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Favorite Flower Arrangement For January

January Flower Arrangement

Can you believe it’s 2012 already? Ring in the new year with Silver Bells — our featured arrangement for January! This beautiful arrangement features flowers in winter colors, accented with unique silver leaves and ornaments.

Everyone’s favorite Gerbera daisies are front and center, reminding us spring is on it’s way! Blue delphiniums really shine when paired with white and silver. Blue flowers are a rare treat, and delphiniums are one of the few naturally blue flowers. Another rare treat featured in this January arrangement, are the uncommon star of Bethlehem flowers. Altogether, Silver Bells shares winter bliss with everyone! [Read more…]

Larkspur – FSN’s Favorite Flower For January

Larkspur | Delphinium

For our favorite flower this month*, we chose Delphiniums. Their rare blue colors and love of cool temps make them a perfect choice for January flower arrangements. Read all about this fascinating flower in this article!

DELPHINIUM/ LARKSPUR

Use: Flower

Type: Perennial

Height: 18″-7′

Name Meaning: Heavenly

GROWING

Requirements: fertile, well-drained soil. Stalk tall varieties.

DESIGNING

Blossom Size: 2½” across

Texture: Satin

Fragrance: Light, sweet scent

Silhouette: Spear-shaped stalk

Vase Life: 5-8 Days

Colors: Blue, purple, pink, yellow, orange, white

Bloom Season: Fall

Flowers Available: Year Round

ABOUT DELPHINIUMS/ LARKSPUR

Often called larkspur, the Delphinium is a genus of mountain flowers found throughout the northern world, and in some mountainous parts of Africa. They are called larkspur because of their unusual spur-like flowers. The front of the flower looks normal, but behind the petals there is a little spur sticking out, making it look like an elf’s cap.

They are a wonderful summer flower to grow for great color, and a staple in English cottage gardens. Because of their height, use as a gorgeous back-border flower. The Delphinium enjoys cooler temperatures (70° ish) and thrives in northern summers and high elevations. They love the sunshine and will grow faster and flower sooner during long summer days.

The Delphinium has become a florist favorite because it is one of the few, large flowers that are actually natural blue. (It’s no surprise that it was traditionally used to make blue ink and dye.) The little larkspurs look beautiful in floral designs because of their tall flower spikes.

Blue Delphiniums Flower Arrangement

Not Everyone’s A Larkspur Fan

As much as we love this beautiful flower, they are hated just as much! The larkspur is very toxic and often grow in the same fields cattle graze from. There are many reported cases of dead cattle caused by ingesting larkspur. [Read more…]

A Passion for Purple Flowers

first-paragraph-photo2Every spring, I begin the process of taking stock in my garden. What survived the cold winter? What areas just need sprucing up or an extreme makeover? Then, I head to my favorite nursery and begin my annual indulgence—plant shopping! The color I gravitate to most is purple—from pale periwinkle to luscious lavender to deep, velvety jewel tones.

Purple adds drama and mystery to my garden. I add yellow, pink and white flowers to add contrast and lighten the palette. To create great focal points with intense color, I combine shades of orange or gold in front of a swath of purple blooms. My favorite color combination is combining a punch of chartreuse with deep purple—talk about eye candy!


Below are some of my favorite purple blooms:

balloonflowerx21 Balloon Flower or Chinese Bellflower (Platycodon) is a perennial plant known for its large, showy blossoms that resemble hot air balloons right before they open. The plant forms in clumps and each stem bears bell-shaped flowers in pink, purplish-blue and white. Grown in full sun or partial shade, they bloom throughout the summer.
Easy to grow, the striking Bearded Iris is a drought-tolerant plant with blooms in a rainbow of colors. Grown from rhizomes, these perennials blossom in spring, although there are summer-blooming irises. The blooms are large, showy and make a great backdrop in your garden. beardediris

crocus

Harbingers of spring, Crocus are one of the easiest bulbs to grow. Best planted en masse, these perennial flowers grow in full sun to partial shade and are ideal for naturalizing. With minimum growing conditions, they will reward you with a profusion of colorful blue, purple, yellow, white, orange, and even variegated flowers.

Grown from bulbs, Gladiolus have multiple blooms on long, sturdy stems. These sun-loving plants come in a wide array of colors and make great cut flowers. I’m always amazed that Gladiolus bulbs are so inexpensive—I’ve purchased a bag of 100 bulbs for as little as $12! And yes, I managed to plant all of them!

istock-gladiola

[Read more…]

5 Components of English Garden Flower Arrangements

English Garden Style Arrangement For Searcy AR Wedding

English Garden Style Arrangement For Searcy AR Wedding

History: English-garden designs are inspired by early English gardens which people had at their homes to produce vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruit trees. These items were grown for their fragrance, cosmetic and/or medicinal purposes.

English gardens went by many names at the time including “kitchen gardens,” “cottage gardens,” and “cuttings gardens.” Among those credited with developing the modern English garden floral style are Constance Spry, Julia Clements, and Gertrude Jekyll.

Style: Loosely structured oval or round arrangements of a variety of garden flowers (or flowers that can be easily grown in a garden). No particular style (form, filler, line, mass) of bloom is used. No particular amount is selected. This style is based on the availability of flowers grown in a home’s garden and therefore represent a less defined but very “full” look.

Flowers Used: Popular flowers in modern English Garden style designs are spike flowers including larkspur, delphinium, foxglove, hollyhock, and snapdragon. Popular mass flowers used include tulips, snowballs, marigolds, sweet peas, geraniums, stock, aster, daisies, lilies, poppies, cornflowers, all kinds of roses and carnations, lavendar, dahlias, ranunculus, anemones, and agapanthus.

All flowers used must bloom in the same season. Compatibility of the flowers is very important as this style reflects what home gardens would have had at a particular time, far before worldwide delivery was readily available.

The use of fragrant flowers and herbs is appropriate.

Basic Characteristics: Features more foliage than many other styles. The use of evergreens and woody-stemmed, leafy foliage is popular. Examples of these are Euonymus, Pittosporum, Camellia, huckleberry, boxwood and blackberry.) Weeping or trailing ivies or materials are popular with this style. Plumed grasses are appropriate as well.

Full, large arrangements that are usually round or oval. They are characterized mostly by their use of a wide variety of flowers and keen use of foliage.

Usually seen in bright, complementary colors. However, monochromatic or analogous color harmonies have become appropriate choices for modern renditions of this style.

Containers Used: While vases are often used in English Garden styles, most floral arrangements in this style are featured in an urn or similar container with durability, strength and a unique appearance.

Awesome Blue Delphinium Photos

Ask the Expert: I was hoping you could help identify this flower
These photos were taken from a garden in the Chena Village, along the Chena River outside of Fairbanks in July of this year.  I was hoping you could identify them, and let me know if they were native.  Thank you!

– Margaret


Plant Expert Reply:
The flower you have so lovely captured in the photos above is Delphinium. Florists in Alaska, as well as in other places, use this flower in arrangements because it is one of the few true blue flowers available to them.

Delphinium is a genus of 250 annuals, perennials and biennials. In 1998 while vacationing in Alaska, I saw some of the tallest delphinium I had ever seen. It was in the garden of a lady who was a sled dog racer. I believe Delphinium is native to Alaska. If it isn’t it should be, we saw it everywhere during our two week stay.

Some may call this plant larkspur. The terms are often confused and used interchangeably. However, Larkspur and Delphinium are not really the same plant but closely related. In your pictures the blossom shape looks more like Delphinium.

Got The Blues? Check Out These Blue Flowers

Himalyan Blue Poppy courtesy of istock photo

courtesy of istock photo

Adding cool blue to your garden lends a feeling of calmness and restfulness. Because there are so few flowers that are truly blue, this color is most coveted by gardeners. One of the most beautiful blue flowers in the world is the Blue Himalayan poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia). I haven’t tried to grow them because they are temperamental and quite a challenge to grow in hotter areas, such as my Zone 7. The sight of a cluster of Blue Himalayan poppies blowing in the breeze will make you sigh.

nikko-blue-hydrangea

Introduce lovely old-fashioned ‘Nikko Blue’ or ‘Blue Wave’ hydrangea to your garden as a foundation plant. Hydrangeas have the ability to change color based on the alkalinity of the soil. That means even the lovely ‘Nikko Blue’ has a chance at blooming pink instead of blue! The bloom colors will be pink in alkaline soil. In more acidic soil (5.2-5.5ph), the bloom colors are blue. To ensure that stunning blue hue, you need to manipulate your soil’s pH level and mineral content. This must be done several times during the growing season. You can lower the pH by watering with 2 tbsp of aluminum sulfate per gallon of water. The results are well worth the extra effort!

delphiniumConsider the enchanting Delphinium (also known as Larkspur). Delphinium derives its genus’ name from the Greek word for “dolphin” and is suggested by the shape of a gland in the blossoms that secretes nectar.  Delphiniums make wonderful long-lasting cut flowers and bloom in red, blue and yellow, as well as blended varieties. They prefer cool, moist places and bloom in late spring. Often growing six to eight feet tall, there are some dwarf varieties that top out at just two feet in height. They grow best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade, and need staking to keep the stems upright. Keep the soil moist to feed quick growth and add a general purpose fertilizer once a month until they have bloomed.

loveinamistThe ethereal, light and airy Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena) is a beautiful Victorian garden annual blooming in soft shades of blue, pink, white, and lavender. This annual herbaceous plant is in the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), readily self-seeds, and is common in old-fashioned cottage gardens. It grows in full sun to partial shade and blooms from late spring through fall. Nigella is short-lived, so for continuous bloom, repeat sowing every four weeks. You can cut and deadhead this plant to keep it flowering longer.

grape-hyacinthIt just wouldn’t be spring without masses of tiny Grape Hyacinths (Muscari) planted as bulbs in swaths throughout your garden. Growing no more than 10 inches tall, the tight conical heads of tiny round flowers do look like clusters of grapes. Blue is a predominant color but they also come in pale ice blue, white and yellow. Muscari, a member of the Lily family, are quite prolific, making them perfect for naturalizing. Look for the popular ‘Heavenly Blue’, bright blue ‘Dark Eyes’, mid-blue ‘Cote d’Azur’,  sky blue ‘Valerie Finnis’, and the frosty ‘Blue Spike’.  I  have the double-flowered ‘Fantasy Creation’ variety in my garden—their flower heads look like clusters of blue broccoli! Easy to grow in full sun to part shade in zones 3-9 and low-maintenance—what’s not to love about these little blue jewels?

spring-starflowerStar-shaped, pale blue Spring Starflower (Ipheion uniflorum), with grass-like foliage is a spring perennial grown from bulbs and is very long-blooming (3-5 weeks). This plant naturalizes very swiftly, spreading by self-seeding and from bulb offsets. Often used in rock gardens and woodland gardens, they grow just 4-5 inches tall, and are perennials in Zones 6 to 7 (with mulching to protect from frost) and in Zones 8 to 9 without mulching. They can be grown in full sun to part shade, require medium watering, and are low maintenance.

morning-glory-1In my humble opinion, a garden without ‘Heavenly Blue’ Morning Glories (Ipomoea tricolor) is incomplete. Their fleeting beauty will take your breath away. These vigorous climbers are grown from seed and will cover a trellis or wall in just one season- growing up to 20 feet and blooming prolifically. One year, I counted over 300 blooms on the vines that covered my front wall! An herbaceous annual twining vine, it will reach out in a clockwise direction and take hold of anything near it. The 4-5″ trumphet-shaped flowers come in a variety of other colors, including reds, pinks and purples—but there’s nothing more heavenly than the classic  ‘Heavenly Blue’ variety.

bluebellsThe buds of the herbaceous perennial Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica), a member of the Borage family, begin as a pinkish shade and transform into pale blue-violet colored, trumphet-shaped flowers as they mature. Blooming in mid-to-late spring, they can be found growing en masse in moist woodland areas in partial to full shade. Plant them with hostas and ferns as companion plants.

blue-eyed-grassBest planted in large groups for maximum visual impact, Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium), a member of the Iris family, is a late spring-blooming perennial with very tiny (less than 1/2 inch!) iris-like blue flowers with yellow centers. Blue-eyed Grass does well in moist areas with some sun, and if happy in its spot, will spread to form stands. Its diminutive size makes it great for adding a grasslike addition to a small garden where ornamental grass would be overwhelming.

brookside-blue-hardy-geraniumThis Hardy Geranium (Geranium ‘Brookside’ cultivar), also known as Cranesbill, is a deciduous, herbaceous perennial that forms a neat mound that is about 18″ high and wide. Flowering begins in spring. If you cut it back after flowering, it should bloom again in the summer. It makes a great filler for mixed borders or full-sun perennial beds and grows well in containers. It prefers full sun but can tolerate part shade for half of the day. It does best in moist, well-drained soil. Hardy in zones 5-8.

Salvias also provide that saturated blue color that gardeners seek. Look for Mealycup Sage (Salvia farinacea ‘Victoria Blue’), a member of the mint family. This herbaceous perennial is commonly grown as an annual in cold areas. Striped Squill (Puschkinia libanotica) is a beautiful spring bulb flower growing just 4-5 inches tall, with pale white-blue petals with darker blue center stripes. If you’re an Iris fan, look for the lovely blossoms of the Giant Blue Flag Louisiana Iris (Iris giganticaerulea) with its four foot stems; or ‘Sky Beauty’ Dutch Iris with its combination of white and french blue petals with a single lemon yellow blotch. Agapanthus, or ‘Lily of the Nile’, with its blue ball-shaped clusters and funnel-shaped flowers on four foot stems, is a showy addition to any garden.

forgetmenotsAnd finally, we can’t forget the diminutive Forget-Me-Nots (Myosotis alpestris)! This perennial grows 5-12 inches high in alpine meadows (or your garden!). Each dainty flower is a mere 1/3 inch wide, with sky blue petals, a white inner ring, and a tiny yellow center. Blooming in May and June, hardy Forget-Me-Nots prefer partial shade and spread by reseeding. These charming old fashioned flowers can help fill in the blanks in your garden!

If you don’t have the blues, you certainly should – for your garden, that is!

Don’t keep the blues to yourself.  Did you know that local florists use many of these blue flowers, Hydrangea, Delphinium, Niegella, Grape Hyacinths, Iris, Agapanthus, and Forget-me-nots, in flower arrangements? So even if you don’t have a garden full of blue flowers, you can share a beautiful blue bouquet with a friend.

Cindy Dyer is a freelance graphic designer and photographer in Alexandria, Virginia. Visit her blog at www.cindydyer.wordpress.com and her botanical gallery at www.cindydyer.zenfolio.com. She can reached at dyerdesign@aol.com. All photos © Cindy Dyer, unless specified otherwise.

Go On! Be Bold With Delphinium!

Know anyone like this?

One of the characteristics that I like to see in people is boldness. Not to be confused with ego or bravado, the type of boldness that I consider appealing is that daring ability to be courageous in the face of danger or adversity. It is having strong enough character to admit convictions that go against the flow or to express opinions that may or may not be the desired ones. I am this kind of person to my friends and I expect the same in return.

The reason that my rant turns to this today is because I was reviewing a list of flower meanings associated with certain blooms that florists use. Delphinium caught my eye then captured my attention with “boldness” listed beside it. When you think about it, how bold do you have to be to remain one of the only true blue cut flowers in a florist shop? Pretty bold I imagine.

I believe that part of the beauty of delphinium comes from its striking color but another part is just how rarely seen that color is in a florist’s grand scheme of things. Pink, red, yellow and green flood the floral industry. They are all gorgeous colors but sometimes I want to see something on the opposite end of the spectrum. That’s where delphinium comes into play.

Do you know someone that is bold or tends to stand out but in a really cool, rather charming way? The next time that gift giving comes around, ask your local florist to include delphinium in the arrangement. Your sweetheart or friend will love the flowers and even more appreciate the card message detailing why you chose delphinium. Your florist can dream up the arrangement while you author the card message but don’t miss the chance for an awesome gift idea like this. It’s why flower meanings are so cool in the first place!

See how blue delphinium makes this arrangement pop?

See how blue delphinium makes this arrangement pop?

What Flowers Are In This Bridal Bouquet?

Ask the Expert: What type of flowers are these?

Could you please tell me what type of flowers you think these are?
Bridal Bouquet With Stephanotis, Delphinium, Eucalyptus

How To Repot Delphinium

Ask the Expert: How to plant..

Hi there, I just bought purple Delphinium and I was told that it need to be re-planted(in the bigger pot) I never planted flowers,although I love plants and I want to learn to keep them growing. My questions are; whats the best way to re-plant Delphinium and keep them healthy for long period.

Thank You!