Mum’s the Word

Did you know that the saying- “Mum’s the Word” actually has no connection with mums or mothers? For some reason I guess I assumed that it was a reference to your mum being your ultimate confidant, that no matter what you confided in her, she would always remain loyal. After all isn’t that what we have all grown up basically believing- that your mother will love you no matter what?

But no, the mum actually refers to ‘mmm’, suggestive of the noise you make when you keep your lips sealed unable or unwilling to speak; a hum perhaps. ‘Mum’ is a Middle English word meaning silent which is derived from ‘mummer’, an actor in a pantomime, using only actions to tell the story and no speech. We know this as ‘miming’.

Most notably used in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 2 Act 1, Scene 2; “Seal up your lips and give no words but mum.” The origins of the phrase are first found in print in the 14th century in William Langland’s poem ‘Piers Plowman’.

These day ‘mum’s the word’ or ‘keeping mum’ are phrases used colloquially to mean keeping quiet or keeping things secret. Presents and surprises are one thing that you need to keep quiet, so keeping ‘mum’ for Mother’s Day is not such a bad idea. Now, I KNOW I am not alone when I say, I can’t believe it’s going to be Mother’s Day again, soon! The Florist calendar is pretty busy from December to May what with Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year, Valentines Day, Easter and Anzac Day, so it is with mild disbelief that I write this blog post- Mothers Day is just over 2 weeks away! Wait, what?

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Mothership Orchid presentation pot
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Balmy Rustic Trough arrangement

Now I know that I could never replace my beautiful mother, and would not intentionally forget her- but life is busy right? Our Mother’s Day menu is already available for you to peruse. So why wait? Before the panic sets in and before you find yourself short, check out the floral offerings we have for you. In addition to lovely fresh cut flowers, remember that we are able to create gift hampers for mum by adding chocolates, wine, balloons or candles. We have a selection of gorgeous fresh flower bouquets and arrangements in bright colours and pastels, soft feminine blooms, tropical flowers and native flora available for delivery throughout Sydney. We have also included a selection of flowering indoor plants beautifully presented wrapped, or in ceramic containers and stunning vase arrangements. And remember we also offer relay services for anyone who has mum living in out of area, interstate, or overseas.

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Elegance and Grace
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The Tropics
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Gift Vouchers are available for purchase

Can’t decide but want to get organised now? Why not let mum choose her own delights by giving her a gift voucher to use instead- you can choose the amount you want to spend, and then mum can choose how to spend it. This allows mum to buy large arrangements or smaller market fresh bunches to fill vases around her home when it suits.

As always, our friendly team is on standby should you need to discuss any special requests in store or on the phone  02 9871 1666

Fwf x



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The Red ‘Flanders’ Poppy

For any date of significance when it comes to war, an image of a red poppy has been firmly etched on my brain. Stunningly vibrant, and richly red, the poppy is a symbol of remembrance.

The Red Poppy is also known as the Flanders Poppy, and was first described as the flower of remembrance by Canadian Colonel John McCrae. McCrae composed a poem scrawled on a page of his book while in charge of a small first-aid post, which has since become famously known as “Flanders’ Field”. The poem describes the graves of the fallen soldiers simply marked by red poppies.

For Aussies, Red poppies have special significance as they were the first flower to bloom throughout the battlefields after the First World War, in northern France and Belgium. It was believed that the vivid red of the poppy had come from the blood of their comrades soaking the ground.

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Image: PNEPS Visual Arts.

Poppies are generally available in Australia throughout the middle of the year, around July and August. They have a crepe paper texture, and soft stems, so are quite delicate. They are often scolded on the base of their stems, and are best kept in low levels of water, which is said to encourage the poppies to ‘stretch’ and therefore allow more of the blooms to pop open rather than deteriorating.

ANZAC Day service at the National War Memorial Wellington.
Image: Forster Anglican ANZAC Day service at the National War Memorial Wellington.

A.N.Z.A.C (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp) Day falls on April 25 each year and commemorates the day that Australian and New Zealand troops rallied together with other allies in an attempt to capture the Gallipoli peninsula. As we know, it was not meant to be, and upon landing on Gallipoli that were met with fierce resistance, and were embattled for 8 months. When the allied forces were finally evacuated in 1915, both sides had suffered great loss in human life,  and endured immense hardships. Every April 25th, Australians remember the huge sacrifice the ANZACs made. Although the mission they set out to accomplish at Gallipoli failed, the ANZAC spirit triumphed and would be forever remembered.

Fresh poppies are a pretty tall order at this time of year so you will notice that often artificial blooms adorn the wreaths laid at the memorials. But interestingly, you will rarely see them substituted by any other bloom in their place on the traditional laurel leaf wreath.

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Image: Eternity News

Cloth red poppies are sold by the RSL to fund raise for their welfare activities. They are an exact replica in terms of size and colour of the Flanders Poppy that was found in the battlefields following the WW1.

If you are unable to get your hands on a fresh, artificial or cloth red poppy for ANZAC day this year, Rosemary is also a symbol of remembrance and is readily available.  Rosemary grew wild on the Gallipoli peninsula, so has a special significance for ANZAC day. Rosemary is also said to improve one’s memory.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Fwf x



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The Long Weekend DIY List

There is nothing like a long weekend to inspire a long list of DIY projects, am I right? I personally decided to take on a cosmetic lift on our ensuite. Full of enthusiasm, I removed plastic accessories that were the height of fashion back in the late 90s when they were originally installed, gave it a lick of paint, and replaced the handles on the vanity to bring it into today.

With 4 full days off, many people seem to have the same idea, and get inspired to tackle projects around the home that they just can’t seem to find time for ordinarily. Maybe it is getting into the garden, or spring (autumn) cleaning, maybe you decide to reorganise the furniture. Whatever the case, a long weekend, gives you an opportunity to concentrate on the task at hand with less distraction.

Here are 5 DIY projects you could set your mind to this weekend that will add atmosphere, relaxation and entertainment to your home.

1. Vegie Garden

If you want to get a head start on your garden this weekend, this is certainly the way to go. Did you know that some vegetables can regrow from a small scrap? YEP! OMG, talk about a game changer. Not only will this give you a head start, it is cheap too. Buy your vegies once, and regrow them for a lifetime.  The best method is to place the scrap in a small amount of water for the growth to begin, but once it gets going, it should be transplanted into the earth for full growth. This can be done with many of the common vegetables and herbs you will have in  your home such as celery, lettuce varieties, cabbage, lemon grass, green spring onions, leeks, garlic chives, buk choy and fennel. For me, this makes incredible sense particularly for celery and lettuce. I find that I tend to cook more casserole/stew style meals for the family in the cooler months, and often the base of the sauce starts with celery. But I honestly find it hard to warrant buying a bunch of celery, when all I really need is one stalk.

Celery stalks should be trimmed them placed in a shallow bowl or saucer of water. And miraculously, new growth will begin to sprout from the centre. A similar technique can be used with lettuce; Cos Lettuce works particularly well with this technique. After the plants begin sprouting you can plant them in your garden and be well on your way to harvest!

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Image; Google

2. Create your own Budget Firepit

Firepits seem to be the latest rage- and they are not cheap to buy. But creating your own budget version can be fun and rewarding. When the lights are low, and the fires burning, it ain’t really going to matter if you took out a small loan for your firepit, or made it with your own two hands. For the full tutorial head to A Beautiful Mess.

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Image; A Beautiful Mess

3. Bird Feeder

Attracting bird life requires very little effort but can be interesting and rewarding.  Each and every home potentially will attract its own unique birdlife. This cute teacup bird feeder is utterly charming and can be customised by choosing a colour concept that will suit your home, or better yet, put those odds and sods to better use!

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Image via Bite Sized Biggie

4. Create a Succulent Ball

Drought resistant plants are generally easier to care for, so this succulent ball makes a great project for just about anyone. They can spruce up an indoor or outdoor empty space, suspended from the ceiling. Try pairing 2 together at different heights for some added interest, or if space allows it try a cluster of three in different sizes.

By choosing a variety of succulents you till be able to create interest with colour and texture. If you feel creative, you could spray paint the wire cage before you begin to match an existing colour scheme. I think a bronze/copper or deep aubergine/chocolate frame would look amazing teamed with similarly coloured succulents 😍

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Image; Drought Smart

5. Garden Bench

There is nothing better than having a quiet space somewhere at home where you can sit, have a cuppa, contemplate and reflect. The garden is an ideal place and this garden bench will provide the perfect spot to sit. Made from Cement blocks and wood, this easily constructed piece of garden furniture will be the perfect project to undertake this weekend.

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Image; Bees and Roses

Whether you have a luxurious escape somewhere planned this weekend,  or are going to get busy around your home, we wish you all a very Happy Easter break.

And, if you are getting on to the crazy roads throughout Sydney or the rest of the country, be safe.

Fwf x

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Bee- autiful!

We all know bigger is not necessarily better, but isn’t it amazing how tiny little things can wield immense power?

Life as we know it, would cease to exist. The fruit that we are accustomed to eating, would no longer be an option, some animals would even become extinct, and flowering plants would also see a sad decline. And why? Because of tiny buzzing BEES.

Bees play a vital role in life here on earth. Pollinating insects, but particularly bees, play a integral role in agriculture. It is not simply the honey they produce, but instead, their role in the pollination of many flowering and fruit/food producing plant crops. Bees are responsible for 80% of all pollination worldwide- that is HUGE!

Have you ever heard the interesting fact that a Bee is responsible for 1 in every 3 bites of food you have? Up to 70 out of the top 100 food crops for human consumption are pollinated by bees. While grains are primarily pollinated by the wind, fruits, nuts and vegetables are pollinated by bees. No other single animal species has such an integral role in producing food crops that our vital to our (human) survival.  Bee The Cure sees the issue as paramount stating “No bees = no life”.

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Since 2006 honeybee populations have been suffering massive declines in numbers. This loss has been referred to as the Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and has become an urgent crisis.

“Mankind will not survive the honeybees’ disappearance for more than five years.” 

Albert Einstein

Oh My Goodness!!! I always say this!! "When the bees are gone, we're screwed":
Source: Tumblr enigmatic-poeticism, via explosionsoflife

What is killing the Bees?

Despite their claims of innocence, studies show that chemicals such as pesticides and fungicides play a key role in the bee population decline. The pesticides have been found in the pollen, sometimes at lethal doses, used to pollinate food crops. Bees that are in contact with pollen contaminated by these poisons are also more likely to be infected by a parasite that is also contributing to the CCD.

The common and easily accessible gardening products such as “Round Up” weed killer and “Confidor” insecticides have been proven to harm bees. The active ingredient in these products, Glyphosate has been banned in several countries for being carcinogenic.

Other factors that are having a devastating effect on the Bee population are; drought, habitat destruction, nutrition deficiencies, air pollution, global warming and more. Money hungry corporations determined to feed the world genetically modified food are putting us all in a precarious position. By promoting ecological farming, we can start to improve pollination, which in turn improves crop yields. Ecological farming is nothing new, it is the way humans have farmed throughout history, however as corporation squeeze more money out of every acre of farms, a change has seen some businesses turn to mono farming.

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It seems first world countries are often the one’s who are backwards in our thinking. Bhutan is leading the world by committing to a 100% organic farming policy and Mexico has banned all GMO Corn varieties in a bid to protect its native corn. Hungary burned 1000 acres of corn after  it was found to have become contaminated with GMO varieties, and parts of Europe have banned GMO crops altogther. China is importing Australian honey as their bees (and therefore their honey) have become contaminated.We send our finest honey overseas, and continue to buy honey from big supermarket brands using foreign bees and honey which are contaminated.

So, what can we do to help the Bees?

  • Plant your garden with species that will encourage bees to come visit!
  • Until a National/Worldwide ban is enforced, boycott using the seven most dangerous pesticides in your own home gardens. They have been found to be carcinogenic so it is beneficial for your own health too!
  • Buy REAL honey from farmers markets. Big brands that you find on the supermarket shelves tend to use foreign bees and honey which are contaminated.
  • Preserve the Bees wild habitat- this will promote pollinator health.
  • Promote Ecological Farming- do not buy Genetically Modified food.

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Bee Kind, Bee Careful, Bee Proactive, Bee Ware

Fwf x





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