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Floral Beards, Wigs and Wonder

Agricultural shows like Sydney’s Royal Easter Show, as well as regional shows, like Brisbane’s EKKA have always included some sort of floral design competition. In addition to prize winning specimens of stunning camellias, roses, and of course the local gigantic pumpkin, a variety of arrangements are submitted, displayed and judged on a a list of criteria.

This years EKKA took the concept of ‘manscaping’ to a whole new level. Instead of removing excess hair, the challenge at yesterday’s EKKA instead was to decorate the beard and head area of a (brave and) a willing participant using a combination of flowers and trees native to Queensland. In addition to exploring creativity, the event was able to shine the light brightly on the gorgeous native flora from the region, which can often be overlooked for imported varieties.

Floral beards
Source : Channel 7 News
Floral beards
Channel 7 News
Floral beards
Source: Channel 7 News
Floral beards
Source: Channel 7 News
Floral beards
Source: Channel 7 News

The trend has featured at EKKA over the last couple of years and provides an interesting medium to work with. Florists are accustomed to working on intricate floral crowns, floral fascinators, head bands, corsages, neckpieces, buttonholes, even pieces to attach to your clutch bag.

Competitions often provide an opportunity to experiment in ways that we don’t get in our usual business dealings. Over the years I have seen challenges like this where you get to dress a mannequin in flowers, or create wonderful scenes entirely from flowers. It is an incredible to experience to ‘see’ your materials in an entirely new light. I’m reminded of this often when playing with my children. Like when you’re lying on the grass looking at the clouds and seeing shapes and scenes, similarly, my middle child will pick up a coloured leaf on a walk that may have an unusual shape and will see a way she can use it in a piece of art.

I do not anticipate that floral beards are the next big thing. However for the hipster crowd it may provide an interesting and certainly unique way for men to incorporate more florals in their outfits for a special occasion. Just as men began wearing engagement rings a few years ago, we may see some orders for a floral beard adornment for a wedding. Why do the girls get to have all the fun? 😉 Floral expression is something entirely personal and so that means that our designs are guided by what our customer wants.

In the meantime, it gets our creative juices flowing simply thinking about the possibilities. And sometimes, the act of just thinking differently can be the key….

Fwf x

 

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Flower Perfumes Attracting Pollinators for Millions of Years

When you think of fresh flowers a couple of defining features probably come to mind; aesthetic beauty of course, and fragrance. Flower fragrance compounds are used in modern day scents for human use, as well as perfumes for the home. They are used to make people seem more attractive; to draw them in, and intrigue them 😍. They are use to make a space more inviting, a fragrant version of ‘come hither’ 😉

Flower fragrances in nature are used for exactly the same reasons, to attract and intrigue, to invite and lure the pollinators.

A recent study has shown that flowers from the Cretaceous period may have had similar fragrances as their modern day counterparts. What is extraordinary, is that the study undertaken by Oregon State University has shown that primitive flower varieties used their fragrance to attract pollinators. Modern day flowers use both fragrance, as well as colourful petals and showy designs to lure pollinators, however these ancient ancestors relied on perfume alone.

The evidence shows that floral frangrance originated some 100 million years ago…we are talking back when dinosaurs roamed!

“I bet some of the dinosaurs could have detected the scents of these early flowers,” said George Poinar, an entomologist at Oregon State University. “In fact, floral essences from these early flowers could even have attracted these giant reptiles,” said Mr. Poinar.

Preserved flower encased in hardened tree sap
Source : Oregon State University

The flowers were immortalised in hardened tree sap, known as amber. The team researched glandular laurel flowers (Cascolaurus burmensis and veined star flowers (Tropidogyne pentaptera) found in Myanmar.

Whilst the scent of the flowers could not be retained within the amber, what was preserved was the tissue structure responsible for producing scents. They also found that the secretory tissue was similar to their modern day descendants. This suggests that these Cretaceous flowers could possibly have produced similar essences to modern flower varieties. Check out the resemblance to Christmas Bush from New South Wales.

Tropidogyne pentaptera. Source; Oregon State University
Christmas Bush
Christmas Bush has an uncanny resemblance to the Tropidogyne pentaptera preserved in Myanmar Amber. Image: John Tann / Wikicommons

“It’s obvious flowers were producing scents to make themselves more attractive to pollinators long before humans began using perfumes to make themselves more appealing to other humans,” said George Poinar.

We all know how vitally important pollination is. Without it, the world’s food production ceases. But it almost seems obsurd to think that flower essences, something we use today for cosmetic and hygienic purposes was key in plant reproduction all those years ago.

Fwf x

Feature image : Greg Nunamaker

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Farmers Best, But for Less.

These days when you go to the supermarket, or green grocer, you are presented with multiple options. The Western world is reknowned for only wanting the best of everything but refreshingly, I believe we are in the midst of change where many people are trying to make more mindful purchases. We are learning that something looking ‘perfect’ does not necessarily equal perfection. And we are also beginning to learn or appreciate that buying seasonal produce means that fresh products can be enjoyed at their best.

We are now given the option of buying what can only be described as ‘seconds’. And whilst their appearance may not be perfect, often the produce tastes the same (if not better) than their pretty peers.

Jamie Oliver has been pretty instrumental in Woolworths’ campaign dubbed ‘The Odd Bunch’, which provides seasonal produce that looks a bit ‘ugly’ but is marketed at a more attractive price. The farmers have set aside land, watered, fertilised and cared for this produce, and it would be so incredibly wasteful to simply cast them aside.

Buy seconds to reduce waste
Source: The Sun.

It was quite the breath of fresh air when I read in UK newspaper, The Sun, that one big retailer is trying the same concept with flowers. Flowers with smaller blooms, shorter stems or other ‘defects’.

The reality of flower production is pretty harsh. For stock grown outside, it is at the mercy of nature. Heavy rain can cause mildew or fungal problems. Harsh, dry temperature can result in smaller blooms, shorter stems, and sometimes a glut of produce all available at one time. Wind damage results in fewer blooms as well as damage to leaves and petals. Hail can have devastating effects on produce, wiping out whole crops, or causing horrendous damage that makes sale impossible.

The farmers are already up against so much, so this would be a wonderful scheme to implement and keep farmers on their properties, and able to make a living.

Drew Kirk, from Morrisons in the UK said: “It would be a shame to see these beautiful stems go to waste just because they’re a few centimetres too short.

“Our wonky range helps growers and farmers reduce waste and at the same time helps customers to afford to buy flowers more often.”

Truck full of fresh flowers
Source: At First Bite

And this is something that we could certainly apply here also. Flowers are often viewed as a luxury item, so of course, they will be the first item scratched from the list when the budget doesn’t allow it. People LOVE having fresh flowers in their home, and with this scheme, more people could afford to have them at home more often, whilst reducing the waste and loss for our local flower farmers. Sounds like a win, win to me

Fwf x

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Colour Your Life – Baby Blue

Soft pastel tones are popular because they appear more delicate and gentle. Sometimes, a more muted colour palette seems like the more ‘appropriate’ choice; whether it be soft pink or baby blue for the arrival of a precious new child,  or whites and lemons for a funereal arrangement.

I guess for the same reason, muted tones are popular for weddings. Visually, a soft colour palette will look more gentle against a white or cream gown. Where adding dark or more rich colour tones will add drama to your event, soft pastel tones add a gentle touch, and a romantic and intimate feeling to your wedding or event.

Baby blue is always a popular choice for wedding flowers, and this is  (at least partly) because many of the natural blue flowers available come in softer tones.

Globally blue is one of the most popular colours. It represents confidence, calm authority, intelligence, peace, productivity and trust.

Blue is an almost universally liked colour, and has many ties to our natural environment making it more appealing. Men favour blue also.

Blue is believed to have positive effects on both the body and the mind. It is believed that it improves mental clarity, produces a calming effect, inspires creativity, lowers the heart rate and even slows human metabolism.Pale blue is especially related to health and healing, peace, tranquility, and understanding.

Baby blue was successfully combined with a soft rose pink by Pantone in 2017, as ‘dual’ colours of the year. The two pastel tones worked wonderfully well together and inspired soft, and delicate palettes reminiscent of vintage tea sets.

Baby blue with Powder pink
Colour palette inspiration

Blue also works beautifully with other colours that have a blue base such as mauves, and greens. A ‘cool’ colour scheme like this will further the feeling of calm and tranquility.

Cool colour tones
Cool colour tones, all with a blue base. Source: Design Seeds

If you like to add contrast to your arrangement, when using pastel colour tones, the contrast is more subtle. Blues opposing or ‘complementary’ colour is orange. So, for baby blue, peachy apricot tones work as it’s complement.

Baby blue, blue, peach and apricot blend
Contrast: Blue, peach and apricot. Source; Southern Living

The choice of baby blue flowers is not extensive by any means, but what they lack in variety, they certainly make up for in beauty. Check out these glorious specimens…

Grape Hyacinth. Source;
Grape Hyacinth. Source; surface view
Blue Sea Holly
Blue Sea Holly. Source; Holland Bulb Flowers
Powder blue delphinium
Powder blue delphinium.

Powdery blue iris

Blue forget me nots
Forget me nots are such a sweet, sweet addition to a bouquet
Blue hydrangea
Blue hydrangea is such a stunning flower, used alone or in combination with other flowers too. Source The DIY Lighthouse

Blue needn’t be artificial or garish. Using natural blue tones will give you a beautifully soft and delicate aesthetic. If choosing another colour is difficult for you, and you really want the blue to be the feature, consider using a very natural colour palette, teaming the blue with browns or beiges. This works well with the groom’s suit colour choices as well 😉

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Fwf x

 

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Wild Hibiscus

Walk on the Wild Side with Hibiscus

Have you ever seen a wild hibiscus in flower? Or, better yet, have you watched one bloom in a glass of bubbly?

Hibiscus blooms added to sparkling wine
A Rosella bloom unfurling in sparkling wine. Source: Elle Decor

Rosellas, are a tropical annual, which are also known as Wild Hibiscus, Florida Cranberry, Royal Roselle, Red Tea, Guinea/Indian/Red/Natal/Jamaican Sorrel, Jamaica tea flower, Java Jute, Nubia tea, Pink Lemonade, Queensland Jelly Plant, and Sour-Sour. The plant, originally from South Africa, grows beautifully throughout tropical and subtropical regions of India, Australia and Southeast Asia.

If I’m really honest, I may have sold Rosellas as a Native flower at some stage over my career 🤔 I’m sure I’m not the first, nor the last to do this….The Hibiscus is often associated with Australian bush tucker, and has been popular with Indigenous Australians since being introduced here, so I guess I just assumed they had been native. They grow prolifically in Queensland and Northern Australia. Having grown here for thousands of years now, there are some differences in our plants characteristics from those in neighbouring countries.

The Hibiscus grows on the edge of forests and rainforests, and in sand dune regions. It is a hardy, drought resistant plant however it is sensitive to frost. Rosellas have a unique tart flavour, making them popular for use in jams, cordials, teas and as a decorative addition to your drink.

Rosella blooms
Source: A Kitchen Garden in Kihei Maui

Their botanical name is Hibiscus sabdariffa, and they are a member of the Mallow family. The seeds, leaves, fruits and even the roots of the Rosella are used in various foods. The fleshy red calyx, and the characteristic 5 petalled funnel shaped flower is perhaps the most popular part of the plant.

Hibiscus macaroons
Hibiscus macaroons. Source: Mushita

The product that has become internationally recognised is the Wild Hibiscus flowers in syrup, which were first produced by an Australian family business, headed by Lee Ethrington. After initially producing the wildly popular Rosella Jam for local markets, he then branched out to a range of Australian Bushfoods seeing the potential for both international guests and loving locals. Queenslanders were mad for the Rosella Jam, made from the Hibiscus growing all through the north of the state. Believe it or not, but according to their website, the moment of discovery that led to the creation of their most popular product, was entirely by chance:

“…Lee and partner, Jocelyn and their guests dropped a rosella flower into a glass of champagne (the flowers and other native fruits were always on hand for making the bushfood produce). Watching in amazement as the flower started to unfurl and look particularly special in the glass, the idea was sparked by Lee to create the first bottled whole hibiscus flowers in syrup.”

Rosella fruit stems
Rosella fruit stems. Source: Robin Powell

 

The flowers are preserved in a concoction of sparkling water and cane sugar and can be used up to 36 months after bottling. Due to the seasonal nature of the plant, demand was not being met, so they were forced to travel and establish a supply network across the Australasian tropical belt. Wow!

I think it is incredibly interesting to see flowers used in ways outside floral arrangement. We know that many creatures in nature find sustenance from flowers, so why not us too, right?

Fwf x

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Colour Your Life – Wonderfully White

White is a colour with special significance, and I truly believe that it will forever be popular. At present, ‘Hamptons’ styling has firmly positioned white flowers and accessories in the spotlight, but even when that dies down, sophisticated white will remain in some other capacity.

Hamptons inspo
Hamptons Styling. Source: The girls of Lincoln Park

White is incredibly versatile in styling, it brings light and sophistication, simplicity and elegance. It suits most decors and makes a safe choice when sending flowers as a gifts when you are unsure of someone’s taste.

It is a colour I would also recommend sending when using an unknown florist in an unfamiliar area, particularly if you are unsure of the work style. Basically you can’t get white and green wrong , can you? There is no danger of mixing the wrong shades together, so it keeps things simpler.

Gorgeous white bouquet

White is a colour associated with cleanliness, such as in hospitals and with doctors. It is also associated with heavenly creatures such as angels.

Most significantly, white is utilised in wedding celebrations. This is because pure white is symbolic of innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the colour symbolic of perfection. A white wedding dress, or white wedding flowers used to be commonplace, it was even expected, but these days, the colours used within weddings does vary.

There are many flowers available in white,  BUT there are also some special flowers that are ONLY available in white such as Lily of the Valley.

Other beauties available in white include; Queen Anne’s Lace, agapanthus, magnolia blooms, Tuberose, Snowdrops, Astilbe, Buddleja, Frangipani, Pieris, Tulips, Lilies, Calla lilies, Stock, Snapdragons, Roses, Lisianthus, Freesias, Hydrangea, Peonies, Dahlias, Chrysanthemums, Carnations, Delphiniums, Gladioli,  Protea, Fruit blossoms, Gardenia, Baby’s breath, Anthurium, Daisies, Orchids (Dendrobium, Phaleonopsis, Cymbidium, etc)

Often, when you choose your wedding gown, it is tempting to try to match your flowers to that shade…..but the reality is there are probably hundreds of shades between ‘Bridal white’ and ‘Cream’. Nature, well…it just isn’t like that. But more than that, by attempting to match something that is reproduced via formula with something that is influenced by weather, soil conditions and mineral content, rain etc… you are asking for trouble.

Varieties of David Austin roses for example, that are ordered as white, might throw just a hint of soft pink at some times, influenced by low temperatures at the beginning of the season. That same variety may appear pure white when the temperatures warm up.

By the same token, some of the whites flowers available can appear to look yellow against a pure white dress fabric. That is simply because white in nature is not a pure white when compared to something that is bleached or created artificially.

I think we can all agree there are some stunning cut flowers to choose from in white, the hard bit is deciding where to start…

Dahlia
Dahlia. Source: Eat Drink Garden
Magnolia bloom
Magnolia. Source: Style Files
White Protea
White Protea. Source: Protea Flora
Queen Anne's Lace
Queen Anne’s Lace. Source: Shabby Cottage Studio
Tuberose
Tuberose. Source: Country Living
Lilac
Lovely Lilac. Source: My Folia
Gardenia
Gardenia. Source: Monrovia

Fwf x

 

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Royal purple

Colour in Your Life – Royal Purple

Some colours command attention, and purple is a colour that certainly does that. Originally, purple was an incredibly costly colour to produce which contributed to it’s exclusivity. The reason for this was that the mucous from 9000 Mediterranean sea snails was required to make just a small quantity of natural Tyrian Purple dye.

Queen Elizabeth I, implemented and enforced Sumptuary Laws; laws which regulated the colours, fabrics and clothes that society was either able or unable to wear based on their class. During her reign, the colour we now know as ‘Royal Purple’ was reserved for the royal family. Queen Elizabeth I forbad anyone outside close members of the royal family to wear it.

Then, some 150 years ago, purple began weaving it’s way into society’s lower classes when an 18 year old chemist accidently created a synthetic purple dye whilst attempting to make Quinine, an anti-malaria drug. Whoops! Whilst he was not successful in making Quinine, he became incredibly well known and successful after his fortunate discovery. When he noticed that what he had concocted in his home lab could be used to dye fabrics, he quickly patented the dye and produced it under the name aniline purple.

Purple is a colour that looks great with various shades of itself. Monocramatic colour schemes work well as they play with differing shades of one colour.

Monocramatic

An analogous colour scheme uses a collection of colours that sit side by side on the colour wheel. These tend to work well together and look harmonious.

Analogous

For whatever reason, purple seems to be a colour people like to use with highly contrasting colours like orange, or bright yellow. While they certainly make an impact, these bright colour schemes do not suit everyone.

Contrasting colours

Contrasting colours

One of my favourite colour schemes using purple is when it is combined with shades of green. It works particularly well when you also use mauve along with the royal purple.

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The colour purple combines the energetic strength of red and the stability of blue. It symbolises nobility, dignity, royalty, prestige, luxury and ambition. It conveys both wealth and extravagance. It is also associated with creativity, mystery and magic. It is a colour that resonates with creative souls and humanitarians, it promotes mental balance and harmony of the mind, encourages sensitivity and compassion. But beware, too much purple is believed to exacerbate depression in those vulnerable to it. It is a colour that should be used in the home sparingly.

If you feel like Purple is the colour for you, you certainly have some  beautiful options. Just remember that the season will affect what is available to you for your event.

Royal Navy (purple) sweet pea
Sweet Pea. Source: Eden Brothers
Lilac
Lovely Lilac blooms 😍 Source: pinimg
Bearded iris
Bearded Iris. Source: Comanche Acres Iris
Purple Liatris
Purple Liatris. Source: Gardenerdy
Purple tulips
Deep purple tulips. Source: Jbirdny
Purple Lilac blooms
Purple Vanda Orchids
Purple Lisianthus
Purple Lisianthus. Source: Danisa Flowers
Various purple hyacinths
Various purple toned hyacinths. Source: Garden Design
Pretty purple carnations
Gorgeous purple carnations. Source: Pro Flowers
Butterfly buddleja
Butterfly Buddleja. Source: Not Cutts
Purple and mauve roses
Purple and mauve roses. Source: Gold Florist
Summery hydrangea
Summery hydrangea. Sourced via Pinterest
Deep purple delphinium
Delphinium. Source: Walters Garden

Another gorgeous colour to kick off your inspiration. Enjoy!

Fwf x

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A Bride’s Guide to Choosing the Right Epping Florist

Flowers are undeniably an important part of any wedding day. For a soon-to-be-bride, her wedding day is a special occasion where she carries an exquisite flower bouquet and is surrounded with the most beautiful blooms during the wedding ceremony.

 

Choosing the right type of flowers for a wedding can be challenging. This is where the expertise of an Epping florist comes in. Before you call the first Epping florist & flower delivery service you have found online, you need to remember a few things when choosing which flower shop in Epping to get your bridal flower from.

 

Why should you obtain the services of a florist?

 

While a bride can certainly design and style her own wedding bouquet, hiring a florist is practical in more ways than one. Sourcing flowers for your wedding is not as easy as picking the most beautiful blooms from a flower shop in Sydney. To make sure that you have a perfect bouquet to match your dress, a florist will do all the leg work for you.

 

A florist wll be responsible for taking those early morning trips to flower dealers, negotiate directly with suppliers and make last-minute decisions if the chosen flowers are not yet in full bloom.

 

The best Epping florists are experts in maintaining the freshness of flowers for a long period of time. An experienced florist is also skilled at various wedding flower arrangements, not only for the bouquet but for flower decorations for the reception tables and other areas in the venue as well. A florist will work until the wee hours of the morning to make sure all arrangements are finished before the start of the wedding ceremony.

 

Lastly, an Epping florist and flower delivery service will bring all flowers to the venue on time. With a florist taking care of all these things, a bride can focus on more important tasks before her wedding.
If you need a reliable and affordable florist and flower delivery service on your special day, let us know and call us on 02 9871 1666. Click here to check out our beautiful arrangements for all occasions.

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image of girl given a bouquet of roses

How to Choose a Florist in Macquarie Park

If you check out the top 25 florists near Macquarie Park, you will notice that all of them offer impressive flower arrangements and same day delivery services at affordable prices. Amidst the abundance of florists in Macquarie Park, you may be curious on how you can obtain the services of the best florists in NSW.

 

In this post, we will guide you through the process of choosing a florist:

 

 

  • Make a list of florists that operate in Macquarie Park

 

 

If you are a Macquarie Park resident, it is only sensible and practical to seek the expertise of a florist in the vicinity. Create a list of the top 25 florists near Macquarie Park. You can narrow down the list once you have established a few requirements and your budget.

 

Compare flower arrangements of at least 4 to 5 florists. This will make it easier for you to choose which florist meets your style.

 

 

  • Check out their portfolio

 

 

It is imperative to do your research before you make a decision on who to hire or buy flowers from. In the case of weddings, you need to request for photos of past flower arrangements. The style of flower arrangements should match your requirements. It may also be important for you to share your vision with prospective florists so they can get an idea of what you want on your big day. A skilled florist should be able to translate your vision into reality.

 

 

  • Have  clear budget

 

 

Have a clear budget. A sizeable proportion of the wedding budget is usually appropriated to the bride’s bouquet and other wedding flowers arrangements. Make sure to create a list of flower arrangements that are well suited for your budget. A florist should be able to recommend flower arrangements which best suit your budget.

 

Enlisting the help of a reputed florist for your wedding bouquet and flower arrangements can take the pressure off you and allow you to focus on other important tasks to be completed in preparation for your wedding day.

 

Try our same day delivery at Macquarie Park and everything we have to offer. To request for a quote, call us on 02 9871 1666 today.

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hele 7

Top 4 Ways to Choosing a Bella Vista Florist

If you want to make a lasting impression on your wedding day or any special occasion, it is a must to hire a florist to create marvelous and tantalising flower arrangements for you. If you live in Bella Vista and are looking to purchase flowers either for simple flower decorations at home or for grand occasions such as wedding days, then this guide will help to make the right choice easy.

 

 

  • Know your personal style

 

 

Once you have established your personal style, it’s rather simple and straightforward to narrow down your choices to the 10 best florists near Bella Vista. Also, make sure to familiarise yourself with the general terms used in flower decorating and arrangements.

 

 

  • Planning in Advance

 

 

For weddings and other important occasions you may need to book florists early on or you could be compelled to chose one who may not be among the best. As a general rule, the larger the order you need to place, the earlier it is to plan for flower arrangements.

 

You also need to consider seasonal availability of particular flowers you may have in mind and be prepared to consider substitutes, if the flowers you want are out of season.

 

 

  • Determine your budget

 

 

Ideally florist services as well as bouquet and flower arrangements should amount to

10% of your total budget. To avoid problems in the future, make sure to set aside extra cash for cases when you want to add more flower arrangements for your wedding. Remember to pick flowers which are in season only. Discuss your budget with the florist to see how best it can be accommodated.

 

 

  • Schedule a visit or interview

 

 

If you have the time, visit flower shops in Bella Vista to see their arrangements and flower displays. Ask as many questions as you can before you make a buying decision.
Are you looking for the best florist and flower delivery shop in Bella Vista? Click here or call us on 02 987 1666 to schedule an appointment for viewing our arrangements.

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