Monday, May 26, 2014

Real Story of Memorial Day

The real story of Memorial Day: More Flowers, Less Hot Dogs.
Birthplace of Memorial Day: Waterloo, NY
Read More at Forbes

Friday, March 28, 2014

Floral Vessels

Inspire your life and indulge in a few fabulous floral vessels aka flower vases.  Just enjoy them.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Are we pushing the limits?

It came to my attention today that it is hard to do the right thing.  Is it?  It shouldn't be, but as we push the limits of our time, money, and emotions, a realization came about.  We are too concerned about offending anyone.  Well, we shouldn't be.  Go ahead - do the right thing and offend away.  And if that means you have to send flowers the next day, then go ahead and do that, too!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Stephanotis floribunda

After having read Joan Didion's Year of Magical Thinking I finally asked a friend to borrow Blue Nights, Didion's memoir of the death of her daughter (the former about the death of her husband).

In the opening pages Didion remembers her family home in Malibu, with magnolia and stephanotis flanking the wood of the patio that had been so loved by her daughter; these plants were to be eventually destroyed by a subsequent owner who gas-bombed the place to treat for termites.

In any case I could not picture the stephanotis in my mind's eye and thought it a good enough reason to post about the tiny, almost elfen, flowers here:

  • also known as Madagascar Jasmine,
  • fragrant blooms,
  • popular for use in wedding ceremonies,
  • from the Greek meaning "fit for a crown."
More information can be found here and here.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Penstemon venustus

Although members of the genus Penstemon are native throughout North America, the Venus variety are localized to the Pacific Northwestern United States (though they are perennials that might be grown in a variety of places; they are well-suited for rock gardens and the like). They flower mid-summer and present with blooms from a bluish to a mild lavender color, with hardy leaves that increase in size toward the ground.

More information can be found here and here.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Iris Germanica

Also known as "bearded iris":

("Lullaby of Spring" German iris; photo by Jonathan Everitt)

I spent two summers as a volunteer at Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield, Ohio, tending the iris and day-lily beds. Of course these are some of the most recognizable plants but the face, the eye of the iris strikes me still.

("Aachen Elf" iris, photo here)

These are hardy perennials that are known and so well-loved for their big colorful heads, long stalks, and swooping petals. It is almost as if they stand to meet you face-to-face, their mouths open in a slack-jawed but joyous smile. They give off this warmth, too. When you're working in their soil a sense of at-homeness overtakes you.

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Epigaea repens

Common Name: Trailing Arbutus, Mayflower, Gravel Plant, Ground Laurel, Winter Pink, Shadflower, Mountain Pink, Crocus - Arbutus is a genus of trees of the heath family with dark green leaves and white to pinkish flowers (Arbutus is the Latin name for the wild strawberry tree); trailing applies to a branch or shoot that extends along the ground as a runner. The common name conveys that the trailing arbutus was once considered a member of the genus Arbutus, distinguished in that it trailed along the ground.
The mayflower is the official flower of Massachusetts and also of Nova Scotia. It is a low-lying shrub with small pink flowers, often fading to white, that put off a notable sweet smell.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hyacinthoides non-scripta

(image: Peter Gasson)

From Kew Royal Botanic Gardens:
At the beginning of the 29th century special "Bluebell Trains" took tourists on excursions to see the spectacular bluebell displays in the deciduous woodlands of the Chiltern Hills in southeast England. Although the special train services no longer run, the bluebells can still be seen in what has since been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
 Some other AONBs (that don't necessarily boast an abundance of bluebells like Chiltern Hills) include Blackdown Hills, North Devon Coast, and North Pennines (England); Clwydian Range and Wye Valley (Wales); and the Mourne Mountains and Ring of Gullion (Northern Ireland).

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Friday, November 30, 2012



From The Meconopsis Group:
The genus comprises a race of mountain plants, a few species growing at the highest altitudes of any flowering plants in the world...others occur at lower, but nonetheless montane, altitudes. However, although they are distributed along the Himalayan range, many species also occur in the mountains of western China and the high plateaux of Tibet. There are 45-50 known species and they are all...native to these Asian regions. Arguably the most popular of the Meconopsis grown in gardens have blue flowers, but other colours are well represented, e.g. the striking red of M. punicea and a number of species such as M. pseudointegrifolia are yellow.

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