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Flower Spotlight: Sunflower

The sunflower isn’t unusual. It’s normally not a flower that people go bonkers over trying to get. It’s actually quite common, and some may wonder how it even finds its way from the field into arrangements. Those who overlook its beauty don’t realize that they are missing out on a pretty awesome flower! [Read more…]

7 Yellow Summer Arrangements

SUMMER BLOOMS(2)
Bring sunshine to your home with these bright yellow summer blooms. These seven fresh arrangements are guaranteed to light up your space. Embrace the energy of bright summer days by bringing the outside, in!

1. Sunny Flower PatchThis adorable basket is a flower-lover favorite with yellow gerberas, alstroemeria, and cushion poms.

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Flower Spotlight: Sunflowers

Flower Spotlight-Sunflower

Sunflowers are beautiful and perfect for summer. Their incredibly vibrant color delights us with such astonishing beauty that brightens every space. Want to learn more about sunflowers? Here is a brief history.

Origins and Symbolism

Sunflowers originated in the Americas back in 1,000 B.C. These flowers are recognized for their delightful petals, also known as “rays,” portraying the image of the sun itself. they symbolize not only happiness, but adoration, loyalty, longevity and good luck.

Legend has it, in Greek mythology, that a maiden fell in love with Apollo. She would stand in her garden and stare at Apollo as he passed in his “fiery sun chariot”. Apollo did not like people on earth looking at him and so he got tired of the girl. One day, he decided to throw an arrow at her, turning the girl into a sunflower. Even now she faces east as the sun rises and west as it goes down in the evenings, still following Apollo’s path.

To Consider

Sunflowers grow very fast! If the conditions are right, they can grown between 8-12 ft. tall in six months. These happy flowers are easy to grow in locations with full sun exposure. Once the process for the sunflower to grow is started they can very  well tolerate drought.

Availability

Sunflowers develop best in summer, according to the amount of sun they get per day. Typically, you will find this flower in yellow, but some varieties can also be found in orange and red. They are a great choice for weddings! Sunflowers fill a room with sunny charm and happiness. Perfect for bridal bouquets, since it is also a symbol of good luck.

When looking for the perfect flower to gift this summer, sunflowers should be at the very top of your list. Head to your local florist and share a little ray of sunshine!

July Flower Spotlight: Sunflower

When you think of Summer, think of the sunflower!

Aptly named, the sunflower not only looks like a mini replica of the sun, but it is also heliotropic. That means its buds and leaves follow the sun as it travels across the sky. Once a bud has fully bloomed, it no longer follows the sun and instead always faces East where the sun rises every morning. The sunflower is native to the Americas, but that hasn’t impacted its rich history and symbolism.

Sunflower History

Remember WhenThe sunflower was first discovered by Europeans when they discovered the Americas. Native Peruvians worshiped the sunflower as a symbol of the Incan sun god and their priestesses would wear clothing adorned with sunflower representations recreated in solid gold. Other Native American cultures worshiped the sunflower in their own ceremonies as well as used it as an important food source. Its seeds were supposed to represent strength and endurance and they would often place those seeds on graves of those who had recently died. [Read more…]

Brighter Than the Sun – Sunflowers That Will Take Your Breath Away

Living with four sorority girls that are in serious relationships can lead to many “When I get married…” conversations. While discussing our dream wedding dream wedding plans, I asked “When would y’all want to get married?” Of course, we all had some idea, but one roommate had only one thing planned — her flowers. “I just want sunflowers, so my wedding will be planned around their season. My fiancé will just have to understand.” I’m sure he will.

Planning A Wedding With Sunflowers

SunflowerSunflowers are typically warm-weather bloomers. If you are in the same boat as my roommate, it’s best to plan your wedding between May and October. Although most florists are able to order sunflowers year round, they are  usually much more affordable when they’re used in season. Sunflowers have a long season which allows the flowers to be used for summer and fall weddings. The sunflower is the perfect statement piece, and the placement is all up to the bride. Sunflowers are great for bouquets, arches or center piece. With so many placement options, they make flower planning a breeze.

Did I mention sunflowers look great in different themed weddings?

Planning a wedding can be (and most likely is) a difficult task, but why? My theory is that, as women, we want it all. I want a country wedding, but then I also want a beach wedding. It only happens once, and it’s hard to choose. Sunflowers can be used in many different themes, such as: southern rustic charm, country elegant weddings, beach weddings and outdoor weddings.

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Send Sunshine & Sunflowers

Season to Send Sunflowers

No matter how hot it gets, summer is always a favorite time of year. The outdoor fun, cookouts, shorts and flip flops — what’s not to love? As summer draws to a close, its easy to catch the blues. This year, savor summer til the very last drop.

A great way to do this is by bringing the joy of summer indoors to enjoy at all times. How? Sunflowers! The sunflower is named after its huge, fiery blooms, whose shape is often used to represent the sun.

Adding sunflowers to your decor will bring you happiness and warm-summer feelings during all hours of the day. They are also a great decor addition as we descend into fall.

Think of where you could use a little sunshine, perhaps the office? Of course! Pamper yourself with a little sun; send yourself sunflowers! It’s okay to spoil yourself once in a while.

Summer Sunflowers

Sending Sunflowers

Think of others who may need a little summer pick-me-up; grandparents, relatives or friends you have not spoken to in a while. It’s time to let them know they’re on your mind by sending sunflowers.

Sunflower Symbolism

  • If you live in Kansas, your reason for sending sunflowers has just doubled! It’s the Kansas State Flower!
  • Live to ‘Go Green‘? The sunflower is the symbol for the green movement.
  •  Dating an art lover? Send her sunflowers in appreciation of the Van Gogh series.
  • Did you know the sunflower is native to the Americas and was originally domesticated in present day Mexico? Sunflowers make the perfect hostess gift at your next fiesta!

If you want to send sunflowers, contact your local florist. You can use FSN’s handy Local Florist Finder to find yours today!

Yellow – The Hottest Flower Trend For Summer

YELLOW was definitely the hottest trend for floral designs at the Texas State Florist Convention just a couple of weeks ago. So many designs used the color, and why not? Yellow is the perfect color for summer! Sunflowers were one of the most popular flowers used.

Hottest Floral Trends For Summer 2011:

Yellow Flower - Rose Design Yellow Flower - Daisy Design

[Read more…]

Greet The Summer Sun With Sunflowers

Sunny Day GreetingsCan you believe summer is already here?! The first day of summer starts June 21st! What better what to greet the hot, summer sun than with beautiful golden sunflowers?!

It’s oh-so easy to tell how sunflowers got their name. Their round, disk centers and petal rays give them a gorgeous sun-like appearance. Now you can bring the summer sun into your home with a bundle of beautiful sunflowers.

Sunflowers For Summer Parties

Use Sunflowers to easily decorate for your summer parties and get-togethers. Use them as your main centerpiece, buffet table decor or simply use them as an accessory for your home. Their bright, vivid colors will glow in any room!

If you are attending a party, take a bouquet of sunflowers as your hostess gift! Sunflowers look great and give a summery feel to any space.

Sunflowers At The Office

If you need a little pick-me-up around the office, have a bright and cheery sunflower arrangement delivered. Why not treat yourself to a little luxury once in a while, and bringing summer inside to a sometimes dreary office can make a world of difference.

No matter how you use them, sunflowers create an instant smile. Be sure to order yours from a real local florist!

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.

Flowers in the News: June

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June has been busy month for flowers, which have found their way into everything from science journals to the local news. Here is best in floral industry news for this month:

Rare MSU Plant Blooms for the First Time in 15 Years

The amorphophallus titanum, or corpse flower, bloomed at the Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden June 11, filling the greenhouse with its signature scent. “It’s so big and it smells so nasty, like a dead animal on the side of the road that’s been there for about seven to eight days, but it’s a way cool thing,” said Norm Lownds, curator for the Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden and associate professor in the MSU Department of Horticulture. “It’s really unique because it flowers so infrequently.”

The corpse flower is often referred to as the largest flower in the world. However, the corpse flower isn’t a flower at all, but rather a cluster of flowers, or an inflorescence. Plant biology graduate student Michael Grillo told The State News that the corpse flower evolved to use its stench to attract beetles and flies to pollinate.

According to The State News, the flower has been part of the teaching collection for decades and cared for by greenhouse manager John Mugg. However, Mugg was teaching an environmental science study abroad album in Hawaii when the plant bloomed.

Hundreds of Flowers Stolen from Spokane, WA, Cemetery

Groundskeepers at Holy Cross Cemetery in Spokane, Washington, noticed hundreds of  potted flowers missing days after the cemetery sold about 750 of the arrangements to the public for Memorial Day. A tip led the groundskeepers to a home selling the flowers at a discounted price. The flowers started reappearing after those who bought them saw the report on a KHQ broadcast. Groundskeepers said about 6 potted flowers have been returned as of June 8.

Thousands of Sunflowers Delivered to Michael Jackson’s Crypt

After hearing Lisa Marie Presley complain that Jackson’s Glendale, California‘s mausoleum was looking bare, grower Jason Levin delivered $3,000 to $5,000 worth of sunflowers to the heavily-guarded site. According to MSNBC, Levin, owner of The Sunflower Guy in San Diego County, loaded the flowers and drove three hours to make the delivery.

Salt Lake City Council Battling Budget to Keep City Buds in Bloom

Facing a nearly $19 million budget shortfall, Salt Lake City, Utah, city council members are working eliminate a proposed $230,000 cut, which would shut down the city’s famed greenhouses and remove blooms at the International Peace Gardens, Liberty Park, Washington Square and the monument plaza in Sugar House. Council Chairman J.T. Martin told the Salt Lake Tribune that letting the flowers die and replanting them during more stable economic times would “cost taxpayers 10 times as much.”international-peace-garden

One of the most famous of the city’s gardens, The Peace Gardens, boasts native plants, including 30 types of Swedish lilacs and Magnolia trees from China, arranged in ornate displays. Irene Wiesenberg, chairwoman of the International Peace Gardens Committee, said that the proposed cuts would force much of the garden to replaced by grass and watered 25 percent of the time.

Studies Confirm Flowers Improve Quality of Life

According to the Ukiah Daily Journal in Ukiah, California, scientists are finding a link between flower’s ability to improve moods and increased quality of life. Scientists performed three studies, published in the April 2005 edition of Evolutionary Psychology, that demonstrated flowers’ ability to positively impact mood. In the first study 147 women reported elevated moods for three days after being presented with a single flower.

In another study, 122 men and women were handed either a flower, pen, or nothing while riding on an elevator. Those who received a flower spoke more, stood closer to others, and smiled more often during the ride. The last study involved delivering bouquets to 113 men and women in a retirement community. The recipients reported positive moods and increased memory function.

It’s no secret that flowers can perk up a mood. However, as scientists learn more about how to harness their positive power, we could potentially see them being used in a clinic setting to improve healing and quality of life.