Category Archives: Flowers

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. 

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.