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Rise of the Ginger

With summer’s high temperatures and humidity comes an array of beautiful tropical blooms.  Tropical blooms tend to be bright in colour and quite differently textured to many traditional garden blooms so they provide great contrast in your plantings or vase work.

The Zingiberaceae family is incredibly diverse, including approximately 1300 species. Ginger falls into one of two categories; cooking ginger, or ornamental ginger. The common ginger, Zingiber Officinale, as well as Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), Tumeric (Curcuma longa) and Galangal all form part of this family of plants; ingredients often featured in exotic Asian style cooking.

Gingers are some of the most stunning flowers we have in our garden, and each species is entirely unique and special. Like some other tropical plants such as Heliconias, the Ginger is a rhizome. Flowering gingers are closely related to the common ginger however belong to a different genera including but not limited to Alpinia, Globba, Zingiber and Curcuma. Gingers are the perfect plant choice if you are trying to create a lush, tropical garden space with Asian influences. Many gingers are evergreen, although some varieties lose their leaves in winter.

The Beehive ginger, Zingiber spectabile is often found in florists. They have stunning rounded heads with a waxy surface, and are covered with a series of pockets which form a hive-like texture. They are available in yellow, peach and chocolate tones. Beehive gingers are a great focal flower, and are incredibly long lasting.

Dancing Lady Gingers, Globba winitii, are one of my absolute favourites. Dancing Lady Gingers favour a sheltered position in a garden, so are suited to positions where they can sit under the canopy of other plants. There flower cascades naturally, so are ideal for using in bridal bouquets. They are long lasting and available in an array of colours.

Red Ginger, Alpinia purpurea is also commonly used in the floristry world. The have a stunning pink –  red bloom, and are a long lasting cut flower. As a plant, they can grow up to 2m with lots of lush foliage.

Lipstick Ginger, Costus barbatus are also known as Spiral Gingers. The bright red bracts are small and pine cone like, with small yellow flowers that ‘pop’ outwardly. The stems corkscrew beneath lush foliage hence the name ‘Spiral Ginger’.

Torch Gingers, Etlingera elatior are available in white, pink and red. They have a similar appearance to a Waratah in the size, shape and colour of their bloom, but they differ in that their overall texture appears to be waxy.

Siam Tulips, Curcuma alismatifolia,  are also known as the Jewel of Thailand or Hidden Gingers as they have large displays of foliage that can cover the blooms. They are available in pink, mauve and white tones. There are approximately 80 species of Curcuma, with some available in yellow, golden and orange tones, as well as varieties with verigated foliage.

Enjoy your choice of Ginger blooms while they are at their best. You will find that choosing tropical blooms for your vases during summer makes sense- they grow in the heat, and therefore last in the heat too, so you get better value for money!

Fwf x


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BEEHIVE GINGER Image; The Wild Papaya
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RED GINGER Image: Eureca Plants
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SPIRAL GINGER Image; Gardens Online
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TORCH GINGER Image; The Wild Papaya
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TORCH GINGER Image: Hortulus
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Eucalyptus blossoms on the tree

You Beaut Aussie Blooms

Are you like me, and can hardly believe we are already over the half way point of January? Of course I know it is a sign of getting old, (everyone keeps reminding me that) but for some reason I feel like the world turns a whole lot faster these days…maybe its just the pace of our modern lives.

Before we will know it, it’ll be time for our national public holiday in celebration of Australia Day. This is certainly a sensitive subject for our indigenous Australians, steeped in the history and heartache of the day, so instead of celebrating the day itself, I though that for this weeks blog, we could celebrate some of the stunningly beautiful native bloom; Eucalyptus.

Not all Eucalyptus flowers, but the ones that do, certainly pack some punch! Flowering Eucalyptus is available in vibrant red tones, spectacular pinks and watermelon tones, stunning whites, fiery orange tones as well as lemons and limes. Eucalyptus are often regarded as a large tree, and many would discount them for their gardens at home based on this misconception. These days though, many of them are grafted, and therefore can actually develop into much smaller trees. After many years of breeding a range of beautiful small trees are available suitable for pots or gardens. Many of these crosses have tropical genes so are well suited to the humidity of Northern NSW and Queensland. They  are drought and frost resistant once established, but be careful in the first few years as they may not be able to tolerate the frost while young.

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Image: Burke’s Backyard
12454CT Eucalyptus Summer Snow
Image: Linda Ross via Garden Clinic
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Image: Linda Ross via Garden Clinic

As a cut flower, Flowering gum is not long lasting. These little firecrackers, are a summer grown stock, yes, but the heat does encourage the buds to burst open exposing the brightly coloured stamens. The stamens are then quick to dry out and drop, so have your hand vac or dust pan at the ready!

Gum Blossoms are unlike many other flowers in so much as they do not have petals, but rather, a collection of stamens hidden within the operculum (or cap). The blossoms attract insects and birds, so they are a gorgeous addition to gardens if you wish to attract bird life. When the blossoms do not open, and are instead left on the tree, they will develop into large gum nuts which are just as attractive albeit less colourful. The gum nuts make a great dried flower too!

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Image; Wikimedia Commons

If you are looking to create a vase full of flowers with native roots this Australia day, Florist With Flowers has plenty of fresh flowers available in store. You could choose a bright bunch of greens and golds or, talk to our friendly team about what native blooms are available for pick up or flower delivery within Sydney.

Fwf x

Feature Image; Halls on Falls Homestead

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Mad About Macramé

Macramé refers to a style of textile work, where knots are used to create the piece rather than traditional weaving or knitting. It is believed to have originated in the 13th century from the Arabian Weavers where they used the technique to finish excess thread and yarn along the edges of hand-loomed fabrics to create decorative fringes on bath towels, shawls, and veils.

The word Macramé comes from the Arabic weavers’ word migramah meaning “fringe”, which refers to the edging which helped keep the flies off camels or horses in the hot desert, among other things. In fact Macramé came to be used for decorating anything from utensil handles, belts, to modern children’s friendship bracelets, jewelry pieces or wall pieces. Really, as with anything creative, you are limited only by your imagination.

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Image: The Macrame School
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Image via Etsy

After making its way to Spain, Italy and then through Europe, it was finally introduced into England in the late 17th century when Mary II taught the art of Macramé to her ladies-in-waiting. However it was not a craft exclusively for women’s pleasure. Sailor’s used to refer to macrame as ‘McNamara’s Lace’, and would often macrame objects such as belts or hammocks in their down-time to sell when they got back to land.

Macramé was most popular in the Victorian era when most homes were adorned with items in this craft; tablecloths, bedspreads and curtains. It’s popularity then faded until it saw it’s first revival in the 1970s as a method to create wall hangings, articles of clothing, bedspreads, tablecloths, drapery, plant hangers and other furnishings. Macramé necklaces, bracelets and anklets also become popular in the 1970s, featuring beading, bones and shell. But then, just as quickly, by the early 1980s, once again, Macramé had begun to fall out of fashion.

Today, the market is again saturated with Macramé. Have you noticed home wares stores once again stocking decorative plant hangers and wall hangings? So mainstream now, it is even stocked within Kmart stores throughout the country. Macramé is once again a popular method to use for hanging plants as well as sitting plant containers, but we are also seeing the craft being featured in beautiful bespoke pieces for dreamy wedding days.

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Image: Pretty Little Lane
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Image: Willow Flower Company
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Image: Style Le Aisle

Plant hangers are being made in a variety of materials, from rope to sisal, to colourful nylon. In addition, you will notice than other materials are featured in modern pieces such as copper and brass piping, wooden beads and leather.

The great thing about Macramé holders is you can personalise the look by choosing your own pots, vases or containers. This means that you can create a cohesive look by choosing coordinating pieces that tie in with your decor. EASY!

Cotton macrame looks fantastic with coastal decor, sisal suits rustic settings and nylon is great in modern housing.

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Image: Glitter Inc
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Image via Pinterest
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Image: Design Rulz
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Image: Etsy

Til next week,

Fwf x


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Caring For Your Plants Over The Holidays

For anyone who is in the midst of busy school holidays or perhaps is considering a summer getaway, sometimes your indoor and outdoor plants can get overlooked.

Australian summers hit hard, so a few hot days can turn your beloved garden into a graveyard if you are ill-prepared. Many people do not know their neighbours well because we so often live busy lives so we often have to think of alternatives when we are planning a sojourn.

For anyone with a fairly established garden, it stands to reason that they will also have an existing irrigation system of some description. Irrigation systems are an effective watering method as they are often set up with a sensor, and/or timer so that the watering can be achieved without your input. This obviously takes some level of stress away when taking a lengthy break.

Image: Irrigation Systems FL
Image: Easy Garden Irrigation

But for those with collections of pot plants, whether indoor or outdoor, an irrigation system just wont work. First and foremost, be sure to fill any saucers, but if you are still left short, check out some of our other ideas below.

If you have the option to, call a friend. Someone dropping in every few days, or twice a week keeping an eye on your plants is probably the best way to get them through the holidays. Pot plants have a limited surface area and soil volume, so cannot retain a large quantity of water. Throw in a few hot days and the water will quickly evaporate leaving the plant dry and desperate. Some plant varieties do not respond well to being dried out, so even when you water them a few days later, they will not revive.

If you have a bath, I would suggest moving your pot plants into the bathroom which is considerably cooler, and filling the bath tub up approximately 2-4cm. The bathtub will act as a humongous saucer, and the plants will drink as they like/need. The same can be done in any large sinks throughout the house/kitchen/laundry.

Alternatively, if you do not have a bathtub or large sink available to you, you should create a water reservoir. There are numerous products on the market for you to buy, but you can easily create one for yourself from a recycled bottle.

Image: The Gadget Flow via Pinterest


The basic premise of any of the ‘ready-to-use’ products on the market is that when the soil dries out around the spike it will slowly allow water to trickle down to hydrate the plant. They are generally made from a porous material such a terracotta. Some people may remember their parents burying unglazed terracotta pots in their garden and filling them with water as a rather archaic irrigation system based on the same concept.

These days concepts such as ‘The Plant Nanny’ exist; terracotta spikes that can be used with any of your recycled bottles. Simply attach either a wine or plastic bottle to the top of the spike and inset into your pot. Sure, this kind of concept won’t keep your pot plant going for weeks on end, but if you are only enjoying a week away, or can manage to wrangle friends or family to check in and refill on the weekend, you should be right.

Image: Plant Nanny
Image: Tree Hugger
Image; Plant Nanny

Hope everyone had a gorgeous Christmas and is enjoying the start to 2017. For anyone venturing far from home, drive carefully; make sure you get to enjoy that holiday you so deserve.

Fwf x

Featured Image by Thomas J. Story via Sunset

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