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Flower Spotlight: Gladiolus

Beautiful and sophisticated the gladiolus flower stands tall and is packed with symbolism. This trumpet-shaped flower has much to offer florists and flower enthusiasts. Keep reading to learn more about this unique bloom!

Origins and Symbolism

The gladiolus flower originates in sub-Saharan Africa, but in the 17th century it was brought to Europe in large quantities. Due to this flower’s long thick stems it is also referred to as the “sword lily.” The term gladiolus actually stems from the Latin word gladiolus, which means sword. Old legends say that the gladiolus came from the swords of fallen Roman gladiators. Even today, people say that receiving this flower means that you have been, “pierced with love.”

This flower symbolizes remembrance, strength of character and dignity. It is also associated with the 40th anniversary.

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August Flower Spotlight: Gladiolus

The Gladiolus is native to sub-Saharan Africa and has over over 260 species. It is a beautiful flower that has found popularity in the states and is almost always available at your local flower shop. But why should you request one be used in your next arrangement?

Flower Meaning

june-gladiolusIf you’re looking for a flower that really gets to the heart of your relationship, the Gladiolus is perfect. Why? Because the name of this flower comes from the latin word gladioli which means sword. It was so named and is sometimes referred to as the “Sword Lily” due to it’s long flower spikes. It’s meanings include strength and moral integrity, but because of it’s unique sword shape, it is also known for infatuation, letting the recipient know that they’ve pierced the giver’s heart with passion. It’s an excellent flower for all stages of love.

Occasions For Use

It’s also the birth flower for August! If you’re giving away any birthday arrangements, the Gladiolus should be included in your floral mix. And all of you wonderful couples celebrating your 40th wedding anniversary, the Gladiolus is this momentous event’s designated flower as well!

The Gladiolus is a gorgeous flower with gorgeous meaning. Your local florist should have them in stock, but if not, they can be on her next shipment!

 

 

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.

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

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Remember The Birth Month Flower of August?

People who received a birthday bouquet full of the birth month flower of August probably remember what it is. If you’ve read last year’s August birth month flower blog, “Glad To Have Gladiolus”, you probably remember also.

Ok. So I just gave you a huge hint. Don’t make me have to work here.

Red Gladiolus Are A Great August Birthday Gift!

Red Gladiolus Are A Great August Birthday Gift!

The birth month flower of August is the gladiola. Though poppy holds this title, you’re not going to find it in a birthday bouquet from your local florist. What you are likely to find in a birth month flower birthday bouquet is a wide range of flowers centered around (or at least including) gladiolus in orange or red. Why orange and red? Because orange, red and light green are the official birth month flower colors for August.

Ready for the flower meaning of gladiolus? “Strength of character; Sincerity; Generosity; Natural Grace” These together make a gladiolus birthday bouquet one of the most meaningful, sweet gifts that you can send! Florists use gladiolus often because it’s a fresh and beautiful flower with a lot of features that enhance each arrangement. Add in a dash of meaning and a hint of happy birthday wishes and you have a great birthday gift!

Summer flowers like the gladiolus are perfect for August birthdays. Orange and red are excellent colors to represent the full summer sun, the breezy sunsets of the summer, and the way the seasons are preparing to change. Just before the leaves begin to turn color, August birthdays are very special because they are shared by people who are always on the cusp of something great. Luckily for you, it’s easy to find a birthday gift for someone this fantastic. Just ask your local florist about August birth month flowers.

My August Birth Month Flower–Glad To Have Gladiolus!

Fiddling with the zodiac signs to create an awesome gift idea can be loads of fun. I have several special occasions to celebrate in August so gift ideas run short as July winds to a close. Thankfully for all, my father has reached the age where it is forbidden for another year to mention his fifty-something birthday. The good people in my family still like to make everyone feel special on their birthday so we tend to sneak-attack him with a gift that he can’t refuse; all the while chocking it up to a random present or involving my family in the celebration of my anniversary (also the 28th).

I struggle to find a flower arrangement that will satisfy the rugged tastes of the men in my life but the brilliant thing about fathers is that it truly is the thought that counts. For many years my father would send a single carnation to my sister and me on Valentines Day. Because of this, last year I sent him a single carnation along with his favorite John Wayne movie newly printed onto DVD. We’d both seen “El Dorado” at least one hundred times and a single flower is kind of boring alone. However, it was the understood memories of both that made Daddy forget the law against celebrating his birthday and enjoy the day with his family.

This year is a bit different. I’ve decided to do for Dad’s birthday what I did for my mother but with an extra special touch. I looked up the birth month flowers for August which are gladiolas and poppy. Not wanting to give poppy to my pappy this year, I asked my local florist if she could create a very manly arrangement using gladiolus as the focal flowers. This will be easy because the flower meanings of gladiolus are strength of character, sincerity and generosity. My father embodies these qualities better than most. Gladiolus are also the flower of the gladiators. Who doesn’t think of their father as the strongest man in the world?

Because my father loves certain war medals, I ebayed my heart out until I found the one that he talks about almost incessantly. My florist June and I have discussed a wonderful arrangement that includes his favorite medal amidst a batch of his birth month flowers. This year I’m absolutely certain that August will be a month of surprises and one that Dad will enjoy with us again. I’m hoping that he’ll forget the young-at-heart 50+ and become like a kid again when he sees his unique birthday gift.

Gladiolus Add Sincerity and Character To The Meaning of Flowers

If pictures are worth a thousand words, how many words are flowers worth? Every individual attaches some special memory or memories to the many types of flowers in their lives. Whether it was the focal flower in the bouquet that he delivered with the engagement ring, the sympathy flowers that made mourning easier, or simply the creative gesture of a loved one who somehow just knew that a little boost would turn the day around, there are thousands of memories to delve into when we pass flowers in the grocery store, garden, or local flower shop.

Some flowers, though, have very particular flower meanings and can be sent to express a very specific feeling or message. The birth month flower of August is gladiolus so which better to share? This beautiful, tall blossoming flower represents some very pleasant flower meanings making a gladiolus arrangement the perfect gift to send a message to a guy or a girl!

Express sincerity with a gladiolus bouquet. Sometimes it takes just that little extra to push through the “yes” decisions in our minds. Being completely sure of the sincerity of the sender is the difference between “99% sure that you’re the one for me” and “I’d follow you to the ends of the earth.” Avoid any confusion by ensuring your sincerity with an arrangement of gladiolus.

Express strength of character with gladiolus flowers. Integrity, strong ethics and values, and high moral fiber are qualities that every person looks for in a partner. Make your best qualities shine through. Highlight those strong qualities in another person who needs reassurance of their wonderful self. Gladiolus are the perfect flowers for subtly expressing strength of character.

Sincerity and strength of character are wonderful character traits. Why not put them on display with the help of a fresh gladiolus arrangement from your local florist? The catalog of personal memories along with the flower meanings of gladiolus and many other flowers truly does beg the question…how many words are pictures of flowers worth?

So Glad It’s Summer Gladiolus Arrangement.jpg Gladiolus arrangements envigorate any summer day!

Five Cool Flowers For Summer

There are many awesome flowers that make great additions to summertime flower arrangements. When it comes to creating an exquisite display for my tables, centerpieces, gardens and other home décor uses, I look to these fabulous blooms for an extra splash of cool during the summer months.

Hydrangeas in full bloom are gorgeous additions to the home or garden. The blossoms of hydrangeas provide a very distinctive and soft scent that no nose can resist. Hydrangea potted plants accentuate patios, walkways, gardens, tables, and other nooks in the home. These colorful and buxom plants draw attention to ignored areas with their attractive size and shape. Hydrangea wedding bouquets are also popular as summer wedding flowers. The shapely blooms of hydrangea plants create full and vivacious wedding bouquets. At the wedding reception, the full-bodied shape of hydrangea centerpieces lend a sense of balance to larger tables. Adding depth and dimension to flower arrangements or gardens, hydrangeas are a colorful and attractive way to enjoy the fresh, full summer months.

Hydrangea potted plant.jpg Tame the heat with potted hydrangea plants.

Calla lilies are other summer flowers that enhance wedding bouquets. Calla lily bouquets are easily recognized as their distinctive and beautiful appearance make them one of the most popular summer wedding flowers. Calla lilies are especially suited to certain bouquet shapes. Brides everywhere look to calla lily wedding bouquets to enhance gorgeous, long wedding gowns. Whether dancing at a summer wedding or simply drawing more attention to a listless centerpiece, calla lilies are perfect summer flowers for bringing light, beauty, and grace to the atmosphere of your home.

 


Burnt-sienna-calla-lilies-arrangement.jpg Colorful trumpeted calla lilies beautify any bridal bouquet!

Lilies are excellent seasonal flowers. Summer months see the lily at its finest with use in bridal bouquets, home décor, gardening, or fresh flower arrangements delivered to loved ones. One of the most popular types of summer flowers is the stargazer lily. This easily recognizable flower is popular for its unparalleled ability to add beauty and color to fresh flower bouquets. The brilliant star-shaped pink and white bloom matches the intensity of the summer months but with intense distinction rather than intense heat. Stargazer lilies definitely make a bold statement regardless of how it is chosen for display.


Stargazer-lilies.jpg Stunning stargazer lilies make incredible summer wedding flowers!

The birth month flower of August is gladiolus which is another fabulous flower for summertime bouquets. These flowers bloom all summer and are very popular in all most special occasion arrangements during the warm summer months. Looking at gladiolus, with just the right amount of brilliant color, helps tone down the intense heat of the summer and brings a more appealing cool to whatever room I’m in.


Orange-gladiolus.jpg

Glorious Gladiolus zest up any table!

Of the many flowers in season in summer, liatris should always be counted among the most distinctive types of summer flowers. Liatris stands tall and proud in fresh flower arrangements, drawing definite attention to the height and beauty of the bouquets. The bright purple bottlebrushes of the liatris quickly enhance plain-jane tables or gardens with a pop of stunning color. Summer wedding centerpieces also benefit from the fun and fancy appeal of the tall, colorful flowers.


Liatrus.jpg Fragrant Garden Liatris and Daisy Arrangement.jpg Use liatris to add height to your fragrant garden!

There are so many uses for these great summer flowers. Personally, I look forward to seeing the large hydrangea bushes outside of my home each day. The blue-purple blooms never fail to attract my attention. Looking out of my window each morning, I greet the day with a smile as my hydrangea plants greet me with color. In the process of planning a summer wedding for a friend, I definitely cannot overlook the versatility of lilies in our bridal bouquets. My friend being a huge fan of stargazer lilies, I’m sure her summer wedding will be a hit. Bringing gorgeous flowers inside is a job I leave to the others in the home but we are never failed by the wonderful summer blooming flowers.

Birth Month Flower For August

Saturday August 11th is my sister’s birthday and I always send her a bouquet of mixed flowers. This year, I wanted to do something different. Last month, I received a flower arrangement containing my birth month flower which gave me an idea. I had my florist design this arrangementGaldiolus Birthday Bouquet. The gladiolus in the arrangement are the birth month flower for August. Poppies are also considered the August birth month flower.
Hopefully, when she receives it tomorrow she’ll love it as much I do.

More than fireworks on the 4th of July.

It’s late afternoon on July 3rd and I realized tomorrow is the 4th of July. July is the best month of the year. The country and I celebrate our birthdays this month. Every year, I celebrate the 4th of July with flowers — red, white and blue. This flower arrangement is to remind me that the 4th of July is more than fireworks and barbecue. It is a celebration of a great country and the people who made it “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. This year, my arrangement will be red gerberas, blue iris and white gladiolus. The meanings of these flowers is what the country represents to me.