Category Archives: Florists

Greenhouses

In Canada, we have greenhouses that supply the need for retailers. But have you ever wanted to know what country is the largest producer? Or how the Canadian greenhouse industry works? 

The Floral Industry 

The floral industry is one of the largest industry in the world. Providing jobs and resources for many communities. Floriculture began in the late 19th century in the United Kingdom. Flowers were grown on a large scale on vast estates. And today the floral industry is a dynamic, global and fast-growing industry.

The Netherlands remains the centre of the production for the European floral market. As well as a major international supplier to other countries. The flower market in Aalsmeer is the largest in the world. For example, Dutch growers produced over 8 billion blooms is 1995. 

Greenhouses in Canada 

In Canada we have a very large community of greenhouse growers. The organization that many belong to is called, Flower Canada Growers. They have a directory of greenhouses that are dotted all across the country. Making it easy for florist to buy their flowers.

Flowers bring us all a sense of joy and love and they make us feel special. They can change the atmosphere of our homes, whether thats on the outside in a garden or inside. It’s truly amazing how flowers can change our lives. 

Send Some Flowers! 

If you want to send flowers to someone you love, you can view our arrangements or you can create your own. Then we can make sure they’re delivered.

The Smallest Flower on Earth: Wolffia

Flowers come in so many sizes and colours and are found all over the world. They brighten up any room and bring joy to everyone. But have you ever wondered what the smallest flower on Earth is? We discussed the largest flower in a past blog so it’s time to explore the smallest flower on Earth.

Smallest Flower on Earth

Recognized as the smallest flower on earth the Wolffia, sometimes called Duckweed, is also the smallest plant that produces a fruit. This plant was first recorded in New Zealand by Ruth Mason. The plant grows in freshwater or marshes and the species is worldwide, which consists of 9-11 species.

Where do they grow?

The Wolffia is an aquatic plant and tends to resemble specks of cornmeal floating on the water. Since the plant has no roots, they can easily float on the surface of the water. The flower is produced in a depression on the top surface of the plant body and it has one stamen and one pistil. They often float together in pairs or form floating mats with other related plants such as the Lemna and Spirodela species.

A source of protein 

While it’s defiantly not a flower you would have in a vase, it’s still very interesting. And it’s actually a good source of protein. There’s an organization called the International Lemna Association (ILA) and they are promoting the plant as something that could help the planet. Since it’s a high source of protein, it could be an alternative source for human consumption. In fact, in some places in Asia it is used as a food source for many years 

Small but fascinating 

This plant might be small but it’s fascinating and we can learn a lot from the tiny flower. At Brant Florist we love learning about different plants and flowers and we hope you do as well. Make sure you view our selection of flowers or come by and visit us soon. 

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. 

History of Flowers Arrangements

We all love flowers, how they can transform any room, how they smell, how they can make us feel. But who thought to put flowers in an arrangement? Why do we arrange them the way we do today? Where did the various styles come from? Lets explore the history of the flower arrangement.

It’s truly fascinating when exploring the history of flower arrangements, it was the ancient Egyptians that actually started arranging flowers. Egyptians were decorating with flowers as early as 2500 BCE and regularly placed cut flowers in vases and in highly styled arrangements. Flower arrangements were also used for burials, processions and simply to decorate their tables. Flowers used during this time were selected according to symbolic meaning and with an emphasis on a religious meaning.

The Greeks and Romans also used flowers and herbs for decorations. They didn’t commonly use vases but focused on using garlands and wreaths. They used a lot of plant based materials such as, olive branches and terracotta. It was also common for them to toss flower petals on the floors and beds. The most popular foliage used by the Greeks and Romans were acorns, oak leaves, ivy, parsley and laurel wreaths. The laurel wreaths were presented to winners of ancient Olympic competitions and in the home they symbolized a military victory. And just like the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans often used flower petals on the floors but and also at banquets.

The Chinese have a history of flower arrangements as well, dating as far back as the 207 BCE to 220 BEC in the Han era. Flowers were a component of religious teaching and medicine. Practitioners of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism would place flowers at their alters, a practice that dates back to 618 to 906 CE. During the Byzantine Empire (500-1453 CE) contributions to the flower arrangement were made as well. This would typically include a cone shape design. The foliage was also placed in chalices and urns, which were usually decorated with brightly coloured flowers and fruit. And the flowers that were commonly used in their arrangements were, lilies, cypress, coronations and pine.

Now lets take a look at what Europe was doing around 1100 CE. This was when it was popular in churches and monasteries to use flowers and plants for decoration. During the middle ages monasteries had gardens with pharmaceutical products needed for “cures.” They often had associations applying to a spiritual bases as well as a medical one. During the Renaissance you would see flower arrganmnts represented in paintings, they were a very impressive and popular art form.

Now if we want to skip ahead a little we can explore what they were doing during the Georgian and Victorian eras. These eras are when arrangements were becoming even more popular. And they were also much more formal, symmetrical and tightly arranged with a variety of flowers. Oriental design was also very popular and influential because of trade. Small handheld arrangements were common during this time and they were called tussie-mussies. Their purpose was to help mask the smells of the street, since they didn’t have proper drainage systems. People would carry these small arrangements with them as they walked around the city.

During the Victorian era it became fashionable to have flowers in the home. Large masses of flowers were placed closely and tightly into containers to create compact arrangements. These arrangements were asymmetrical and stacked tightly together. There was no defined style, they were often unplanned using many different colours. The tussie-mussie was still popular during the Victorian era to provide relief from the odours of the city. At the end of this period there were attempts to create proper arrangements, which became an artful skill/profession in Europe.

Finally we come to the Italian Renaissance, a period which helped to give an extra boost to the art of flower arranging in Europe. During this time there was a wide variety of arrangement styles that began to develop. By the 15th and 16th centuries, flower arrangements were much more common and a large variety of materials were available to make containers such as, marble, heavy Venetian glass and bronze. Flower arrangements made during this time also had a focus on creating colour contrast. Some popular flowers included, Lilies, pinks, iris, jasmine, pansies, French marigolds and rosemary.

Flower arrangements still serve many of the same purposes today as they did then. They are used for decoration, celebrations, memorials and sometime simply making someones day a bit brighter. We hope you’ve enjoyed this brief history on how it all began. Flowers hold a lot of emotions and can invoke emotions, they are beautiful and wonderful to have around. There doesn’t need to be a reason to have them in your home, it’s simply enough to just enjoy them everyday.