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Summer Rain

You’d have to be blind not to see that something is going on with the weather…. And not just this year, for years things have been changing. This winter has been one of the driest on record, and if you have a look around you, you could be forgiven for thinking that grass was supposed to be brown. I mean, it’s the norm now right?

So whilst we have all been praying for rain for the last few months, experts believe our wish is about to be granted….in a much bigger way perhaps than we had intended. At this stage BoM suggests there is approximately a 50% chance of this weather event becoming a reality, however this is DOUBLE the normal risk.

What weather event am I referring to?

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) are currently on La Nina watch. La Nina, or “the little girl” is the positive phase of the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) and occurs less often than El Nino’s or “the little boy”. It brings about heavy rainfall in Northern and Eastern Australia, and cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.  El Nino’s effect, on the other hand, is that Australia’s weather conditions become drier than normal.

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Photo: AFP/Queensland Police Service

For all us lucky ones who live on the East coast, La Nina threatens to wash out our summer; bringing heavy rainfall, flooding, and even the possibility of cyclones.

Over the last couple of weeks, Queensland regions have already suffered through some torrential rain, severe thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes and flooding. The Authorities from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries are still assessing the situation, however it is set to spill into millions of dollars worth of damage. Some areas are still cut off due to flood waters. Dr Watkins, manager of climate prediction service at BoM told Fairfax Media that La Nina’s were usually evident from autumn or winter, unlike this year: “It’s quite unusual to be so late in the year.”

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On the upside all this talk of rain is easing the threat of a potentially devastating bushfire season but it is important not to become complacent. After an incredibly dry winter,  there is plenty of fire fuel, the soil is dry, and any rain that we have, quickly evaporates with the soaring temperatures. “With continuing high temperatures, dry soils and drying out vegetation, the fire risk is still quite high. We will need to assess that as we go through the event.” Dr Watkins continued.

What does this all mean for the flower industry? Well…we all know that we need rain for things to grow, but believe it or not, too much rain can spoil all the beauties in the garden. As we are now in peak wedding season, heavy rainfall threatens to damage any varieties that are grown outside such as many garden variety roses. However rainfall can damage sheltered stock when the flowers begin to form mildew. This is most obvious on the outer petals, but unfortunately the whole bloom can begin to rot from within. Garden roses like David Austin roses can often show the effect of rainfall.

In the past whole crops have been known to be destroyed by heavy rainfall or hail. Obviously this will influence prices in the marketplace- as the supply declines, but the demand remains the same, prices will soar.

High temperatures also influence the vase life of flowers. Be sure to keep vases of fresh cut flowers away from direct sunlight and draughts. Clean the vase and change the water regularly. Remove spent flowers as ethylene emitted from deteriorating flowers  will cause new blooms to age more quickly.

Throughout the warmer months choose your cut flowers wisely. For longevity Native and Tropical blooms are best- they are made for this weather.  English garden flowers will struggle to last in the hot and humid conditions, so be mindful that as gorgeous as they are, they will only be enjoyed for short periods.

Choose wisely flower lovers 🌱🌼🌹🌷🌺🌻 😍

Fwf x



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Sweet Baby’s Breath

When I started my career in floristry many moons ago, I watched my mentors cringe at the mention of many flowers that I had grown up admiring throughout the 80’s and 90’s. I was new to the industry and of course I was wide eyed and so easily impressed by the artistry that seemed so effortless to them. I was also easily influenced and quickly learnt how to turn my nose up too.

They knew what colours worked together, so while I fumbled through the flower stand daily ‘experimenting’ with different combinations, or following the rules I had learnt via TAFE, they were busy creating colour schemes which were far more sophisticated, and upon first looks, appeared to break all the rules I had been adhering to.

There were blooms that were favoured- premium type blooms that need not beg for attention….as soon as they were unpacked there was a fight on to see who could gobble them up the quickest. The divine garden roses, or peonies were among them, along with anything especially seasonal like daphne, lilac, or lily of the valley, or if something was a particularly unique colour, or especially beautiful quality.

Other flowers were unpacked with an air of distaste and dissatisfaction….flowers that were seen as outdated, or daggy, out of fashion and lacking the finesse that was required in the work we were aiming to create. For someone new to the industry I sometimes couldn’t follow why something was snarled at one week, and adored the next. As time went on and I gained experience in the industry I began to understand how rapidly fashions changed and also how if a beautiful version of something came in, the way it was viewed changed too. What do I mean? Run of the mill Baby’s Breath is a prime example. The standard bunches can look rather ratty BUT a premium variety Gyposophila like ‘Million Stars’ has many more tiny flowers closer together then regular babies breath. The result is that with so many more tiny white blooms along the stems, it looks brighter and seems fuller in appearance.

Baby’s breath lost favour for so many years, but has seen a rise in popularity in recent times. These days though, Baby’s Breath is being used as a feature flower rather than a filler flower being mixed with other flowers in arrangements. Now, premium varieties of the flower are used alone.

Baby’s Breath is soft, delicate, feminine, light weight, white….so it is no surprise that it makes an ideal wedding flower. As it is available with long stems which are branched in appearance, you are able to create wide spread arrangements that are light weight to hold. Large centrepiece arrangements can look impressive, yet still delicate and ‘floaty’, almost cloud-like in appearance.

Baby’s Breath has been a popular addition to weddings over the years, usually with other flowers, but check out the way you can use this simple bloom for weddings and event all alone.

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Image via Pinterest
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Image; Flowers by Twisted Willow via Wedding Chicks

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Image; Whimsical Wonderland Weddings
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Tall centrepieces by Maria from Simply Flowers
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Image; Bella Blooms Studio via Etsy
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Image; Elle Pupa via The Wedding Pin
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Image; Boho Weddings via Thinkstock
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Image; Pinterest
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Image; Brooke Courtney via My Wedding

When I began my training, I was told that anyone could make something look beautiful with amazing flowers, but it took someone truly talented to make something beautiful out of ‘ugly’ ingredients. Never underestimate what a good florist can do….

Fwf x

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Random Floral Acts of Kindness

Have you heard of people doing random acts of kindness or paying it forward? For many, a small, random act spurs them on in a way they had never considered before, and I’ve got to say, it certainly seems like a lovely change from the incredibly selfish and self centred lives we live in the world today. Some have been delighted when they go to pay a restaurant bill only to find another patron has already taken care of it. Perhaps the person in front of you in the coffee line has paid for your order before you have made it. You are really only limited by your imagination….and your wallet 😜

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Lonely Bouquet by Fleuropean

In 2015, Petal It Forward began; an initiative started by the Society of American Florists. The idea was to brighten someone’s day with a random act of kindness, receiving a bouquet of flowers. This year, 2 years on, the event took place on Wednesday 11th October, covering 50 states, and over 300 cities according to the website.

During the event, lucky recipients received two bouquets- one for themselves and one to give away or ‘petal forward’. And anyone could be lucky enough- the bouquets are given randomly to people walking along the street, doing their groceries or playing in the park.

“It lets people know how much flowers can make a difference in someone’s day,” Linda Hursa from Angel’s Trumpet Flowers and Gifts said.

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A lonely bouquet

And these guys aren’t alone; there are others creating positive karma all over the world. The Lonely Bouquet allows flower lovers, and do-gooders alike to create a bouquet that they ‘abandon’ somewhere. This lonely bouquet could be left anywhere; a park bench, a library, even at a bus stop…somewhere it will be found with a simple note explaining it’s intent.

The original concept could be lost amidst a treasure hunt of sorts if you openly advertise where you place them, so the best idea (I think) is to simply abandon the bunch somewhere where it will be found and enjoyed. Add a small note to the bunch with whatever sentiment you like- but basically the idea is that your good deed will be enjoyed so much that it will inspire the recipient to go ahead and do the same.

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Lonely Bouquet Note

Florists have been doing a version of this for years- taking the leftover blooms from events and turning them into lovely box arrangements or posies and delivering them to retirement villages and nursing homes to bring a bit of joy.

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Via Upworthy -Repeat Roses was born when owner Grove decided that there had to be a better use for the arrangements that were simply being thrown away after a wedding. Now, they are rearranged into beautiful displays for the elderly to enjoy.

There have been several recent studies by Rutgers and Harvard that show that flowers have a profoundly positive effect on a person’s sense of well being. Flowers have been shown to improve your mood- ask any florist! 76% of people agree that having flowers around you in your home or office positively affects the mood. The SAF also conducted their own study that showed that 88% of people who were given flowers felt happier, and 80% of people receiving flowers felt happier. So based on figures like that, this whole concept really sounds like a recipe for success doesn’t it!!??

Flowers are often given at sad times, in the face of tragedy, and for this reason alone, the concept of being given flowers for no reason at all is beautiful. 92% of women think that getting flowers ‘just because’ is the best reason EVER, and 75% of men agree! We have gorgeous fresh flower arrangements and bouquets for all occasions, including “just because”. Or if you fancy doing your own random act of kindness we have beautiful bunches of market fresh flowers available everyday. Why not spread a little love today…

Fwf x

Feature image: fleuropean




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It’s Never Too Late To CREATE!

“Creativity is intelligence having fun”Albert Einstein

Some people are street smart, others are book smart, and some other people are smart in a way that many are envious of…they are creative. Creative people have a unique way of looking at the world, and at looking at problems….coming up with solutions that others could not contemplate.

A 91 year old Czech woman has spent the last 30 odd years beautifying a small village, turning it into her own art gallery by hand painting flowers over the facade of the houses. It looks like Louka, a small town of only about 70 people in the Czech Republic, is set to become the next village famous simply for being charming and beautiful. Anežka (Agnes) Kašpárková, paints the window and door frames of the houses throughout spring and summer, slowly covering her hometown in her ultramarine designs. After working for years in agriculture, cultivating plants to support her family,  Agnes turned to painting about 30 years ago having being mentored by Manakova, a local women. When she passed away Agnes decided to continue her work. She uses bright blue paints which contrast the white walls of the Moravian homes. Creating intricate designs free hand, without drafting, her inspiration is from the traditional Southern Czech (Moravian) artworks. The chapel enjoys an annual touch up each May, when the artist spends 10 days decorating the freshly whitewashed chapel walls.

Why does she do it? “I am an Artist. I just enjoy it and I want to help.” Agnes says. “I’m just doing what I like,” she adds, humbly. “I try to help decorate the world a bit.”

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Image by Obec Louka via Bored Panda
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Image by Obec Louka via Bored Panda. Agnes seen here painstakingly painting the floral motifs
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Image by Obec Louka via Bored Panda. “I am an Artist. I just enjoy it and I want to help.”

It is not the first time something like this has been done….do you remember the little Polish village that is also adorned with flowers?

Zalipie, in Poland was just an isolated small town; bleak and somewhat forgotten. The smoke blackened huts of the village provided the local housewives with the appropriate inspiration. Initially, the women began painting the houses to disguise the black and sooty scars left by the smoke filtering out from the stoves. The women would hide the spots of soot within the intricate flower designs; a unique floral motif designed for each house, therein transforming the village into a kaleidoscope of colour and creativity. Gradually the designs began to make their way onto the outside of the houses, allowing the world to see the colour and intricacies. The quaint village has now become one of southern Poland’s best kept treasures, bringing visitors to the once quiet town.

As modern cooking methods improved, the need for these designs was lost however the town has kept them and continued to adorn any structure they can with the colourful designs; houses, bridges, chicken coop….there are no limits.

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Zalipie, Poland- a quaint village adorned with unique floral motifs designed and executed by the town’s housewives
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Image; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland
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Intricate designs. Just look at the detail in each of the flowers and leaves. Image ; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland

Beautifying the world around you brings a sense of calm and contentment. But more than that, Agnes reminds us that it is never too late to do something that you love, and be guided by the creativity within.

Not everyone has the option of painting a whole village, but a vaseful of fresh cut flowers or a lush indoor plant can beautify your little world. Check out what we have online via the links, or come in store to say ‘Hi’.

Fwf x

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