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Flower Spotlight: Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are some of the most popular flowers in the industry, standing just below roses, tulips, and lilies. With around 13 types of this mighty bloom, the possibilities for floral designs are endless! Keep reading to learn more about this late-season flower. [Read more…]

15 Hot Summer Flowers

Summer begins Saturday June 21st. If you enjoy having seasonal blooms on your table or in your home, check out this list of some of the most popular summer flowers available June through August. Your florist may not have all of these on-hand every day, but they should be available if you give her a couple days notice.

Rainbow of BloomsSavannah StyleCelebrate the Day

Sensational Summer Flowers

  1. Begonia – These are beautiful flowers that come in large variety of colors. They are native to tropical climates, but can be grown in colder regions of the world during the summer months. This flower traditionally means, beware or be cautious. Sound advice if you are planning on giving these flowers as a gift to your significant other.
  2. Chrysanthemum – These flowers have a long and storied history dating back to before the 15th Century BCE. So if you’re looking for blooms with a little gravitas, these are the flowers for you. They traditionally mean joy or optimism.
  3. Orchid – These delicate blooms represent love, luxury, beauty and strength. They have long been coveted flowers because of their fragile beauty and long lives.
  4. Gardenia  The perfect choice for the secret admirer or the smitten would-be lover. This flower traditionally means secret love and is a wonderful way to let someone know you’re thinking of them.
  5. Gerbera – A popular choice, this flower means innocence, purity and cheerfulness. For more information about the Gerbera, check out our March Flower Spotlight!
  6. Hyacinth – A wonderful flower for professing your devotion, the hyacinth traditionally means constancy. Its name comes from an unsurprisingly tragic tale from Greek Mythology, but then what Greek Myth doesn’t end in tragedy?
  7. Hydrangea – These make a wonderful gift to give after you’ve had a sincere apology accepted. The traditional meaning of hydrangea is heartfelt emotion and gratitude for being understood.
  8. Iris – The iris is another flower whose name hails from the Greeks. It stands for faith, hope, wisdom, courage and admiration.
  9. Lily – The lily may be a flower that has grown alongside mankind as long as there has been a thing such as mankind. As such, it has many different meanings depending on the culture you’re coming from. For detailed information on the lily, check out our April Flower Spotlight!
  10. Lilac – Oh, those flower loving Greeks, they named another one! It should come as no surprise that so many summer flowers have names that come from the Greek isles. After all, the Mediterranean climate is sort of … summery. The lilac is perfect as a gift from a student to a teacher or from you to your child as the flower traditionally means youthful innocence.
  11. Magnolia – The magnolia tree is a common site throughout most of the South during the summer. It is a gorgeous white blossom that means splendid beauty and dignity and is perfect for that singular love of your life.
  12. Marigold – The marigold is a gorgeous flower that comes in bright, vibrant oranges and reds. It should then come as no surprise that it traditionally means passion and creativity. This makes it the perfect gift for that relationship in the heat of its life.
  13. Peony – The peony is lovely flower that means good fortune and a happy marriage. It is generally considered synonymous with the 12th wedding anniversary. For more information on peonies, check out the May Flower Spotlight!
  14. Poppy – The poppy has a gorgeous bloom and means beauty, magic, consolation, fertility and eternal life. It makes a good gift for many different situations, and its versatility makes it popular.
  15. Rose – I’m sure you’re more than familiar with this extremely popular flower, but it is a summer flower and it’s popularity makes it impossible to leave off this list. Roses have many different meanings based on their color, but the most commonly known is red which means romantic love. For more information on roses, check out our February Flower Spotlight.

Sweet Georgia PeachSun-Drenched ColorHooray For Summer

Summer is definitely the season for flowers, and as always, the best place to get those flowers is from your local florist. Don’t neglect yourself this warm summer season, buy some flowers for you or a loved one and enjoy the best that nature has to offer!

Mumkin Pumpkin – Fall Decor

Mumpkin Pumpkin Photo

During Halloween, jack-o-lanterns are on doorsteps everywhere! While pumpkins are typically used for Halloween, they are also great for fall and Thanksgiving decor! (Just without the faces.)

We spotted this adorable pumpkin decor idea and had to share: Mumkins! You know we love it because it mixes chrysanthemums with this iconic Halloween/Fall/Thanksgiving symbol.

Creating a mumkin is easy!

  • Step 1: Use an awl or ice pick to poke holes, approximately 1/2″ apart, around the entire pumpkin.
  • Step 2: Cut blooms with 2″ to 3″ stems off the plants. Strip leaves from the stems. (Larger pumpkins will need around 120 blooms to completely cover them; smaller pumpkins need about 100 blooms.)
  • Step 3: Stick blooms in the holes. The moisture from the pumpkin flesh will keep your “mumkin” looking good for 3 to 4 days.

Create mumkins out of several sized pumpkins for great table decor.

[Read more…]

It’s Mum Time!

Yellow Potted Mum - Just in Time For Fall!

It’s Mum time!

With fall just over the horizon, it’s time for beautiful mum house plants to adorn our homes, porches and patios. Let the spirit of fall greet your house guests at the front door! Choose from an array of festive fall colored blooms that will last the whole season long! For the best selection, stop by your local flower shop!

Are Fresh Cut Flowers Safe To Use On Wedding Cakes?

Fresh Flowers on Wedding CakeAsk the Expert: Placing fresh cut flowers on wedding cakes My customer would like a cake topper with florals, and many flowers cascading at an angle around the cake. Is it safe to place the stem in to the cake and well as the flower resting on the cake icing?

How do you begin to charge for this.

Thanks Pat

Flower Shop Network Expert Reply:

Answering the question “What is an edible flower?” isn’t easy. The answer can vary even within a particular bloom depending on the way it was grown and processed. The strongest factor is that the flower can not be inherently poisonous. This doesn’t mean that the flower necessarily tastes good.

The best way I can answer your question is to first clarify the difference between edible flowers and flowers that are safe to use on wedding cakes.

Edible flowers are those flowers that are safe to consume. These flowers are grown specifically for human consumption and will be organically grown or treated with safe pesticides only.  This does not mean everyone can eat them. Just as with certain foods, some people may be allergic to the flowers.

Petals are usually the edible part of the flower, however this isn’t necessarily true. Always verify which part of the flower is edible. Remember even edible flowers should be eaten in moderation.

One rule of thumb when preparing edible flowers is to remove the pistil and stamen before eating the flower.

Flowers safe to use on wedding cakes are used strictly as a garnish and for decoration. Although these are non-poisonous flowers, they are not necessarily organically grown and therefore should not be eaten. It is extremely important to washed the flowers thoroughly before using them. It is important to have a barrier between these flowers and the cake. NEVER place a flower stem directly into the wedding cake!

Many wedding florists use specially designed holders when placing flowers on the cake. These holders give florists the ability to arrange flowers in the cake without exposing the the cake directly to the flower.  They also make it easier to remove the flowers when serving the cake.   

A good rule of thumb for selecting wedding cake flowers is “When in doubt leave it out!”

Below is a list of common edible flowers:

Bachelor button Bee balm Borage
Calendula Chamomile Chive flowers
Chrysanthemum Dandelion Daylily
Dianthus Fuchsia Gardenia
Gladiolus Hibiscus Hollyhock
Impatiens Lilac Marigold
Mint Nasturtium Pansy
Roses Sage Squash blossom
Snapdragon Sunflower Violet

Hopefully this list will help you get started. Remember any flower not certified as organic should be used only as decoration and not eaten.

To learn more about edible flowers read NC State University’s Edible Flowers article. I also found information about this subject on the National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service site’s Edible Flowers pages.

Do not use the following poisonous flowers:

Azalea Belladonna Calla Lily
Crocus Foxglove Hyacinth
Larkspur Lily-of-the-Valley Rhododendron

The lists above are just an abbreviated list of the non-toxic and toxic flowers available. Check with your local extension services or horticultural departments for a more in-depth reference.

This flower question was brought to you by the local florists in Kansas City.

Flower of the Month: The Chrysanthemum

CHRYSANTHEMUM

Scientific name: Asteraceae

Use: Flower

Type: Herbaceous Perennials

Height: 2-3′

Form: Mass

Astrological Flower: Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19) Virgo, (Aug 23 – Sept 22)

GROWING

Planting Zones: 3-9

Soil Requirements: Full sun and well-drained soil.

DESIGNING

Stem: 18-24″

Blossom Size: 2-4″

Texture: Satin

Silhouette: Dense/Pinwheel

Colors: Reds, Oranges, Yellows, Purples, Whites, Browns, Pinks, Combinations,

Bloom Season: Fall

Flowers Available: Year Round

Chrysanthemum Drama

We often hear chrysanthemum associated with things like tea and seems to be only used in early fall. This doesn’t have to be the case. The chrysanthemum is truly the Cher of the flower world. Did you know there are 12 different styles of flower heads for the chrysanthemum? Not to mention the vast color options! That’s right!

ABOUT

There are two types of chrysanthemums: the Exhibition and the Garden. The exhibition variety (also called florists mum) are available in the most wide range of colors and styles. These are the best type for your fresh cuts. The straight growing sprays will produce several blooms per stem and will look great in any arrangement! The garden mums grow in hardy, bushy mounds unlike the exhibition styles and are great for your landscaping. They also tend to have a longer flowering season.

There are many culinary uses for the garden chrysanthemum – mostly in teas, but in some parts of the world the mum is a staple. (If you plan to cook with the chrysanthemum, try the Garland or edible chrysanthemum.)

HISTORY

The roots of the chrysanthemum run deep. It was first cultivated in China as far back as 15th Century B.C. and is still highly prized today. In fact, one of the highest honors you can receive in Japan is The Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum from the emperor himself. There is a great rice wine found in Korea flavored with chrysanthemum flowers called gukhwaju. As mentioned before it is a staple in Asian cuisine and the inspiration for many Asian festivals and traditions.

The flower made its way to Europe around the 17th century and has been a favorite ever since. The name “chrysanthemum” came from Swedish botanist Karl Linnaeus who combined the Greek word for golden, chrysos, and anthemon meaning [Read more…]

Try These Impressive Hostess Gifts Ideas For Fall Parties

“Never arrive to a party empty-handed.” ~ Mom’s Everywhere

It’s almost impossible to break away from this helpful tidbit of information that many moms delivered, nay, insisted throughout our formative years. Now that you’ve been invited to a fun fall party, the inevitable question arises:  “What should I bring?” Don’t be stuck searching for hours for the perfect hostess gift idea. Here are Flower Shop Network’s top picks:

  • Potted mums make excellent hostess gifts. Potted mums appear in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. They’re also easy to care for which is a big plus for most busy hosts.
  • Fall centerpieces decorated with gourds, miniature pumpkins, or fall flowers also put a twinkle in the eye of many hosts. This is a great gift to have delivered by a local florist before your arrival. A short and sweet card lets the host know who sent the gift without putting him or her on the spot in front of others who may not have brought a gift. At best, your host may love it enough to use it as part of the party decorations!
  • Colorful arrangements of fall flowers are a very traditional gift that hosts and hostesses will love. Fall flower arrangements can also accompany other smaller gifts such as dark chocolates, wine that complements the flowers, and other unique gift ideas.
  • Decorative pumpkins are also great and quirky gift ideas for fall parties. Depending on the formality of the event, a hand-painted pumpkin or jack-o-lantern is a unique gift that will have your host smiling brightly.

U.S. Floriculture Inspectors Confiscate Chrysanthemums From Holland

According to a recent article in SAF’s Wednesday E-Brief, U.S. Floriculture inspectors in Santa Barbara County, California confiscated and destroyed a box of cut mums from Holland. This was done as part of the ongoing effort to protect U.S. Chrysanthemum growing operations from white rust. An introduction of white rust to U.S. Chrysanthemum growing operations could cause extensive losses to the U.S. Chrysanthemum industry.

White rust is caused by the Puccinia horiana fungus which can spread quickly causing severe crop loss. Plants can harbor this pathogen for up to two weeks before the symptoms appear. This pathogen is spread through contaminated soil, litter, dead leaves, gardening equipment, clothing and hands. It does, however, need a host plant in which to grow and will not grow on anything but the host plant (chrysanthemums). If you are interested, the USDA-APHIS has more information on Chrysanthemum White Rust.

The importance of this action is the fact that cut chrysanthemums from the Netherlands are currently banned in the United States. Everyone in the floral industry should be aware that “For the time being, cut mums identified as having originated in the Netherlands will be confiscated and destroyed, WITH NO COMPENSATION” according to the March 19th SAF Wednesday E-Brief.

Growers, retailers, importers and wholesalers all play a part in the U.S. floral industry. As a result, it is essential for all the players to know and understand the implications of global trade and the issues that may arise from it. Fortunately there are many organizations, like the USDA-APHIS and SAF, that work to protect and inform floral industry members of issues that directly and indirectly affect them.

As a grower, I understand the importance of this situation and the impact that uncontrolled pathogens have on crops. Prevention is of up-most importance in terms of both financial and environmental concerns. The Bloomin’ Blog is always open to discussions concerning floral industry issues. As concerns arise we will attempt to inform the floral community and encourage discussion of these issues. I encourage you to discuss floral industry concerns here or in other floral industry communities as they arise. Communication is the key to success for all of us and for a stronger healthier industry.

Daisies, Daisies and More Daisies

Daisies are among the most well-known and popular flowers of all, and for good reason: who can resist a fresh bouquet of cheerful, sunny faces and delicate petals? Charming harbingers of spring, daisies will bring a smile to anyone’s day.

Lazy Daisy and Delphinium Flower ArrangementDaisy Fresh

Daisies have long been associated with youth and purity, hence the phrase “fresh as a daisy”. Wedding bouquets with daisies would certainly be appropriate for a young bride or her attendants. In Victorian times, when hidden meanings were associated with many flowers (see our June  Newsletter, The Symbolic Meanings of Flowers), daisies signified innocence and gentleness. Perhaps it is these qualities which makes them such good fortune-tellers (“…she loves me, she loves me not, she loves me”)! Today of course, we often think of sending daisies whenever we want to cheer someone up.

Types of Daisies in Flower Arrangements

The flowers which are most often sold as daisies in modern flower shops are usually a daisy-flowered type of spray chrysanthemum, or daisy pompon as it’s known in the trade. Occurring with several flowers to the stem, these daisy pompons are sturdier and longer lasting than traditional Marguerite daisies, and are available in a wide range of colors and sizes.

Gerbera daisies, originally native to South Africa, have become enormously popular in recent years, and they’re being used in everything from casual vase arrangements to sophisticated wedding bouquets. Hybridizers have succeeded in developing gerbera daisies in a tremendous variety of sizes, textures, and colors; there is a gerbera which will coordinate with virtually any decorating scheme or wedding theme.

Where To Buy Daisies

As always, your local professional florist can guide you in selecting the right daisies for the right occasion. Buy them for yourself or for someone else… no one could ever send a bad message with daisies. Just please don’t eat them! But that’s a tale for another day.