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The Garden City’s Carnival of Flowers

Last Friday Toowoomba’s Carnival of Flowers opened. Toowoomba, which is affectionately known as The Garden City, is a city in the Darling Downs region of Queensland, on the crest of the Great Dividing Range. It is known for the Cobb & Co Museum, with its horse-drawn carriages and it’s annual flower festival. The Carnival of flowers attracts large crowds through the regional town during this period to pay witness to the spectacular garden displays made up of 176, 030 seedlings, the plant society exhibitions and much, much more.

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Margaret Street adorned with flowers
Margaret Street adorned with flowers In the streets and

This was my first visit to Toowoomba’s Carnival of Flowers. I have always enjoyed the Spring festivals throughout Sydney’s CBD and in Canberra so when a new friend found out I was florist, and suggested I check it out….I did.

On Wednesday I made the drive from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to Toowoomba and set up our base directly across the road from Queens Park, a central attraction within the Carnival. Sadly, if I had made it here over the opening weekend, I am told that a full Carnival of rides and show bags would have greeted me,  however by the time I arrived, only the evidence of stalls and arenas remained. Nevertheless, the spirit of the carnival spilled out throughout the town with gorgeous displays sprinkled everywhere. Ergon Energy also created a new event this year which we enjoyed in central Queen’s Park, a light display and art installation enjoyed after dark.

Margaret Street adorned with flowers
Margaret Street adorned with flowers

Queens Park, is a heritage listed open park space that sits adjacent to Toowoomba’s Botanic Gardens, arranged in a L shape between Margaret Street, Lindsay Street and Hume Street. The Botanic Gardens are a more formal manicured space, where a large portion of the Carnival’s displays are set up.A large Ferris Wheel is in situ, allowing you to view the gorgeous garden displays from the best vantage point.

Queens Park entrance, Hume Street side
Queens Park entrance, Hume Street side

 

Queens Park central display from viewing platform
Queens Park central display from viewing platform
Queens Park central display with urban elements
Queens Park central display with urban elements
Queens Park major display
Queens Park major display
Carnival of Flowers, Toowoomba used more than 176,000 seedlings
Carnival of Flowers, Toowoomba used more than 176,000 seedlings
Toowoomba's Botanic Gardens includes some formal gardens
Toowoomba’s Botanic Gardens includes some formal gardens
Toowoomba's Botanic Gardens includes some formal gardens
TCOF Garden beds in Queens Park
Gardens were planted in interesting shapes and patterns which were spectacular to view from the ferris wheel
Gardens were planted in interesting shapes and patterns which were spectacular to view from the ferris wheel
Good old favourites like pansies, and snap dragons featured throughout the carnival
Good old favourites like pansies, and snap dragons featured throughout the carnival
Colours were blocked throughout the Carnival of Flowers making displays even more spectacular from the Ferris wheel.
Colours were blocked throughout the Carnival of Flowers making displays even more spectacular from the Ferris wheel.
Toowoomba's carnival of flowers used more than 176,000 seedlings
Toowoomba’s carnival of flowers used more than 176,000 seedlings

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Another key area within the Carnival is Laurel Bank Park, a gorgeous manicured park space within the CBD complete with a playground for the kids, carefully cut topiary trees, a edible garden, and a Japanese themed garden as well. The manicured ‘Thomas’ train topiary is a great hit with kids.

We only had a couple of days at the Carnival and we were kept very busy. You could certainly spend a several days here looking around and enjoying the gorgeous town. There are various walking tours on offer and a free shuttle bus available to take you from Park to Park. The Carnival ends on September 30th, so if you can’t make it there this year, may I suggest you add it to your bucket list, you won’t regret it.

Enjoy the pictures 🌸🌹🌼🌿🌺🌷🌻🌴

Fwf x

Laurel Bank Park features carefully cut topiary trees in various shapes
Laurel Bank Park features carefully cut topiary trees in various shapes
Laurel Bank Park's Thomas topiary
Laurel Bank Park’s Thomas topiary

Laurel Bank Park, Toowoomba

Japanese Garden, Laurel Bank Park
Japanese Garden, Laurel Bank Park
Laurel Bank Park, Toowoomba during the Carnival of Flowers, 2018
Laurel Bank Park, Toowoomba during the Carnival of Flowers, 2018
Lawn mower topiary, Laurel Bank Park
Lawn mower topiary, Laurel Bank Park
Sydney's Opera House topiary, Laurel Bank Park, Toowoomba
Sydney’s Opera House topiary, Laurel Bank Park, Toowoomba
Gardens outside of the Croquet Club at Laurel Bank Park, Toowoomba
Gardens outside of the Croquet Club at Laurel Bank Park, Toowoomba
Laurel Bank Park, is a key area in Toowoomba's Carnival of Flowers
Laurel Bank Park, is a key area in Toowoomba’s Carnival of Flowers
A variety of topiary line the Space at Laurel Bank, Toowoomba
A variety of topiary line the Space at Laurel Bank, Toowoomba

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Image of new baby flower - Baby Girl Box of flowers with Soft Toy and Balloon

New Baby Flowers and Other Gift Suggestions for Mother and Newborn

Celebrate the arrival of a newborn baby by sending a dainty baby bouquet to the newborn baby’s Sydney home. There is nothing more precious nor magical than bringing new life into the world. Show your appreciation for a new mother by buying new baby flowers and having it delivered at home or to the hospital. Surely, the aches and pains of labour will be relieved once new mothers see new baby flowers and gifts from family and friends.

 

New Baby Flowers and Excellent Gift Ideas for Mothers and Newborns

 

If you are going to visit a friend or relative who just gave birth, here are a few things that you should always remember to bring along with you.

 

 

  • Buy new baby flowers

 

 

Nothing shows appreciation and love than bringing flowers during your visit. If you know the gender of the newborn, you can match the flowers accordingly. A fresh bouquet of scented white lilies and pink roses are ideal if you are going to see a newborn baby girl. On the other hand, you can bring a flower arrangement consisting of blue agapanthus, white roses and eustoma for a newborn boy.

 

In case you don’t know the gender of the newborn, you can opt for flower bouquets with neutral colours such as white roses and scented bouvardia.

 

 

  • Sweets are always welcome

 

 

Additional gifts that you can bring along with baby flowers are chocolates and sweets. Make sure to wrap them in dainty boxes for a more elegant look.

 

 

  • Teddy bears and toys for the newborn

 

 

Bringing new baby flowers and gifts is always an exciting activity. You want to see the smile on the face of the mother as well as hear the cooing of her newborn. Gifting the beautiful pair with a teddy bear and newborn toys is a thoughtful gesture. In this way, mothers can start building a collection of toys that her newborn will start playing in the next few months of his and her life.

Now that we have provided some excellent new baby flowers and gift suggestions, go and get some by clicking here. You may also call us on 02 9871 1666 to order.

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image of an artificial wedding flower arrangement

Is That Faux Real???

It’s Spring, so for the floral world that means that there is an abundance of gorgeous fresh flowers. Spring also marks the start of wedding season; and whilst you can get married at any time of year, the busiest time for nuptials generally spans from September through til March.

Especially popular wedding blooms such as garden roses, David Austin roses, Peonies, Lily of the Valley, Lilac and Hydrangea can be temperamental blooms, and as they are often grown outdoors, and influenced by the weather,  sometimes a contingency plan is best to discuss long before the wedding day to make sure everyone is on the same page.

That contingency plan will differ between clients, what flowers that have chosen, and what their expectations are. For some, a simple tweak is all that will be required. For example, let’s say you had a pale blush pink and white wedding bouquet ordered, made up from a combination of white Peonies and pale pink David Austin roses, with mid pink lisianthus and white lilac. As the wedding day approaches, the growers communicate that they are unable to supply white Peonies or pink David Austins Due to various issues. Provided that the bouquet can still be made in the colour blend discussed, and in the right combination to give you the ideal colour weighting, swapping a white peony for a pale pink one, and a pink rose for a white rose, may be a relatively easy fix.

Sometimes however, quite a different approach may be required…So today, my question is: If you had your heart set on a particular combination of blooms for your wedding bouquet, would you consider using some artificial or ‘silk’ blooms to achieve the look?

Image of Fresh hydrangea arrangement
Fresh hydrangea arrangement. Source: Veranda
Image of Artificial hydrangea arrangement
Artificial hydrangea arrangement. Source: Lavender Hills Interiors

Some years ago….in maybe 2008, shock jock Kyle Sandilands married aspiring pop star Tamara Jaber in an extravagant affair. From memory, her bouquets contained clusters of artificial Hydrangea, intricately woven between the other featured fresh blooms. Hydrangea is one of those flowers that is extremely popular, but can be extremely delicate in our Australian weather. In a hot and dry environment, it is quite possible to dry hydrangea, and for it retain most of its colour. The problem is often our weather is humid, and therefore the hydrangea can not dry, but rather wilts leaving the blooms shrivelled, soft and unrecognisable. Hydrangea requires a lot of water and therefore can be a tricky bloom to work with particularly in summer.

Image of Artificial peonies in a vase
Artificial peonies in a vase. Source Wilmington NC Beer Week
Image of Fresh peonies in a vase
Fresh peonies in a vase. Source:

Another bloom which is extremely popular for weddings is the gorgeous peony. Peonies usually have a local season of about 6 -8 weeks. Peony lovers will know that the bloom starts out as a round ball, pretty much unrecognisable as a peony. Slowly the petals unravel revealing a fluffy, ruffle of frilly petals. As you can appreciate, florists buy fresh flowers in advance for weddings so that they are at the ideal stage of development for the wedding. But, if they are not ready to be cut when you need them, there is little sense cutting a bunch of blooms, which when cut prematurely, will never open. Would you consider the silk equivalent?

Image of Fresh frangipani blooms
Fresh Frangipanis. Source; Homes to Love
Image of an Artificial frangipani
Artificial frangipani. Source: Amazon

Or what about Frangipanis? I suppose you think it would be easy enough just to pick them from some random tree and whip up a bouquet with a luscious summery scent. Frangipanis have to be picked very early in the morning before the sun has really warmed them up or you risk them all browning and wilting. Frangipani blooms are short and closely clustered together. To use them, each flower must be carefully removed and individually wired to create an artificial stem. When flowers are used in this way, they are removed from their water source, and therefore this must be done as close as possible to the time when the bouquets will be used. For this reason, some florists will decline taking on work that requires fresh Frangipanis, or will suggest using artificial or latex versions of the bloom. The clear downside in this case is that artificial blooms will not have the sedeuctive fragrance that Frangipanis are so famous for.

For me, an artificial substitute just will not do if I have to forgo what I love most about a bloom, like it’s fragrance. BUT, I do think that sometimes small quantities of artificial flowers carefully used in combination with some fresh blooms can be a great back up plan when needed….how about you?

Fwf x

 

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Image of birthday flower arrangement - Sunny Box Arrangement

Birthday Flowers Ideas for the Special People in your Life

If friends, family or loved ones are celebrating their birthday soon, you may be thinking of ways on how to give them a present without spending a fortune. The good news is that sending birthday flowers is a sweet and affordable way of greeting birthday celebrants on their very special day.

 

The best type of birthday flowers in Sydney for Important People in your Life

 

If you have decided to gift flowers for birthdays, it is only right to know that certain flowers are suited to be given to different people. You need to assess and identify the role of a person before ordering birthday flowers to be delivered to a recipient.

 

For instance, if you are going to send flowers to family and relatives, you may want to check out these bright and colourful flower recommendations:

 

  • Daisies
  • Tulips
  • Wildflowers
  • Lilies

 

The colour of the birthday flower will depend on the gender of the birthday celebrant. For instance, if you are about to send flowers to your 90-year old grandmother, white or pink tulips will look beautiful and will be highly appreciated by her.

 

For your sister, you may want to give a bouquet of wildflowers in different hues.

 

  • You may also send birthday flowers as gifts for men. Rustic native flower bouquets and arrangements are highly recommended for men who are about to celebrate their birthday soon. Here are some flowers that florists may suggest when sending out birthday flowers for men:

 

  • Blue Iris
  • White or red tulips
  • Heliconia
  • Orchids

 

You may also opt to have small, bonsai trees to be sent out instead of flowers. Bonsai trees and their minimalistic beauty are inspiring and will surely be appreciated by male birthday recipients.

These brilliant birthday flower ideas will surely make the day of your loved one. Give us a call on 02 9871 1666 to request for a quote. Visit our wide array of flower arrangements and gifts for birthdays and other special occasions.

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All Hail The Queen of Flowers

Being a mum of two young girls, hairstyling is something I have had to get good at, quick 💇🏼 But, I’ve come to the realisation this week, that I am still reinventing the same tired old hairstyles that I grew up with, and really I have to lift my game. It used to be enough to add a couple of cute clips, or a ribbon. Hell, a hair circlet was reserved for a christening, or confirmation, or wedding….some sort of special occasion. These days, flower crowns are becoming almost commonplace, and it appears that a head literally FULL of flowers is what is hot right now.

What has inspired the new look? Queen Bey, of course.

Queen Bey in her full floral headdress

Beyoncé’s September Vogue cover pictured her wearing a full floral headpiece that was as high as it was wide. Created by inspired London based floral designer, Rebel Rebel, the over the top head piece looked as though she had literally gathered the entire field of flowers on top of her head. Another headpiece created for the shoot was filled with an enormous amount of luscious green leaves, textured elements and lush tropical blooms.

Vogue cover
Photo by Tyler Mitchell, Vogue, Sept 2018
Beyoncé floral headpiece
Photo by Tyler Mitchell, Vogue, Sept 2018

The UK version of the magazine featured Rhianna on the cover also adorned with a full floral piece. So, given that the September issue is the most important issue of the year for the fashion magazine, it appears that flowers are going to be HUGE for the year ahead.

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As is often the case with Beyoncé, this trend has kicked into overdrive. Taylor R (@iamtay_tay) says she was inspired by Beyoncé’s floral head fashion, and so set about creating her own user friendly version that she has shared with the world via You Tube. Her unique ‘up style’ reduces the weight and heat of a full floral piece making the trend more accessible for ordinary people to incorporate everyday 😂

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The floral industry has seen designs like the living card come and go, so why not a living vase? While as a creative I appreciate someone thinking outside the box, I have to be honest and say I am just not convinced that this flower vase hair is going to take off.

Still, we are totally willing and able to create. gorgeous arrangement for you should you wish to experiment with this new look for your next party, exhibition…or just a day at the office 😉 Because, after all you should never let someone else’s opinion become your reality….you only get one life to live, have fun with it!

Fwf x

 

 

 

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image of Flowers for Christmas - Joyful Hotbox

How to Shop for Christmas Flowers Online

Sending Christmas flower arrangements is one of the best ways to wish friends and family a Merry Christmas. Beautiful Christmas flowers are hard to say no to, especially when they are arranged skillfully by expert florists. Giving out native bouquet Christmas flowers symbolises the spirit of giving that we all strive to show our loved ones. In addition, having Christmas flowers and plants delivered to people who are dear and near to your heart is an inexpensive but thoughtful way of showing their value in your life.

 

In this article, we will discuss some of the most common Christmas flowers and plants ideas that you can use when making your list of Christmas gifts:

 

  • The Poinsettia plant Christmas flowers are some of the most iconic symbols of the Yuletide Season. If you’re planning on sending poinsettia to Sydney-based friends and family, make sure to provide them with thoughtful tips and reminders on how to keep them for a longer time, and even have them blossom next year!
  • Christmas cactus is fast becoming a favorite giveaway for Christmas. Ideally, these flowers should be placed on a clay pot for that extra classic and rusty appeal.
  • Rosemary is yet another favorite among the Christmas flowers and plants. Due to their pyramid shape, small Rosemary plants resemble traditional Christmas trees. They are ideally placed on countertops, the kitchen and in spaces that need a boost of freshness.
  • Hydrangeas are colourful and vibrant flowers that amplify the energetic and lively mood of the holidays. As Hydrangeas come in various colour patterns, you may either order one-colour hydrangeas bouquet or go wildly beautiful with hydrangeas in various hues.
  • Sending out red roses should not be limited to Valentine’s Day only. To make them more festive and wholesome, you should cut the stem shorter and combine it with Yuletide elements such as pine cones. By adding these items, your roses will look even more festive.

If you want to know more about Christmas plants and flowers that you should be ordering during the Holidays season, click here to check our menu of services or call us on 02 8871 1666.

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Colour Your Life- Coral

I have always been a fan of the colour people refer to as coral. It’s one of those hard colours for people to understand I suppose. It often gets confused with peach, or apricot, salmon and even watermelon? For me, the colour conjours up images of all sorts of beauty; stunning sunsets, mixed bunches of poppies, flamingoes standing in crystal clear waters, coral reefs waiting to be discovered, punchy nail polish colours and more.

The actual word coral is Greek and means ‘daughter of the sea’, an obvious connection to the sea living creature of the same name. Coral is said to support creative energies. Unlike peach, which is a more a soft reddish orange, and unlike apricot which is a pastel yellowish orange, coral tends to be more of a vibrant pinkish orange. This influences what you are able to use the colour with.

Coral works well with other ‘fruity’ colours like peach, apricot and watermelon.

Coral peach apricot and watermelon

You may also like to take inspiration from beautiful sunsets and incorporate misty greys or even mauve or purple tones with your blush tones and coral.

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Combine a bright blue sky with the setting sun, and you will see some strong contrasts. Blues and orange tones work well together if you like complementary colours. Similarly teal works well when teamed with coral and richer red/berry tones. This combination is a great way to tie in vintage crockery too!

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In the flower world we are spoilt for choice with coral coloured blooms. The magic of the coral peony is unmistakable….but seeing is really believing.

Peonies are always held in high regard, but I know that the ‘Coral Charm’ peonies hold a special part of most florist’s hearts. Why? The bloom is an EXTRAORDINARY colour. The large blooms open to unravel a deep, intense shade of coral, as it ages and opens further it begins to fade to peach and finally to a creamy colour , leaving you with an almost lemon toned bloom.

Other flowers available in coral include; roses, fruit blossom sticks, ranunculus, poppies, gerberas, snap dragons, dahlias, gladioli…the list goes on.

So whether you like to use coral as your bright accent colour amongst softer shades, or create a colourful scheme inspired by nature, coral is a wonderfully, fresh and fun tone to include.

It is a great colour tone for summer soirees because it seems light, fun and carefree….but it can lend itself to autumnal affairs if combined with some warm company (Think rust, terracotta, burgundy, Marsala, mustard, chocolate etc.).

And all those gorgeous spring Coral Charm peonies will easily be gobbled up, with or without the addition of crisp whites and light bright greens. Winter weddings needn’t miss out- coral is the perfect way to add vibrancy to lift the mood of richly textured materials and deeper colour tones.

Coral really is versatile

Fwf x

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Source: Nicolette Camille Floral on Instagram
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Coral Dahlia. Source: Jardine Ravec Jean Paul
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Coral Snaps. Source: David’s Garden Seeds and Gardens
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Coral Blossom. Via Pinterest

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