Author Archives: Erin Torsney

Wildflowers

What is a Wildflower?

Wildflower isn’t an exact term, it’s a way to explain a native species. And since there are so many species of wildflowers and plants, we’re just going to talk about 3 of them that are native to North America. The Alberta Wild Rose, Gaillardia, and the Buttercup.

Alberta Wild Rose (Rosa acicularis)

The Alberta Wild Rose, also known as the prickly wild rose, the prickly rose and the wild rose. Is a deciduous shrub that grows 1-3m tall and the leaves are pinnate, 7-14cm long with 3-7 leaflets. The flowers are pink (rarely white) and are 3-5cm in diameter. This rose species is native to the U.S. and Canadian norther Great Prairies and is the provincial flower of Alberta.

Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)

The Gaillardia is in the Sunflower family and native to North and South America. Many cultivars have been bred for ornamental use and are an annual or perennial herb or subshrub. The stem is usually branching and erect to a maximum height of around 80cm. And they’re almost any shade of yellow, orange, red, purple, brown, which or bicoloured.

Buttercup (Ranunculus)

The Buttercup usually flowers in spring but can be found throughout the summer. They’re mostly a perennial but occasionally they’re both annual or biannual. The Buttercup has 5 yellow, greenish or white petals making it a very recognizable flower.

What to we do with Wildflowers?

Wildflowers can be used for any purpose and they create a different tone or style to any event. You can be creative as you want, from your garden to bouquets. Deign you’re own arrangements with us, or let us come up with something for you. We have a wide selection of flowers and are happy to help you. 

Different Types of Tulips

Tulips come in so many assortments, colours and sizes, so sometimes we need a guide to help us know what’s what. Today we’ll explore just that, in fact we’ll talk about 4 different types of tulips such as, Single Tulips, Double Tulips, Darwin Hybrid Tulips and Lily-Flowered Tulips. And we’ll discuss what makes them unique and when they bloom.

Single Tulips

The denomination comes from their unique up-shaped six petal flower, these tulips can be early spring bloomers. Single Tulips range in size of about 25-45cm and the late spring bloomers are comparatively larger, ranging in size from 45-72cm.

Double Tulips

These flowers are also often called the “peony” tulips because of their shape, they’re an elegant flower and can be as wide as 25cm. Double Tulips are sensitive to rain and wind, so it’s ideal to have them in a sheltered place. The average size of this flower range between 30-40cm, similar to the Single Tulips, Double Tulips are both early and late bloomers.

Darwin Hybrid Tulips

This flower has an interesting history, it was developed in the Netherlands by D.W. Lefeber, a prominent breeder. He crossed the famous Red Emperor with various cultivars from the group of tulips known as Darwin Tulips. The result of this cross-breeding was a series of tulips that excelled do to their size and sturdy long stems. Their egg-shaped single blooms are up to 8cm wide and they are available in a wide range of colours; orange, red, yellow and pink. Darwin Hybrids also range in a variety of coloured speckles and stripes on their petals. These flowers provide blooms up to 5 years and grow as large as 50-70cm in mid-late spring.

Lily-Flowered Tulips

Whats makes Lily-Flowered Tulips different from other tulip varieties are there slender flowers with often pointed and recurving petals. Their flower stems are thin, making them susceptible to wind damage. Most Lily-Flowered Tulips bloom in late spring with a few blooming mid spring and are typically 40-50cm tall. These flowers make wonderful cut flowers and have a nice fragrance, perfect for any room in your home.

Get Planting

It’s always good to start thinking about what you want in your garden or what flowers you want in your home. Knowing what to plant and in what season is very helpful. Make sure you take the time to figure out how you want to approach your garden and then research the right plants for the season.

Autumn Flowers

With all the leaves on the trees changing colour and the crisp cool air, Autumn is a wonderful season. And along with the changing leaves, our gardens change as well. The types if flowers that bloom are often different than the ones we saw during the spring and summer months. There’s a large variety of flowers and plants that make their appearance during the fall.

When is the best time to plant Autumn flowers? Well that can depend of the temperature in August. Planting early in the season (summer) will make sure that your garden is well established. But it’s a good idea to play it by ear, because it all depends on the temperature. Fall flowers bloom late, but they bloom best if they have been in the garden all season. Some examples of Autumn flowers are Balloon Flowers, Mums, Stonecrop, and Sunflower Perennials.

Ballon Flowers (Platycodon grandiflorus) are in the campanula or bellflower family. They start out as a puff or bubble and pop open when they’re ready to bloom. It’s colours are lavender-blue, pale pink, or white. This flower spreads slowly, filling in without becoming a nascence. And other than cutting the plants back in the spring or fall, there is no other maintenance required.

Mums (Chrysanthemum) comes in many varieties but the best one to plant for fall would be the hardier Mum. This plant should be purchased in the spring so that it is ready in time for the fall season. Keep them well watered and mulch them once the ground freezes. They come in a variety of colours such as, white, yellow, pink, lavender, red, and bronze. This flower lasts all the way until November in some climates.

Stonecrop (Sedum sp) or often called the “Autumn Joy” looks good all year and requires minimal attention, but if you live near a Deer population watch out because they love to eat Stonecrop. So be aware of your surroundings before planting this lovely flower. They come in shades of pink and mauve. This plant is usually left standing tall throughout the winter months.

Sunflower Perennials (Helianthus hybrids) are related to the Sunflower. However, they don’t get a large, or topple over like a Sunflower and look more like a Daisy. They bloom towards the end of the season and come in a yellowish colour. They grow much slower than the Annual Sunflower and they will come back every year.

What will you plant for your garden this Autumn? It’s good to get your garden planned out and planted in August. Whether you’re planting a new garden or adding to your current one, fall flowers need time. Autumn is such a beautiful time of year and what a better way to celebrate the season than with a beautiful garden.

Largest Flower on Earth – Rafflesia arnoldii

Flowers come in so many shapes and sizes, but nothing is as large as the Rafflesia arnoldii, also known as the corpse flower. It gets it’s name because of the odour it produces, a rotting flesh smell. That smell is meant to attracted flies, so that they are able to pollinate the flower. Sounds terrible but this flower is actually so fascinating you start of forget about the odour. Unless maybe you were up close to it.

The Discovery

The Rafflesia arnoldii was first discovered by a French botanist and explorer named Louis Auguste Deschamps in 1798. Deschamps was a member of a French scientific expedition to Asia and the Pacific. During this voyage his ship was taken over by the British, his work wouldn’t see the light of day until 1954 when it was rediscovered in the Natural History Museum in London England. Then British botanist Joseph Arnold and Statesmen Sir Stanford Raffles collected a specimen of another Rafflesia species found by a Malay servant in Sumatra in 1818. Shortly after that Arnold died of a fever and it was his successor, Willam Jack who rushed to have the name of the flower published so that the British would receive credit for the discovery.

How Big Are They?

The Flower is around 1 meter or 3 feet and it weighs up to 11 kilograms, or 24 pounds. These flowers emerge from very large cabbage-like, maroon or magenta buds that typically measure around 30cm. The largest bud on record was found at mount Sago in Sumatra in 1956 and measured 43cm in diameter. The Rafflesia arnoldii lives as a parasite on several vines of the genus Tetrastigma which grows primarily in rainforests. Rafflesia arnoldii lacks any observable leaves, stems or even roots, yet it’s still considered a vascular plant. And similar to fungi, individual plants grow as thread-like strands of tissue that are completely embedded within and in intimate contact with the surrounding host cells. Rafflesia arnoldii gets it’s nutrients from the host cells as well as it’s water.

Where Do They Live?

The Rafflesia arnoldii lives in the rainforests of Sumatra, Malaysia, Java, southern Thailand, Borneo and southern Philippines. Since rainforests all around the world are shrinking, the plant is now at risk of going extinct. Thanks to some environmentalist there might be hope to combat their possible extinction. By simulating their environment, the plant is hopefully going to be saved and so far this process has shown some success. Steps are also being taken to conserve rainforest all around the world and another step that has been proven helpful is getting local residents involved. Those that are lucky enough to have the plant on their property are able to charge a small fee to have tourist or other curious locals, take a look at this one of a kind flower.