Monthly Archives: November 2012

Christmas Flowers and Plants – Inspiring Us From Past to Present

Many traditional Christmas flowers and plants originated in pagan celebrations that long preceded our modern Christmas:
Photo of Christmas Flowers, Plants and Gifts

  • Some claim that the use of candles to decorate trees can be traced to the Roman celebrations of Saturnalia. Decorating with evergreen trees and boughs was later believed to evoke thoughts of spring, good cheer and hope.
  • The use of mistletoe dates back to the Celtic Druids who saw the plant as a symbol of peace and joy: Enemies who met under mistletoe in a forest would lay down their arms and embrace, a custom that has led to our modern habit of kissing under the mistletoe.
  • In the Middle Ages, the “masculine” holly, its green branches accented by bright red berries, and the “feminine” ivy, were used together to ward off evil spirits and to symbolize eternal life.

More modern traditions have brought us the poinsettia. Once seen as a sign of purity by the ancient Aztecs in Mexico, it is now the most popular of the Christmas flowers. A Mexican legend describes the evolution of poinsettias from Aztec symbols to Christmas flowers: A poor boy who had no money for a gift to offer Christ on Christmas Eve picked some weeds by the roadside and when he got to the church, they blossomed into the beautiful red of the poinsettia flower, causing many to claim they had witnessed a Christmas miracle.

So, if you feel inspired and wish to deck out your home or office this Christmas season, it has never been easier! Just visit Brant Florist‘s online store, view and select from our exquisite variety of Christmas Day floral decorations and easily place your online order for a prompt worldwide delivery.

Thanksgiving Flowers – An Inspired Addition to Your Home

Family Gathering Centerpiece

Family Gathering Centerpiece

Why send Thanksgiving flowers? Thanksgiving is a holiday with a long history in North America. It is often associated with the Pilgrims of Massachusetts, but some claim the first Thanksgiving actually held on this continent took place in 1578 in Newfoundland, when English explorer Martin Frobisher held a ceremony to give thanks for having survived his failed attempt at finding a northern passage to the Orient. After this first celebration, other variations on Thanksgiving occurred in locales across North America. Some were occasions for giving thanks, while others owed their origins to the harvest festivals that were common in Europe at the time. By the late 1800s, Thanksgiving was enshrined as a national holiday in both Canada and the United States.

Golden Glow

Golden Glow

For most people food is the primary focus of this holiday. In fact, the imagery of Thanksgiving is filled with nature’s bounty – gourds and squash, turkey and cranberries. Those images often translate to your home’s decor in the form of centerpieces and other decorative accents. Small gourds and pumpkins are often used to adorn the table. Parents of young children may also add a special craft made at school. Acorns and leaves are also common ornaments. But flowers are often overlooked as decorative elements for the harvest table. Flowers are associated closely with other holidays – think of the lily at Easter or the poinsettia at Christmas – but the notion of Thanksgiving flowers is not as commonplace.

The vivid palette of colours that emerges in fall is ideal for a floral arrangement gift. And there is no need to limit yourself to a centerpiece. Flower arrangements outside and in the common areas of your home add a welcoming touch that your guests will certainly appreciate on any day of the year.

Teleflora's Country Pumpkin

Teleflora’s Country Pumpkin

Thanksgiving flowers, or fresh fall flowers, come in many varieties and colors, providing almost limitless options for arrangements. The combination of deep autumn reds, oranges and yellows can be found in traditional Thanksgiving flowers, like chrysanthemums, sunflowers and gerberas. Other Thanksgiving flowers include carnations, solidago, monte casino and marigolds. But you are not restricted to Thanksgiving flowers only. Roses and lilies are also available in fall colors and add a touch of classic beauty to any arrangement. And don’t forget to accent your Thanksgiving flowers with other holiday touches – wheat, acorns, oak leaves, small gourds, corn cobs or even a pumpkin vase.

When choosing Thanksgiving flowers, keep these other tips in mind:

  • You should use a round centerpiece for a round table and a long centerpiece for a rectangular table.
  • Add candles to your centerpiece to soften the mood.
  • If you have a large table, use a few small arrangements to complement the main centerpiece.
  • Colorful fall leaves can also complement the main centerpiece. Select leaves in a variety of colors and shapes. Oak and maple have a distinct appearance often associated with the season.
  • Many florists offer stunning wreaths made of Thanksgiving flowers and other fall accents for delivery. A wreath on your door provides a warm welcome to your home.

And, instead of the usual bottle of wine, try Thanksgiving flowers or baskets as a hostess gift. Whether it consists of a bouquet in a traditional vase, a glass hurricane and candle, or a cascading cornucopia, a beautiful arrangement in fall colors will be received with great thanks.

Make Flowers and Plants Last Longer – Part 2

Making Loose Bunches or Boxed Flowers Last Longer:

  • Keep your flowers in a cool place until you can get them in a flower food solution. Don’t forget how important it is to follow the mixing directions on the flower food packet.
  • Fill a clean (washed with a detergent or antibacterial cleaning solution), deep vase with water and add a flower food from your florist.
  • Remove leaves that will be below the waterline. Leaves in water will promote bacterial microbial growth that may limit water uptake by the flower.
  • Re-cut stems by removing one to two inches with a sharp knife. Place the flowers in the vase solution you’ve prepared.
Orange spray roses and miniature gerberas

Celebrate Fall with the Golden Glow!

If you purchase loose flowers for your own arrangements you should also consider these tips:

  • When selecting flowers, look for flowers with upright, firm petals and buds beginning to open. Yellow, spotted or drooping leaves are signs of age.
  • When using woody stems and branches (such as quince, forsythia or lilac), cut the stem with sharp pruning shears. Place them in warm water containing fresh flower food to promote flower opening.

Plant Care Tips: Green Thumb Not Required

Not only are green and flowering plants a great enhancement to any home or office decor, they are also beneficial to your health. The results of a study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) show that common houseplants are powerful, natural air cleaners – all the more reason why you want to keep your plants healthy with the proper care.

Roses and Gerbera Fresh Flowers Vased

Send a cheerful greeting with rose and Gerbera daisy flower bouquet.

Most plants come with care instructions specified for the type of plant. The Society of American Florists provides these additional general guidelines to keep most green houseplants thriving:

Keep plants in medium-light locations – out of direct sunlight
Natural light is best, but some plants can also thrive in office fluorescent light. Most flowering potted plants should be placed in areas with the most light in order to maintain good flower color and promote the maximum number of flowers to open. Foliage plants will do well under lower light levels and can be placed in areas providing reduced light.

Plant soil should be kept moist at all times
Plants should not be allowed to dry out or wilt. Be careful to avoid over watering – do not allow plants to stand in water. Avoid wetting plant leaves.

Avoid excessive heat or cold
Plants should be kept in a cool spot (between 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit) for best performance. They should be kept away from direct sunlight, heating or cooling vents, directly under ceiling fans, or on top of televisions or radiators. (Appliances like televisions give off heat, which causes plants to dehydrate.)

We hope you enjoyed this 2nd part article on how to make your plants and flowers last longer. If you have any additional tips, please comment below.