighting or outdoor event at night? Here is an idea for you, submerged calla lilies in a cylinder vase with cheap accents to spruce it up a bit. This is a great look and is very cost efficient. Calla lilies are beautiful flowers and they do well when submerged under water. The plastic diamond accent beads and the submergible light give the centerpiece some character and will also give off a nice lighting. It is a piece that shows beauty but is also simplistic and affordable. Not only is it cheaper to make it yourself, it is fun!!

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Start by finding a cylinder vase that you like, remember that it should be tall enough to fully submerge your flowers in the water. After you find a vase, gather up some clear beads or glass, as well as a submergible light. Place the light at the bottom of the vase and surround it with glass/plastic clear beads. Use your small pin frog and attach some calla lilies to it. Drop the pin frog into the water and play with it to get the look and placement you want. Once you find the perfect spot for the calla lilies, put some more clear beads into the vase to cover up the pin frog and give it a clean look. Hiding the pin frog is essential for the most beautiful arrangement. This arrangement is very easy and can be done fast. If you are procrastinating on your wedding centerpieces and want something quick and easy, this is the one for you.

 

Ocean-Themed Tropical Centerpiece

Tropical flowers are some of the most noticeable flowers on earth. Whether you put them into a bouquet or you use them in your hair, they will catch you eye every time. They stick out and make any arrangement look sophisticated. Orchids and other tropical flowers are beautiful additions to any room or any event. They bring a warm presence with them and they will influence the moods of people. Tropical flowers are easy to work with, they are beautiful by themselves and filler flowers or accents are not needed.

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Start by buying a large fishbowl vase and clean the inside of it thoroughly. Begin to place some seashells throughout the vase in the way that looks good from all angles. You will then place your fresh orchids or other tropical flowers into the fishbowl being cautious of where they are placed. You can place the orchids freely in the vase or you could use floral foam to help them stay solidly in one place. Next you can use moss, accent beads and other supplies to give the centerpiece some extra character. Make sure that you clean the outside of your vase when you are finished so that it looks clean and presentable. With some of your time, supplies, and fresh flowers you can create something just as beautiful as this!