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10 Weird Facts About Irises

Irises are beautiful flowers that are often used as accents in floral design. With a unique shape, they add a special element to any arrangement. They have a rich history and are great additions to any floralscape. Learn more fun facts about these beauties below! [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!

The Most Popular Iris In The World — Flag Iris

One of the most well known symbols, the fleur-de-lis is seen all over the globe! While it’s name means “Lily Flower” it’s beginnings did not start with the lily. Instead, it’s widely thought to be a stylized version of the species Iris pseudacorus or the Flag Iris.

Yellow Flag Iris - Fleur De Lis

As you can see, the flag iris is a bit different from the normal irises we usually see in our gardens. The upper petals are not as pronounced as regular bearded irises, but it looks just like the fleur de lis.

According to Pierre-Augustin Boissier de Sauvages, a French naturalist and lexicographer:

Flag Iris - Fleur De LisThis flower, or iris, looks like our fleur-de-lis not just because of its yellow colour but also because of its shape: of the six petals, or leaves, that it has, three of them are alternatively straight and meet at their tops. The other three on the opposite, bend down so that the middle one seems to make one with the stalk and only the two ones facing out from left and right can clearly be seen, which is again similar with our fleurs-de-lis.

The fleur de lis has been used throughout history as a political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic, and symbolic icon, especially for heraldry, all over the world and as far back as history can remember. It’s interesting to see see this yellow flower pop up in anything from the oldest paintings to the most modern fashion. The fleur de lis is a classic symbol that is sure to be around for generations to come. Whether you’re in the French Quarter for Mardi Gras, New York for fashion week, or strolling the streets of Europe, keep your eyes peeled for the world’s favorite iris — the Flag Iris!

What Is This Beautiful White Flower Blooming After 5 Years?

Ask The Expert: Somebody gave me this plant around 4 or five years ago. I planted it getting sun from the East. This spring for the first time I noticed this beautiful flower (photo attached) and now I would love to know what is it; an Iris, Lily? If so what is the name? Thanks for your help!

African Iris - Fortnight Lily

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: What you have there is a Dietes iridioides, often called fortnight lily, African iris, or Morea iris. Although it’s called lily, it actually is in the Iridaceae or iris family. The flowers this plant produces are absolutely stunning, however, they usually only last one day. The fortnight lily will produce many flowers from spring to late summer, in groups with a fortnight (two weeks) between the next flowering. Fortnight lilies seem to do best in the light dappled shade of tall, open trees. The flowering stems of fortnight lily are perennial, so don’t cut them back after flowering as you might for most other iris like plants.

This post is brought to you by Burlington Vermont florists.
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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…]

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.

Bull-oney! There Are Taurus Zodiac Flowers?

Zodiac flowers are fun, especially for Taurus. This fun zodiac sign is represented by a bull. How cool is that?! When I think of a bull, I picture the same qualities that most people would assign to these animals. Bulls are usually calm animals when left alone. They are stubborn, powerful, bold, and tenacious when provoked to such. I know plenty of people like that and I was surprised just how many have a birthday between April 21st and May 20th (that makes them a Taurus).

It’s hard to find unique gifts every year. Most of the Bloomin’ Blog followers know that I’ve been on a fresh flower kick. Why not? It’s as much fun for the sender to send flowers with a unique twist as it is for the recipient to receive an interesting birthday gift. Two perks in one–I say go for it!

"Fashionable Father’s Day Bouquet"

"Fashionable Father’s Day Bouquet"

Taurus Zodiac flowers (also called astrological flowers) are violets, iris, sweet pea, lilac and lavender. You can also enjoy aster, lily of the valley, scented stock, sweet William and fruit bearing trees for a Taurus birthday. Flower arrangements like the “Fashionable Fathers Day Bouquet” at left are perfect for Taurus birthdays. Don’t let the title fool you—this bouquet of iris and daisies go over well all year!

You know your birthday boy or girl the best. Deciding which flowers to send will be a breeze! Simply contact your local florist to create a unique birthday gift that your friend will love.

Please Note: Zodiac flowers are assigned to each of the 12 astrological signs. There is no cosmic magic associated with zodiac flowers. There is no spell cast over astrological flowers. Zodiac flowers are just a fun way to acknowledge something that helps group people together, gives them something in common–their zodiac sign.

Celebrating Friendship And Hope With The Iris

Everyone in my life can attest to my deep love of the Fleur-de-lis symbol. Fleur-de-lis literally means flower of the lily but is often represented by the iris which is a member of the same scientific class. I read about flowers all day and it’s hard to turn off the research button when I get home. One night I was lazily clicking through the Internet when I saw one of the fleur-de-lis decorations on my desk. I knew what the symbol and its flowers means to me but I had no idea what the rest of the world felt they came across colorful iris flowers.

Iris Flowers Arrangement Iris flower arrangements bring regal beauty to your home.

It just so happens that I knew exactly where to find information about the iris as Flower Shop Network has a large list of flower meanings. Convenient? Yes. Helpful? Even more so. I quickly discovered that when you send iris arrangements from a local florist you’re saying “Your friendship means so much to me” or “My compliments.” As part of the fleur-de-lis, the iris represents faith, wisdom, hope and valor. I’m not a particularly emotional person but I know that I would certainly swoon if my beloved ever sent me a bouquet of flowers that speak these great things of me.

What’s great about the iris is that it fits the personality of almost everyone. People who thrive around colorful things love the many vibrant colors of the iris such as brilliant blue, purple, white, red and more. Those who care about décor know that iris have a distinctive appeal and unique impression in a room. Iris flowers are very versatile in that they can be both an accent piece and a focal point. There is no end to the creative uses of iris flower arrangements.

Is This An Iris Or Some Other Happy Bloomer

Ask the Expert: can you identify this flower?

Hi —
We live in southern Wisconsin, and built a home four years ago on what once was a pasture for cattle and hogs.
This flower has been here since we moved in — the leaves looked like iris leaves, but the plant never boomed –so I planted other things around it and started to care for the plant.

Now it’s just about to bloom, but I don’t know what it is!

Any clues? Wendy

Iris

iris

Pictures added by Wendy

White bearded IrisWhite Bearded Iris Bloom

Can You Name This Iris?

Ask the Expert: Iris identification

Years ago someone gave me a start of this iris and I would like to know the name. Maybe Frank Adams variety but I’m not sure since so many look the same. I would really appreciate an opinion. Debra I have attached pictures below.

Bearded Iris

Bearded Iris