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 ūüėć. They are use to make a space more inviting, a fragrant version of ‘come hither’ ūüėČ

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!

‚ÄúI bet some of the dinosaurs could have detected the scents of these early flowers,‚ÄĚ said George Poinar, an entomologist at Oregon State University. ‚ÄúIn fact, floral essences from these early flowers could even have attracted these giant reptiles,‚ÄĚ 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

‚ÄúIt‚Äôs 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,‚ÄĚ 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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Image for the rememberance of Anzac Day

Making Arrangements for Anzac Day

With April well under way, by this time next week Anzac Day will have been and gone. With various services taking place all over the country and around the world, many Aussies will choose to attend one and may even wish to take along a floral tribute.

I guess I had assumed that everyone knew what a traditional Anzac Wreath looked like, but perhaps they don’t….. or perhaps like basically everything else in the world today, people are choosing to express themselves and do it their own way.

Still, when¬†my husband returned from work a couple of days ago trying to clarify the details of a traditional arrangement, I was surprised. His employer, tasked him with making the wreaths for the organisation. Sure, he has worked in and around florists much of his adult life, but he isn’t a trained florist. But he is a bit of a stickler for tradition, so he was pretty set on getting it right. ¬†The organisation on the other hand had more liberal ideas of what the wreath might look like.

Image of an Anzac Day laurel wreath
Anzac Day laurel wreath or chaplet featuring the Lest We Forget ribbon, red poppies and rosemary

Did you know that an Anzac Day wreath is usually teardrop shaped?

A traditional laurel wreath is made in the shape of a teardrop with the base entirely covered with flat laurel leaves. I have often seen these wreaths covered with alternative foliages such as camellia leaves or little gem magnolia. Laurel is symbolic as it has been used since ancient Roman times to crown victors and the brave as a mark of honour. The chaplet usually has a cluster of three red poppies in the bottom centre. Red poppies are a significant symbol of remembrance, always used for Remebrance day on November 11th, but have taken pride of place on Anzac Day wreaths. According to soldiers’ folklore, the poppy is said to have absorbed the blood of the fallen from the ground to achieve it’s vivid colour. Poppies are also one of the first flowers to bloom in the battlefields of the First World War in Belgium and the North of France.

The Lest We Forget ribbon should be placed high in the left corner, across the wreath, and finishing low in the right hand side to symbolise the sun rising in the East and setting in the west.

Lastly, rosemary is often added to the wreath as another symbol of remembrance.

Image of a Rosemary - symbol of remembrance for Anzac Day
Rosemary is often worn for remembrance, but can be used in fresh flower arrangements also

What I could see as my husband continued to relay the conversation to me, was that whilst the¬†traditional laurel wreath is specific and symbolic, in general, people are basically happy with anything beautiful. It was only our industry knowledge and the assumption that they wanted a ‘traditional arrangement’ that was really complicating things.

Image of a Round floral wreath - traditional funeral arrangement
Floral tributes are a traditional funereal arrangement although often people choose to leave these beautiful fresh flower arrangements at Anzac Day services and commemorative monuments

Take a moment to look around if you attend a service this Anzac Day- through the sea of arrangements do you notice the laurel and the vivid red poppies, or do you see brightly coloured rounded floral wreath arrangements. Round wreath arrangements are a traditional funereal arrangement but there is certainly nothing wrong with choosing to design your own special tribute thiscAnzac Day.

What do you think? How important are traditions to you?

Fwf x

feature image via SBS

 

 

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Inspired by Nature

Many of you are probably familiar with Cicely Mary Barker’s 1920’s collection of books; a unique series that combined the illustration of delicate creatures, holding flowers available throughout the different seasons of the year. Her ‘Flower Fairy’ books have since been republished many times, using modern techniques to lovingly reproduce Barker’s original artworks.

Barker lacked formal artistic training, however she was happiest with a sketch pad in her hand. Her passionate dedication led to her first publication at the tender age of 15, with a series of postcards. Cicely Mary Barker was largely educated at home due to ill health, and was a self taught artist with obvious natural ability. The Flower Fairies, first published in 1923, brought her international acclaim as an artist.

Each fairy was designed holding a bloom, illustrated with meticulous botanical accuracy, and dressed in a costume that quite often looked like the flower had been carefully dissected and placed, petal by petal in place of clothes. The series has continued to capture both children and adults alike, and has certainly earned its place amongst classic literature.

Her summer edition includes many of this season’s treats, such as the glorious summer garden rose, scabiosa, forget-me-nots and more. I love her winged creatures, with their dainty features, the delicate belled sleeves, and full, blossomed skirts.

While it is not quite the same, many designers recently have used flower petals to create fashion pieces, and I can’t help but wonder if Barker may have provided some inspiration. Grace Ciao, a Singaporean artist, along with Lim Zhi Wei have deconstructed flowers and placed the petals back piece by piece to create frilly skirts and full, flouncy dresses. We’ve included a selection of examples by each, and will let you make up your own mind. What is evident however is that nature provides us with boundless inspiration, if only we take the time to see it.

Fwf x

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* THE SONG OF *

THE FORGET-ME-NOT FAIRY

So small, so blue, in grassy places

My flowers raise

Their tiny faces.

By streams my bigger sisters grow,

And smile in gardens,

In a row.

I’ve never seen a garden plot;

But though I’m small,

Forget me not!

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* THE SONG OF *

THE SCABIOUS FAIRY

Like frilly cushions full of pins

for tiny dames and fairykins;

Or else like dancers decked with gems,

My flowers sway on slender stems.

They curtesy in the meadow grass,

And nod to butterflies who pass.

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* THE SONG OF *

THE ROSE FAIRY

Best and dearest flower that grows,

Perfect both to see and smell;

Words can never, never tell

Half the beauty of a Rose –

Buds that open to disclose

Fold on fold of purest white,

Lovely pink, or red that glows

Deep, sweet-scented. What delight

To be Fairy of the Rose!

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* THE SONG OF *

THE FUCHSIA FAIRY

Fuchsia is a dancer

Dancing on her toes,

Clad in red and purple,

By a cottage wall;

Sometimes in a greenhouse,

In a frilly white and rose,

Drssed in her best for the fairies’ evening ball!

Grace Ciao design
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Grace Ciao design
Arum lilies used to create elegant skirts
Lim Zhi Wei design
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Lim Zhi Wei design
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Lim Zhi Wei design

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Geoffrey Mottart – Inspiring Outdoor Installations

Many florists choose the industry as they have a natural creative ability and long to share that with the world. A lot of the time though like in any creative industry I suppose, working in commercial floristry can remove all sense of artistry and creativity in a bid to be profitable, efficient and also meet expectations. Think about it….when you see a picture of a fresh flower arrangement online and decide to order it….you expect it will look exactly the same. In a world of instant gratification, we have come to rely on seeing what we purchase immediately. Same Day flower delivery is incredibly convenient but will mean that on occasion, the flowers that are pictured will not be available. Trained floral designers are equipped to make suitable substitutions in order to fulfil your order requirements. This may mean changing the flowers yet keeping the same colour scheme, or this may mean the correct flowers can be used, but in different colour tones.

We often discuss the fact that florists work in a weather dependant industry, at the mercy of Mother Nature, and for the most part people do understand that sometimes things are beyond our control…..that is until it is their major event or wedding day…..then, well then, they can be a little less understanding.

So as an artist, what can you do when you want to get back to your creative roots and simply be inspired? Well, you could take a page out of Geoffroy Mottart’s book, and beautify your city.

No design brief, no budget, no particular date….basically just show up and create whatever you want, when you want. Be inspired.

He is not the first artist to bring his projects into the public domain, but I think you will agree, that his designs are both beautiful and eye catching.

Léopold II decorated with a beautiful floral beard, moustache and head piece
Léopold II decorated with a beautiful floral beard, moustache and head piece
A stunning statue of the female l form complete with headpiece and accessories by Geoffroy Mottart
A stunning statue of the female form complete with headpiece and accessories by Geoffroy Mottart
Florist with Flowers can create stunning floral headpieces for any occasion
The back view of the same statue
Brightly colour floral head pieces are available to order
I love Mottart’s use of bright warm colour tones to reinvigorate this drab figure with his matching headpiece and ‘tache.

Geoffroy adorns famous statues and monuments with floral arrangements which transform them from drab to fab. The infusion of colour immediately draws your eye to these monuments which unlikely garner the same level of attention and admiration ordinarily, despite their historical significance.

I love the avante garde floral beards and flower crowns that Mottart often uses to decorate the statues. He uses a variety of materials, both fresh and dried to create the installations.

natural branch arrangements
Mottart decorates spaces as well as faces like this example, using branches that weave in and around the space and encourage curiosity and investigation.
Stunning cap created from fresh flowers
Another beautiful headpiece by Geoffroy Mottart
Fresh floral headpieces available for order
The gorgeous childlike figure is decorated with a floral wig by Mottart

For creative spirits, being inspired is essential to feeling fulfilled. Inspiration can, and does come in many forms….trick is to live in the moment and truly see what is going on around you.

Fwf x

 

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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. AneŇĺka (Agnes) KaŇ°p√°rkov√°, 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.‚ÄĚ Agnes says. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm just doing what I like,‚ÄĚ she adds, humbly. ‚ÄúI try to help decorate the world a bit.‚ÄĚ

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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.‚ÄĚ

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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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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You Sexy Thang

Unbelievable as it is, we have already got through two full months of the New Year. And as we enter March, we start the month off with the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.

Amidst the sequins, the costumes, the hair extensions and the amazing floats,¬†people are coming together to “Create Equality” which is this year’s theme. Whilst Mardi Gras showcases diversity and difference, it is the ideal time to shine the light on areas where equality is still lacking. And let’s face it, inequality reaches far beyond the Gay and Lesbian communities in our current climate. Equality is defined as;¬†the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.¬†As¬†always, this year is set to be a dazzling production; a flamboyant and creative display of pride, self expression and equality.

Ellen Page from Juno has said;¬†“This world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another.” And couldn’t it be just as simple as that? I have personally always taken the stance that you probably want to know about what I do in the bedroom as much as I want to know what you do. Private lives are just that, private. What we choose to do, and who we love is our business, and only ours.

Did you know that flowers have been used in art¬†for years to represent sexuality? I mean it makes sense that like all things in nature- they are what they are, and it is not for us to determine whether it is right or, wrong weird or normal. ¬†Interestingly enough many flowers are hermaphrodites ‚Äď most have both pistils and stamens (both male and female sex organs) ‚Äď and therefore they have a particular symbolic appeal in art. Flowers opening to full bloom can be used to represent sexual awakening, especially in relation to women’s sexuality as they are not unlike the appearance of female genitalia.

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Georgia O’Keefe is seen as creating some of the most sexually charged images
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Image; Simon and Schuster
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Image; Pijama Surf
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Image; LA Weekly

Similarly there are several blooms that are particularly phallic and ‘male’. Blooms such as Candlestick Banksias, Anthuriums, Cactus and many forms of lilies are indisputably masculine in form. The plants have dominant protrusions that are erect.

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Image; Erotic Nature
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Image; P Base
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Image; ZME Science

For many of us, we will not be attending the parade this weekend- word is it is at capacity already. So if you cannot show your support lining the streets of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian district, why not be there in spirit by filling a vase of some of the¬†sexiest plants on offer?! If nothing else, it will¬†probably provide a novel change to what you usually choose to fill your vase with¬†ūüėȬ†Alternatively, as the Rainbow coloured flag has long been a symbol of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender pride so you could also choose to celebrate and support the community with a vaseful of Rainbow roses.

‚ÄúIt always seemed to me a bit pointless to disapprove of homosexuality. It‚Äôs like disapproving of rain.‚ÄĚ — Francis Maude

Fwf x

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Oh My, Bonsai

bonsai
1. the art of growing ornamental, artificially dwarfed varieties of trees and shrubs in pots.
2. an ornamental tree or shrub grown using the art of bonsai.

They say good things come in small packages right? And in this case, it is certainly true. Bonsai plants, are uniquely grown and make a fabulous addition to any gardener’s collection, or a gift for people with a special interest in plants willing to take the time to care for them.

BUT Bonsai are not for everyone. They have been slowly and carefully grown to a point and once established, are planted in a display pot before sale. But unlike your average indoor plant, Bonsai are a tree, and the implications of that is that the Bonsai require careful consideration, care and upkeep.

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Bonsai are often thought to be simply a dwarfed plant, however dwarfing generally refers to plant cultivars that are permanent, genetic miniatures of an existing species. Bonsai does not require genetically dwarfed trees, but rather is grown from regular stock and seeds and uses cultivation techniques such as¬†pruning, root reduction and potting¬†to produce small trees that mimic the shape and style of mature, full-size trees.¬†Bonsai¬† meaning “plantings in tray”, is often used as a blanket term for all miniature trees in pots. The ancient Japanese tradition dates back over a thousand years.

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Bonsai is grown for different reasons than many ordinary plants, that may be grown say for medicinal uses, or for food. They are grown both for the viewers contemplation and the pleasure in the effort in shaping and growing the plant. It is a long term commitment.

A Bonsai may be started from a cutting, seedling or a small tree of a species appropriate for development. They can be created from nearly any shrub species that produces true branches or perennial woody stemmed tree that can be kept small by way of pot confinement, and crown and root pruning. Some species are more popular for Bonsai cultivation as they are more visually appropriate, having small leaves or needles. The species needs to be shaped and kept small to meet the aesthetic standards of Bonsai.

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The practice of bonsai development incorporates a number of techniques including;

  1. Leaf trimming- removal of selected leaves/needles
  2. Pruning- branches/roots or trunk
  3. Clamping- using devices to artificially shape the tree’s trunks and branches
  4. Wiring- artificially designing the formation of the tree’s general form, branches and leaf formation using wire
  5. Grafting
  6. Defoliation- removal of foliage

¬© 2005 -- Ron Reznick http://www.digital-images.net [#Beginning of Shooting Data Section] Nikon D2X Focal Length: 60mm Optimize Image: Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB) Long Exposure NR: Off High ISO NR: Off 2005/03/06 00:36:35.4 Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority White Balance: Color Temp. (5600 K) Tone Comp.: Less Contrast RAW (12-bit) Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern AF Mode: Manual Hue Adjustment: 0¬į Image Size: Large (4288 x 2848) 1/15 sec - F/8 Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached Saturation: Normal Exposure Comp.: 0 EV Sharpening: Normal Lens: 60mm F/2.8 D Sensitivity: ISO 100 Auto Flash Comp: 0 EV Image Comment: [#End of Shooting Data Section]

Pot confinement is an effective cultivation technique in keeping the Bonsai small, as a typical bonsai container is under 25 centimeters in its largest dimension and only 2 to 10 liters in volume, this restricts root growth. Similarly, the largest bonsai rarely exceed 1 meter and most specimens are significantly smaller, due largely to the cultivation technique of pruning. These major differences in the plants growth affect maturation, transpiration, nutrition, pest resistance, and other aspects of tree biology, therefore to maintain the long-term health of a tree requires specialised care.

  1. Bonsai must be regularly watered.
  2. Bonsai must be repotted at intervals appropriate for the age of the tree/species
  3. Bonsai must be in an appropriate soil composition (usually loose and fast draining)
  4. Bonsai may be kept indoors generally but many species will require periods of time outdoors to fulfil the species light requirements. This is species dependant.

If you like a challenge, then the Bonsai could be for you but remember, this is no ordinary houseplant. The Bonsai requires alot of work to get it to the point of sale, so is not a ‘cheap’ plant, and it will also require a long term commitment of care once you get it home. Happy pruning!

Fwf x

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Victorian Posies- The Method and the Meaning

The Victorian posy is a traditional hand-tied or wired bunch where the flowers are placed in ascending rings around a central bloom, usually a rose. This design was very popular for weddings back in the mid 19th century, but lost favour to the cascading shower bouquet in the late 20th century.

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Image: Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Bottom Right

Like all things in fashion, trends come and go, and the Victorian posy can sometimes be requested from time to time, especially for those who like to run their own race, uninterested by what is popular or on trend at the time.

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Image: Patsy Smiles

The Victorians did not have the variety of material available to them as we do today, so their posies tended to use an assortment of pale pink, lilac and blue toned flowers, in what we would consider to be quite traditional flowers such as roses, hyacinths, and cornflowers. The stunning central rose, I am told is pretty much integral to the design, but these days you could choose to make a Victorian posy out of just about any flowers or foliage you can get your hands on.

The Victorians used to back their posies with starched lace, which then became coloured netting or raffia, or twisted wire frames with foliage or even doilies, but theses days many of these elements have been replaced, or modernised.

This style of posy contained secret messages to and from lovers; each flower had its own unique meaning, and the bride chose her flowers based on their significance. As a result of this, unfortunately many beautiful flowers were assigned rather undeserved, sometimes negative meanings, for example, lavender=distrust, or anemones= sickness.

These days, brides tend to choose their flowers based on their preferences or flowers with special significance to them personally rather than these somewhat outdated meanings.

Gorgeous bridal bouquet design for the fall bride.:
Image: The Knot, Flowers by Festive Couture Floral
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Image: Cut Out and Keep

The Victorian style of posy fell out of favour during the early 20th century, but the posy has slowly gained popularity again, whether it be hand-tied and natural stemmed, or wired. A natural stemmed posy, as the name suggests, uses flowers on their stem, simply cleaned off so that the handle of the bouquet does not become contaminated from breaking down debris, or too bulky. This style of bouquet can be formal or informal, structured or unstructured depending on what flowers are chosen and its composition. Generally though, this look is more natural and relaxed.

Alternatively a wired bouquet can be created; which is where the flower is cut from it’s natural stem and then attached to an artificial stem made from wire. The result is usually more lightweight and as it is more structured, tends to look more formal.

The formality of the Victorian rings has been dropped, in favour of either evenly dispersed placements, where the flowers are evenly placed throughout the arrangement to achieve balance, or alternatively the floral elements can be grouped together for a ‘chunkier’, clustered and modern look.

At the end of the day, if you are considering a Victorian posy, or posy of any kind for your wedding, talk to you designer about the colours, textures and the overall look and feel you wish to achieve. Wedding professionals have a wealth of knowledge and will be able to make appropriate suggestions to help you achieve what you are after.

I cannot stress enough the importance of aligning yourself with suppliers who have a body of work that emulates the look and feel you are after. ¬†Trusting your supplier is the single most important thing you can do to lower your individual stress as well as allowing them the freedom to ‘create’ and do exactly what you employed them to do…

Fwf x

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Frida Kahlo and Flowers

¬†‚ÄúFruits are like flowers: they speak to us in provocative language and teach us things that are hidden.‚ÄĚ

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, (July 6, 1907 ‚Äď July 13, 1954), born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calder√≥n,¬†was a self taught Mexican artist, best known for her iconic, revealing and often dramatic self portraits (55 out of her 143 paintings ever made were self portraits). She remains one of the most influential artists of her generation, a unique style icon, today, still used as a muse for others, such as Beyonce.

In late June, an exhibition opened at The Art Gallery of New South Wales if you are interested in seeing more and learning more about this intriguing lady, along with her husband Diego Rivera, two of Mexico’s most influential artists of the 20th century. Some sessions are already sold out, but they do offer timed entry tickets to avoid disappointment. See here for more info.

‘I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to better.’

Frida Kahlo

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Image: Lenin Imports
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Image via Pinterest
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Image: Arty Factory

Frida certainly had a unique dress sense, and sense of individual style, influenced heavily by her Mexican culture. She favoured bright colours, embroidered dresses, with flowers and ribbons woven throughout her hair, and kept her naturally thick eyebrows untended. She was considered to be fairly unfashionable at the time, with her hair parted down the centre, and braided into a tight bun and often exaggerated her features in her portraits to make herself even more so. At the time, Frida was considered to be somewhat unconventional, with her peers favouring a more modern dress sense rather than the more traditional attire, so she stood out.

Her unique signature style could easily be identified, and often featured throughout her work, paired with imagery of foliage and flowers from her own garden, jewellry made from shells, stone and bones, as well as some of her pets. This was her way of demonstrating the close relationship between humans, animals and nature. Kahlo¬†frequently incorporated plants/flowers/foliage like ‚Äúelephant-ear‚ÄĚ leaves ¬†or Viejo (old-man cactus), other cacti and flowers.

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Image: Arty Factory
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Image: Fractal Enlightenment

‚ÄúI paint flowers so they will not die‚ÄĚ

Frida Kahlo

Kahlo contracted polio as a child, so much of her art focused on her physical and emotional pain. In fact, part of her signature dress style was a direct result of her condition, covering up her smaller/thinner leg with long layered clothing. Kahlo was also involved in an accident in her teenage years, when on September 17, 1925, she was was riding in a bus that collided with a trolley car. Kahlo suffered serious injuries such as a broken spinal column, a broken collarbone, broken ribs, fractures to her right leg, a crushed, dislocated foot and a dislocated shoulder. On top of that Kahlo was pierced through her abdomen by a piece of iron handrail which compromised her future fertility. Whilst Kahlo did become pregnant three times, each time, sadly she lost each baby.

As a direct result of her experience with infertility, Kahlo references reproductive failure in several paintings; in Henry Ford Hospital right after her miscarriage in 1932, shows a woman, Kahlo herself, on a bed bleeding.  She also often uses flowers as a symbol of fertility throughout her paintings.

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Image: Frida Kahlo Fans
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Image: Yahoo
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Image: Wiki Art
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Image: Art Eye Witness

If you are a fan, the exhibition is open until October 9th, so don’t delay!

Til next time,

Fwf x

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