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Anything But Ordinary – Inspiring & Unique Flowers

As a gardener and as an artist and photographer, I have long been attracted to more unusual plants — those that are showy, quirky, alien-like, and over-the-top — anything but ordinary. Any plant or flower that makes me ask, “what in the world is that?” has a place in my garden! Many of these flowers can also be used in bouquets, adding a touch of the exotic and unusual to any arrangement.

Unusual Flower Types & Photos

Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro)
Globe Thistle

Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro)
Globe Thistle is a clump-forming herbaceous perennial with coarse, prickly leaves with 1-2 ball-shaped silvery-lavender-blue or dark blue flowerheads blooming in early to late summer on rigid branching stems 24-48 inches tall. These beautiful ornamentals grow best in full sun to mostly sunny areas and attract bees and butterflies. In the garden, they will tolerate heat and are deer-resistant. They make excellent cut flowers as well as great additions to dried bouquets.
This flower IS available from your local florist*.

Allium Bulgaricum (Nectaroscordum siculum)
Allium Bulgaricum

Allium Bulgaricum (Nectaroscordum siculum)
This ornamental allium is easy to grow, deer-resistant, and hardy to zone 4. They thrive in sunlight and bloom in May and June. Also known as Mediterranean Bells, Sicilian Honey Lily, Ornamental Onion and Sicilian Garlic, they are native to the Mediterranean. The individual florettes begin in an upright position and gradually relax to a cluster of tricolored bells and begin to drape like a floral chandelier. They make an interesting addition to flower arrangements.

Bat Face Cuphea (Cuphea llavea)
Bat Face Cuphea

Bat Face Cuphea (Cuphea llavea)
Also known as St. Peter’s plant, Tiny Mice and Bunny Ears, Bat Face Cuphea is a tender tropical evergreen perennial native to Mexico. Bat Face Cuphea prefer partial to full sun and its distinctive red and purple flowers blooms from March through October. Attractive to hummingbirds and bees, the plant is low maintenance, drought-tolerant and makes a great plant for pots, planters, and beds. The plants will grow 2-3 feet tall by 3 feet wide. In early summer, pinch growth off to encourage branching.

Cat’s Whiskers (Orthosiphon stamineus)
Cat’s Whiskers

Cat’s Whiskers (Orthosiphon stamineus)
Part of the mint family, Cat’s Whiskers are herbaceous perennial flowering plants originating in tropical East Asia. They grow up to two feel tall and three to four feet wide. The flowers have an orchid-like appearance and are white or lavender, sprouting long stamens that resemble cat’s whiskers. They attract butterflies and hummingbirds and can be harvested to use in herbal teas.

Family Jewels Milkweed Tree (Asclepias physocarpa)
Family Jewels Milkweed

Family Jewels Milkweed Tree (Asclepias physocarpa)
This species of milkweed is also known as White Butterfly Weed or Swan Plant. Native to Jamaica and South America, this perennial herb can grow to over six feet and prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It is a food source for caterpillars and is a food and habitat plant for the Monarch Butterfly. The small flowers are creamy white and orchid-like, followed by translucent, inflated 2″ green balls covered with soft bristles that are the resulting seedpods. It is a fast-growing tender perennial and grows best in Zones 7-10.

Firecracker Vine or Spanish Flag (Mina lobata)
Spanish Flag

Firecracker Vine or Spanish Flag (Mina lobata)
A tender perennial grown as an annual, this fast climber can grow 10 to 20 feet tall. The incredibly intense-colored 1.5″ blooms are reddish-orange fading to orange yellow and white flowers from mid-summer to fall. Two cultivars include Citronella (cream flowers and red buds) and Mexican Fiesta (red and yellow flowers). A member of the morning glory family, Spanish Flag can be grown in sun to partial shade and is best grown on a lattice.

Red or Yellow Hot Poker (Kniphofia)
Hot Poker

Red or Yellow Hot Poker (Kniphofia)
Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia uvaria) and Yellow Hot Poker plants are grown from bulbs, and are heat and drought tolerant. They can grow 36″ tall. This variety is ‘Sally’s Comet’ Yellow Hot Poker. Native to Africa, they are known as Torch Lilies. Upright, rocket-shaped blooms produce ample nectar during blooming and are hummingbird magnets. They must be grown in full sun and require good drainage to prevent crown rot. They may spread up to three feet wide. Hardy to zones 5-10.
This flower IS available from your local florist*.

Liatris or Blazing Star (Liatris)

Liatris or Blazing Star (Liatris)
Hardy perennials White Liatris (Liatris spicata ‘Alba’) and Purple Blazing Star Liatris (Liatris spicata purple), are also known as Gayfeather and Button Snakeroot, and are a member of the Aster family. They bloom from the top down, which is unusual with flowering plants. Each spike is comprised of tiny flowers that are a magnet for pollinators. Ranging from 2-4′ tall, they add height to flower beds and are a popular cut flower in summer floral arrangements with a long vase life.
This flower IS available from your local florist*.

Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena)

Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena)
Love-in-a-Mist is a beautiful Victorian garden annual blooming in soft shades of blue, pink, white, and lavender. Because its fern-like leaves look similar to fennel, it has also been called fennel flower. 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.
This flower IS available from your local florist*.

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FSN’s Favorite Flower Arrangement For June

June Flower Arrangement of the Month

June is a great month to be outdoors! That’s why this month’s favorite flower arrangement is Out of the Woods — the perfect choice for Father’s Day!

It’s rustic charm makes it ideal for Dad! I know what you’re thinking, flowers for dad? — yes! If your dad is anything like mine and loves the outdoors, Out of the Woods brings the beauty of nature inside to enjoy in his favorite place — the living room!

Any nature-lover would appreciate the unique style of the Out of the Woods arrangement. The dried lotus pods and twigs add so much character, which is brought out by the vivid flower colors.

If you are looking to send flowers this June, remember Out of the Woods — for Dad or anyone who enjoys summer fun outdoors!

**If you are sending flowers to dad, check out these Father’s Day card messages.**

Flowers used in this arrangement
Dark Brown Willow Basket With Handle And Liner, Foliage: Myrtle, Pittosporum, Stem Yellow Daisy Mums, Orange Carnations, Red Gerberas, Liatris, Stem Orange Spray Roses, Stem Purple Statice, Stem ‘Misty Blue’ Limonium, Lotus Pods, Twigs

Flowers For Mom Style Guide

Style Guide For Mother's Day Flowers
When it comes to buying flowers for Mother’s Day, it can be a bit overwhelming deciding which one is perfect for mom. Don’t worry, Flower Shop Network is here to help! Our flower buying style guide is your source for the perfect gift for mom!

The Classy Mom

Sophisticated, stylish and always full of class.

  • Tips for classy moms: monochromatic color schemes, contemporary styles.
  • Flowers for classy moms: orchids, garden roses, calla lilies, anthurium.
  • Colors ideas: white, coral pinks, ruby red, deep purples

Classy Coral Roses For Mom! Classy Red Flowers For Mom Contemporary Mothers Day Flowers

The Natural Mom

The mom who loves the outdoors — gardening, birdwatching, hiking, this mom is more at home outdoors than in.

  • Tips for natural moms: think garden flowers, terracotta containers, fresh fruit, houseplants, arrangements made on wood.
  • Flowers for natural moms: lilies, roses, tulips, asters, irises, peonies and carnations.
  • Colors: earth tones, emerald green, dusty pink, creams

Mothers Day Fresh Flowers Mothers Day Garden Flowers Mothers Day Houseplant

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Amethyst Flowers For A Jewel of a Bouquet

This month’s favorite flower color is amethyst. Starting last month, we are spotlighting unique flower colors for you to use in custom flower arrangements, wedding bouquets, centerpieces and anywhere else you might need flowers. To make the colors chosen a little more interesting, we are starting with birthstone colors. Last month’s was garnet, and this month it’s amethyst, or purple.

Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used in jewelry. Amethyst occurs in primary hues from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple. Amethyst may exhibit one or both secondary hues, red and blue.

When creating a color palette for your flower arrangement or wedding bouquet, choose analogous colors to amethyst, meaning next to it on the color wheel. These include dusty pinks and mauve-ish purples. Amethyst’s complement is a vibrant, bright green — a great way to make your purple flowers really POP! The tetrad and triad colors of amethyst are also easily incorporated into floral designs. The triad’s turquoise and tawny-browns give this hue a surprising rustic mood. Keep these colors in mind when creating your next Amethyst purple flower arrangement or color palette.

Purple Color Matching Purple Complemetary Colors

Purple Triad Color Purple Tetrad Colors

The following guide are a collection of very unique, amethyst colored flowers available from your local florists. Of course, there are also lovely purple roses, but most people know about those! This guide focuses on a purple flowers you might not think of!

This is a great flower guide for brides looking for unique color palettes and unusual flowers for their wedding. [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


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!


[Read more…]

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.


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.