Category Archives: Florists

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. 

 

Summer Flowers | Brant Florist

Brant Florist shares their secrets on how they get fresh flowers into your flower arrangements

By looking at an arrangement of fresh flowers, you might not think about all that those flowers went through and all of the people that were involved to get them to your door. Each and every flower has a story, as do the people who care for them. This is why we are giving Brant Florist customers and readers a special sneak peek behind the scenes to get fresh flowers from all over the world into your unique flower arrangement.

Early-morning flower deliveries 

Brant Florist receives their first shipment of the day each weekday bright and early about 6:45am. The team is always at the shop to receive the trucks to ensure that the flowers are cared for immediately.

The Willow Creek Floral truck delivers the fresh flowers first thing in the morning every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Brant Florist shop

The Willow Creek Floral truck delivers the fresh flowers first thing in the morning every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Brant Florist shop

We work only with the best flower suppliers

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Tim Bolt helping to unload the Willow Creek truck

Over the years, Brant Florist has worked with various partners locally and internationally. We have now created long-standing relationships with the best growers, greenhouses, importers and wholesalers in the world.

This includes Willow Creek Floral, owned by Robert VanNoort,  servicing flower shops from Niagara and throughout the GTA. Robert grows both fresh flowers and plants in his Niagara area greenhouses.  Crops include different varieties of lilies, alstromeria and other seasonal flowers.

Caring for the flowers

Once Robert VanNoort delivers the order, Tim Bolt, co-owner of Brant Florist, unpacks, cuts and places the orders in water. The Bolt family are on hand to ensure that this is done quickly after the flowers have arrived to
maintain their freshness and lengthen the life in your bouquet.

Brant_Trimming_Flowers

Removing the leaves from the stems helps to improve the vase life of flowers because leaves will foul the water. It also reduces the natural ethylene gas given off which causes flowers to age quicker.

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There are some flowers, such as lilies, that can take up to one week just to open up. We don’t want these types of flowers to show up for someone’s wedding or event unopened. To avoid this we like to be prepared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Tim explains that the flowers will open for about two to three days in the shop store front on display, and then will be moved to the refrigerators to help slow down the opening process. This is what florists refer to as stasis mode.

“Since we are managing perishable products, careful planning and attention needs to be paid to ensure the best quality of freshness for the deliveries of bouquets for our customers”, says Tim.

Designing beautiful bouquets

Once the shipment of flowers has been trimmed and placed in either the fridge to slow down the aging process, or out front to quicken it up, the designers come into the shop to check out the delivery of fresh flowers they get to work with.

Florist Deisgners

Brant florist floral designers creating beautiful flower arrangements!

The designers set out to create the arrangements for the orders that come in for the day, again, being very careful to use flowers within their “sweet spot” so that the recipient can enjoy their flower arrangement for as long as possible.

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One of our one of a kind crafted flower bouquets ready for delivery!

Once the designers have arranged the flowers into a beautiful bouquet, they are ready to be delivered. The number of deliveries per day vary depending on the time of year. On average, Brant Florist does about 30 to 50 flower deliveries per day.

Only quality service

The Brant Florist Team works extra hard to time the deliveries perfectly so they arrive right when you need them. “We take pride in our customer service efforts,” explains Ken Bolt, who has managed the family business for over 50 years and has now proudly passed on to his two sons.

Give us a call at 905-639-7001 or send an email to gifts@brantflorist.com to place an order for your very own fresh flowers!

The World Is Your Garden!

Brant Florist of Burlington, Ontario has been family owned and operated for over 50 years! We offer beautiful, custom floral arrangements ready to be delivered anywhere in the world. Flowers are socially acceptable gifts to send worldwide, so take advantage of our same day delivery in Canada and the U.S.A, or next-day delivery abroad.

Brant Florist staff

Wonderful staff at Brant Florist!

Have one of our expert staff at Brant Florist design a breath-taking flower arrangement for you, or create your own arrangement from our vast selection of fresh-cut flowers. Choose from roses, orchids, lilies, tropical flowers – white, red, and any colour in between!

At Brant Florist, one of our many specialties is funeral and sympathy flowers. Some may wonder, what is the difference? Funeral flowers serve as a tribute to the deceased at the funeral, creating a background of warmth and beauty which adds to the dignity and consolation of the service. Sympathy flowers on the other hand, are addressed and sent directly to a loved one of the deceased. Know that it is never too late to send flowers! A nice gesture is to send flowers to the home a period of time after the funeral to remind those grieving that you are still thinking of them and their loss.

What a Treat by Teleflora - BF6536

What a Treat by Teleflora – BF6536

Flowers can express many different messages. You can brighten someone’s day with flowers for a birthday, anniversary, or graduation or maybe for no reason other than “I’m thinking about you”. Pick a thoughtful arrangement for someone special to say “I’m sorry”. Send a gesture of sympathy to someone who is going through a hard time in life or has lost a loved one. No matter the message, Brant Florist has arrangements and gifts for every situation.

Order your arrangement online through our website: www.brantflorist.com or call our toll free number at 1-877-545-5535.