Ants marching suggest rain is coming

Rain, Rain – Go Away, or Stay?

This week we have had armies of black ants marching single file along the length of our verandah… Miss 4 was alarmed and interested as is often the case with inquisitive little people and I told her what I had been told when I was small. Today, I know it to be true from observations. The ants are a sign that rain is coming 🐜🐜🐜🌧🌧🌧

Many believe that a change in ants behaviour can indicate that the weather may also be changing. You may notice that ant mounds begin popping up all over your lawn, or that the mounds that were already there start getting bigger. You may simply observe the armies of ants running. Inevitably they are looking for clean, dry shelter, which sometimes means they come inside. They are searching for food, and water of course, and as they travel, they leave a scent along the path to ensure they will be able to find their way back to the nest once the sun has dried out all the rain. ☀️☀️☀️


The night blooming cactus in flower suggests rain is coming
Source; Bill Lane via ABC
Peruvian Apple cactus has some pretty impressive flowers
Source: Amazon

Similarly, a variety of cactus, found in Central Queensland but originally from Peru, has caught the attention of weather watchers and gardeners as it appears to have weather predicting abilities. It won’t replace the weather reporter anytime soon though, and has now been determined ‘a pest’ and ‘biosecurity risk’.

Earlier in the year, Bill Lane, from Emerald, a thriving rural service centre in the Central Highlands of Queensland, shared a picture of his cactus via social media which flowers before it rains. Well, obviously this sparked amazing interest from other gardeners who wanted to get a cutting of the plant, and see for themselves.

The ‘cereus uruguayanus’ is also known as Willow Cactus, night blooming cereus and the Peruvian Apple Cactus.

Dense crops of the Rain Cactus are throughout the Central Highlands of Queensland
Source: Central Highlands Regional Council
The night blooming cactus is said to predict rain when it flowers
Source: Amazon

But like other species of cactus with delicious fruit that birds enjoy, the thousands of seeds within are spread easily. Cactus are plants that are able to survive in the most arid conditions, where very little else can, so these tough little guys can pop up everywhere, and have been, causing farmers great difficulties. This plant can be devastating for farmers, and many are pleading for people to be mindful of the consequences of sharing this species around.

This particular species has been on the list of priority pests since 2015, and whilst they have had some success with stem injection, physically injecting each plant stem in dense crops proves time consuming.

The willow cactus is a priority pest
Source: Central Highlands Regional Council

This cactus, as pretty as it is, is something we should avoid. These clues from Mother Nature herself may help those (like me) who are struggling to know when to hang the washing out, and when to cut your losses and head straight to the laundromat 😉:

Frogs croaking in the evening suggests rain. The louder the frogs, the more rain. 🐸

Ants build the walls of their anthills steeper when rain is on the way.🐜

Spiders retreat from their webs when rain is imminent. 🕷🕸

Cats clean their ears when rain is coming. 🐈

If there is dew on the grass in the morning, there is unlikely to be rain that day. ⛅️

Cattle lie down in the field when a severe storm is on its way. 🐄

The scent of flowering plants is stronger when rain is coming 🌸

A Halo around the moon at night (caused by the refraction is ice crystals in the upper atmosphere) suggest rain is going to fall within 24 hours. 🌝 🌛

Fwf x

Featured image L Church on Flickr

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Image of a Sympathy Flower Arrangement by Florst with Flowers

The Etiquette of Sending Sympathy Flowers

Sending sympathy flowers to family members of the recently deceased is one way of showing your support, love, and friendship. Truly, there is no easy way to accept the death of family and friends.  Sympathy flowers are a sincere gesture of support for those left behind.


Here are some shopping tips for those who want to order sympathy flowers online but are clueless about flower-sending etiquette.


How to Choose Sympathy Flowers Sydney


In essence, sympathy flowers are arrangements that are sent directly to the bereaved family after the announcement of an individual’s passing. Traditionally, sympathy flowers come with sympathy cards expressing condolences to the family.


Customarily, a bouquet of sympathy flowers should be neutral in colour. Blooms in vibrant shades should be avoided as they are more appropriate for celebratory occasions.


You may also send a sympathy flower arrangement in place of a bouquet. The bereaved family can use the flower arrangement to decorate the service at the funeral home.


Make sure to send sympathy flowers a few days after a person’s death. If you have the time, you can request same day delivery sent to your home, so you can personally hand them when you have the chance to visit the funeral home or the funeral service.


If you want to send the bereaved family something more lasting than flowers, you may also send them sympathy plants instead. Plants can be displayed for months and can serve as a remembrance of a lost beloved.


Choose among the many sympathy flowers bouquets and arrangements here. To place an order, you may also reach us on 02 9871 1666.

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Image of a Birthday Celebration Bouquet by Florist with Flowers

How to Pick the Perfect Birthday Flowers for Family, Friends and Loved Ones

Flowers delivered to someone celebrating a birthday is a sweet and thoughtful way of greeting them on the special occasion. Flowers express pleasant emotions from, “I love you.” to “I remember you.” Most importantly, sending birthday flowers is a sincere gift that can mean the world to the celebrant.


If this is your first time sending birthday flowers or ordering and buying birthday flowers online, here are some helpful tips:

There are specific types of flowers that are meant to celebrate birthdays. In addition, the type of birthday flower to buy online will depend on your relationship with the recipient.


  • For instance, if you are sending out flowers to family members and relatives you may choose to order lilies, daisies, or wildflowers in vibrant colours.
  • If you are sending out flowers to a loved one such as in the case of a girlfriend or wife, red roses certainly convey deep affection and love.


What type of birthday flowers should you give out?


  • Orchids

A pot of blooming orchids looks elegant, to say the least. This bloom essentially symbolises beauty, strength, and love—some qualities that the birthday celebrant also showcases.


  • Roses

Nothing can be more romantic than receiving a bouquet of fresh roses on your birthday. Obviously, red roses symbolise love and deep passion. You may also want to give friends and relatives yellow roses that symbolise joy and friendship. Pink roses are to be sent out as birthday flowers for celebrants that you inspire and admire.


  • Lilies

Lilies are the perfect birthday flowers as they represent happiness, positivity, and new beginnings. This is the perfect flower to send out to women close to you such as your mum, sister, aunt, or grandmother.
Whatever birthday flower you choose to send people on their birthday, make sure to include sincere well wishes to complete your thoughtful gift to them.


Check out our elegant birthday flowers and luscious bouquets here. For enquiries, you may also reach us on 02 9871 1666.

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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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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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Jane+Alex wedding-1642

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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Weeding out the bad wedding trends

The Effects of the Weeding Industry

I know what you are thinking….you think we have made a spelling error title, but I can assure you, it’s not.

The wedding industry is fuelled by fad and fashions, and we as florists are guilty of running with the herd when a trend takes hold, it is a business after all. The question is, are we making short sighted decisions based on profit, perpetuating the problem of glamorising the use of weeds.

What is a weed, anyway?

A weed is generally a term we use to describe ‘a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants’.

The reality is, sadly, many of the plants florists use all over Australia, are restricted plants. A restricted plant is a plant that poses a threat to primary industries, the natural environment, livestock, human health and people’s livelihoods. They are invasive plants that need to be managed to ensure that they do not spread to unaffected areas of the state or country.

Cut flowers are often transported large distances before and after sale. This means that the damage restricted plants poses to the environment, rises substantially and so does the cost to the community and the environment in the greater sense.

Pretty pink pampas grass
Pretty pink Pampas Grass Source: Walmart


Pampas Grass wedding arbour
Gorgeous wedding arbour featuring Pampas Grass. Source: Hooray Magazine

While the current wedding trends favour Australian Native flowers, many florists are teaming these flowers with noxious weeds such as asparagus fern and pampas grass. Many florist pages I follow (read: drool over) regularly use things like Pampas grass in their gorgeous arbours. The scary thing about Pampas Grass is that each head contains up to 100,000 seeds!  These tiny seeds are easily picked up by the wind and carried great distances. If the plant then becomes established in an area, it takes over and restricts the growth of native plants. Pampas Grass is also a fire hazard.

Cotton bush, also known as Swan pods are also a restricted plant in some states. Here, in Sydney, you will pay top dollar for the lime green balls. Unfortunately the pods contain hundreds of seeds. What the concern is, is that when the floral arrangement is disposed of, those hundreds of seeds will have the opportunity to germinate, and therefore the plant may spread in a far wider sense than if the seeds were carried by wind and rain naturally.

Navy blue or black Privett berry

Another couple of favourites are Privett Berry, and doddavine. Despite being restricted plants, these are hot sellers in the flower market. Whether lime green, or ripened in a deep navy blue, the Privett berry provides a cost effective, and textured choice for bouquets and arrangements. But as you can imagine, when those tiny little berries begin to dry and drop off, they become sprinkles of destruction.

Strangleweed Source Melbourne and Suburbs Wholesale Florist

Doddavine, which is also known as ‘Strangleweed’ grows everywhere, and in the Australian bush as the name suggests, it strangles everything in it’s path.

There is of course a way you can have your cake, and eat it too, so to speak. If you have your heart set on a restricted species, such as Pampas Grass, you can make sure that you source the product from overseas or that it has been treated by way of irradiation. Some venues and wedding planners may even insist on a treatment certificate to ensure that are able to continue to protect our beautiful environment.

It is certainly going to take some time, and it will be extremely hard to regulate but it seems that a change is coming. Now it’s time for us all to decide if we are going to run with the herd this time…or be left behind.

Fwf x

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