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Celebrity Florist Predicts Floral Trends For 2018

Every florist secretly fantasises about achieving a certain level of success. To reach that level where their work so revered, their reputation for artistry is so reknowned, that celebrities are literally beating down their door to work with them. Few florists will reach this pinnacle, and make it to the elite level that commands this degree of attention and admiration. They are the florists that have the freedom and the budget to create those jaw dropping installations that many of us merely dream of, the ones who created the pictures that we so often have brought in as inspiration at our own floral concept consultations. One florist who has made his way to the top is Jeff Leatham.

I tend to find that when you design too far ahead, you lose the inspiration.

-Jeff Leatham

Using one flower en masse is a way to create drama whilst keeping your fresh flowers simple and chic.
Legendary florist Jeff Leatham was originally a model before landing a job in the florist within the Four Seasons Hotel. Photo credit Four Seasons

His story is quite an interesting one, as becoming a florist was really never in his plan. Leatham was enjoying a career in the modelling industry and had returned from jobs in Milan and Paris looking for some work. Coincidentally, a job was going at a flower shop in the Four Seasons Hotel, and voila, Jeff Leatham took his first steps toward becoming a forward thinking, boundary pushing, exciting and  successful florist.

When Leatham began, he entered the industry making garden bouquets and arrangement much like any florist. Sure, they were beautiful he says, but he wanted to create something different. Speaking to Teen Vogue, Leatham says “…we were creating something, this new style that I created 15 years ago, it was innovative and changed the way people think about flowers. I know that sounds strange, but before I started with flowers, flowers were just pretty garden bouquets and different things. I remember the way I did flowers before, just kind of mixing flowers together and doing just mixed bouquets. It was beautiful, but it wasn’t clean and simple. Then [we started] creating things that are very simple and all one flower in a vase. This whole idea of all one flower in the vase and keeping things really simple and clean and chic. Doing flowers in different ways, wrapped around a vase and bent around like this.”

Use the natural line of a bunch of flowers to create movement in your floral arrangements.
Leatham’ signature style is unmistakeable. He creatively anchors groups of flowers in a variety of cases. Phot credit Popsugar

Leatham’s signature style was exactly that. He followed the rule of 3; never using more than three colour tones (where possible keeping it monocramatic), and never using more than three types of flowers. Leatham’ strongly grouped bundles of flowers, the same flower en masse, were uniquely anchored in vases, creating strong lineal movement, and stunning blocks of colour.

Dramatic blocked colours makes arrangements stand out
Jeff Leatham created eye catching and dramatic colour blocked displays. Photo credit Sperr

Jeff predicts that the trends of 2018 will see a decline in the popular flower wall. He says, “It used to be really cool, and sometimes its still pretty, but I think its just been overdone. Everyone wants a flower wall and no one realizes how expensive they really are.” That is certainly something that we find to be true in retail floristry; budget never quite matches the vision and expectation. Instead, he believes 2018 is going to see flowers dripping from ceilings. This look has started gaining popularity recently, and if his Instagram pics are anything to go by, this trend will continue to gather momentum as the year pushes on.

“Most trends — things that are really popular and what people love — usually happen on accident. It’s either something falls over or I change my mind the last minute. I’m like, “No, take that down and move that over there.” That’s usually how our trends start. It’s just very last-minute. That’s really the way I design. I tend to find that when you design too far ahead, you lose the inspiration.”

Fwf x

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What if you missed out on Valentine’s Day?

So Valentine’s Day has been and gone for another year, but believe it or not, a florists work is still not done.

Some people will have arrived home to a pretty unimpressed partner, angry or disappointed that they were not remembered on the day of love. What does that say, they think? How does that look, they ask.

So in a quest to right any wrongs, February 15th can quickly turn into another busy day. But on February 15th, things tend to return to normal. The flower shop will be stocked with a wide variety of stock, perhaps just not as full to the brim as in the days preceding.

Many florists have perfected their ordering systems, using a combination of examining previous figures and forecasting their needs based on pre-orders as Valentine’s Day approaches. This is great news for everyone as it means there is less wastage and that the stock is fresh post Valentine’s Day too. What it may mean however is that red roses are not as readily available. After all, if you were a rose grower, would you prefer to sell your roses at premium prices leading up to the day of love, or cut prices once the day has been and gone? Growers plant their roses with the hope that they will be perfectly timed with Valentine’s Day. Stock that blooms perfectly the week after could have devastating consequences for our local growers.

If you are one of the people who needs to order flowers for a loved one on February 15, use it as a real opportunity. What do I mean?

Instead of just going ahead and getting the red roses you were supposed to get, choose something totally unique, and something totally beautiful. Given that we are still enjoying the heat of summer and all that comes with it why not consider something that is unique to this time of year?

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Garden roses are gorgeous

Garden roses are a rose of course, but rather than being grown for their perfect head, or the length of their stem, garden roses are perfectly imperfect and have a scent that is unforgettable.

Garden roses will truly open up, revealing the gorgeous centre of the bloom, with gorgeous prickly foliage running up and down the stem. They will evoke all 5 senses. Believe it or not, the scent is so intense, you can taste it!

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Pretty Proteas are endemic to South Africa so enjoy our warm climate

If you are looking for an alternative to roses (and perhaps intentionally avoided buying them on Valentine’s Day) you could consider blooms that will handle the heat with ease. Tropical blooms are made for these conditions as are many native flowers.

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Fashionable Flowers

We have all heard the saying “What’s old, is new again” and flower preferences, like fashion change. According to House and Garden, 2017’s most fashionable flowers once again gaining popularity in gardens and as cut blooms are some truly old favourites.

Each of these flower varieties will hold a special place in your nanna’s heart, and for many years were seen as ‘naff’ or unsophisticated. Oh how times have changed.

With time, many of these once drab and boring flower varieties have been reinvented. With many hybridised variations, and available in so many beautiful colours and textures.

So what flowers made House and Garden’s list?

  • Dahlias
  • Gladioli
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Delphinium

Dahlias are a full and fluffy bloom. I have been known to use them in place of peonies at times where a big showy, petal-ly bloom is required.

The dahlia has many forms; some varieties are soft in colour tone, and soft in appearance with rounded petals. Others, like a firecracker of colour, are vibrant, and have pointed petals that appear more sharp and pointy although the texture remains the same.

Dahlias are not a long lasting bloom, they have a vase life of up to about 5 days. BUT for the price tag, Dahlia’s provide real bang for your buck as they have large blooms and easily fill a vase.

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Image; Quotes Gram
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Florist with Flowers Instagram

Gladioli conjure up images of Dame Edna Everage for me; flamboyant and showy. Rarely was the iconic 1980’s star pictured without the stems, often throwing them out to her audience to wave back at her!

The gladioli was named after the Latin word “gladius,” which means sword, due to it’s sword like appearance. While there are over 260 species within the group with varied appearances, the spectacular giant flower spikes we see today are the result of centuries of hybridisation.

The colour range available make gladioli extremely versatile. Flowers are available in pure whites, lemon, apricot, tangerine, lime green, soft mauve, soft pink, pink, purple, hot pink, red, coral, plum, and more.

Nothing is more stunning than a tall vase filled with just gladioli en masse, and simple leaves around the base of the vase.

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Image via Pinterest

Chrysanthemums, or ‘mums’ as they are fondly known are traditionally reserved for Mother’s Day. Over the years they have gained a bit of a reputation for being uninteresting, and ‘common’ and have therefore lacked appeal. Common varieties flooded the market and filled the supermarket and petrol station flower stands but meanwhile, other varieties were unknowingly and unnecessarily being overlooked. Lime green button chrysanthemums, Polaris, Spider and Disbud chrysanthemums, have all started to gain attention for the right reasons. Offering interesting colours and textures, and varying sized blooms has meant that the humble Chrysanthemum has been able to fill a gap in the market at an affordable price. And what’s more, Chrysanthemums are long lasting blooms.

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Image; The Garden Helper

Delphiniums were once reserved for traditional herbaceous borders in the garden, and when this style lost popularity, sadly, so did the pretty delphinium blooms. Delphiniums are available in soft pastel blues, mauves, pinks and white, and have delicate blooms along the length of a long thin stem. They are ideal for adding height to an arrangement yet maintaining a soft cottage garden feel. Delphinium are lovely to use in a bridal bouquet; they are a delicate, feminine bloom that are one of the few natural, true blue tones.

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Image; Swallowtail Garden Seeds

Remember Spring is a wonderful time to enjoy fresh cut flowers as you get a little longer from your blooms with the more moderate temperatures. Check out some of our Season’s Favourites for home or for a gift for someone special.

Fwf x

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Carnivorous Plants- Hungry For Life

When you hear the term ‘Carnivorous’, if you are anything like me, you imagine not merely a meat eater, but perhaps even a flesh eating creature, hell, a man eater. But in the case of plants, a carnivorous plant, simply eats insects and other anthropods. The plants have adapted to life in areas where the soil is thin, or poor in nutrition, but where there is ample light. They are structurally designed to capture their prey in order to survive, and absorb the necessary nutrients from that prey, to thrive. Carnivorous plants derive most of their nutrients from eating animals they have trapped within their plant structure, an adaptation due to the environment in which they are found. Charles Darwin wrote the first literature on this plant type, ‘Insectivorous Plants’, in 1875.

There are at least 583 species of carnivorous plants that trap and kill their prey, each displaying one of the 5 different trapping mechanisms;

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The basic trapping mechanisms of carnivorous plants. Image via pinterest
  1. Pitfall traps.
  2. Flypaper traps.
  3. Snap traps.
  4. Bladder traps.
  5. Lobster pots (aka eel traps).
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Image via Science Daily
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Brocchinia reducta Image: University of Conneticut

Pitfall Traps: generally trap their prey within a rolled leaf structure which contains a pool of digestive enzymes at the base. They are a passive trap, attracting prey with nectar secretions. The pitcher plant uses this trapping mechanism. The inside of the pitcher plant is covered in a slippery wax, which causes the insects to fall into the pitcher. Once inside, the digestive enzymes and bacteria begin to break down the prey so that the plant can begin to absorb it.

Like most of the plants within the pineapple family, the Bromeliad Brocchinia Reducta has a tightly packed spiral of waxy leaves that form somewhat of a cup. Water collects in this cup and often provides a habitat for frogs and insects, however in this case, the cup turns into a specialised insect trap.

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Sundew Plant Image Huffington Post via Rhys Marstons Horticulture
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The Cape Sumdew Plant uses its Fly Paper trap to secure this Dragonfly dinner. Image: Huffington Post

Flypaper Traps: use a sticky mucilage, like glue. The leaves have mucilage secreting glands, but also a rapidly responsive leaf surface with responds to the prey; rolling the leaf blade to prevent the insect being washed away by rain, or the leaf creating a dish like surface underneath the prey to form a shallow digestive pit.

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Image: A Learning Family
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Image: Lighthouse News Daily

Snap Traps: The most well known snap trap is the Venus Flytrap (Dionaea Muscipula). The trapping mechanism has sometimes been described as a mouse trap/bear trap or man trap referring to the speed of movement and the shape.

The Snap Trap is an active trap as it used rapid movement in order to trap it’s prey. Snap traps have fine hairs inside the lobes which are sensitive to touch. They also have a hinge -like mechanism along the midrib, which changes in shape, and is caused to quickly slam shut when the hairs are triggered. The process takes less than 1 second!

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Image via Pinterest

Bladder Traps:  pump ions out of their interiors, with water following which creates a partial vacuum inside of the bladder. At the opening of the bladder sits a small opening/door which has a pair of long trigger hairs. When the hairs are touched, the door is opened and the invertebrae is sucked in.

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Image via The Orchid Source Forum

Lobster Pot Traps: have a chamber that is easy to enter, but extremely difficult to exit because the exit is either hard to find obstructed.

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Image: Apartment Therapy

There is a great variety of carnivorous plants available that can be grown in your gardens, and they make an interesting addition to arrangements too, undoubtedly due to their unique shapes, and colourings. Experiment with these delightful plants for something fun, new and interesting- you are sure to create a talking point at least!

Fwf x

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Helleborus- The Winter Rose

Winter’s Rose you would assume, like anyone, was some gorgeous variety of rose bloom. And fair enough, too. But in this case, you would be wrong, much like when people think a ‘peony rose’ is a rose. It is not.

The Winter Rose, or Helleborus, can also be known as a Snow Rose, Lenten Rose, Christmas Rose (more for the Northern Hemisphere as Christmas occurs in winter) and Oracle Rose however it comes from the family Ranunculacea, and has 20 herbaceous and perennial evergreen flowering species. As their name suggests, they tend to flower in late Winter and into Spring.

I love Helleborus, as I find their ‘faces’stunningly beautiful, and the range of colours are to die for. After years of cross breeding and hybridisation, the colour range has been transformed with them available from darker plum shades, burgundy and almost blacks, to vibrant yellows, bright, clean whites and a whole range of pinks and soft greens. You will also find some of the blooms are plain, whilst others are intricately patterned.

By Nzfauna - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34203793
By Nzfauna via wikipedia
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By Nzfauna via wikipedia
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By Nzfauna via wikipedia
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By Nzfauna via wikipedia

They make a gorgeous addition to any garden and tend to favour more shaded spots, underneath the canopies of deciduous trees, with little attention required, and left to go to seed. They flower from late winter to spring, and the blooms last months on the plant. Throughout the autumn months, the plant provides a clumpy green covering. They are also often planted among other plants with complementary colourings where they can grow up throughout creating a wonderfully intricate display.

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Image: Gorgeous low clumping Helleborus foliage when not in flower via Carolyn’s Shade Gardens

These days you can get your hands on all the standard varieties; flowers shaped like a cup or bowl, mostly single, with five petals,  as well as double-flowered and anemone-centred plants. It is no surprise really that, they are a popular wedding bloom, and fittingly so, have just come into season in time for the starts of wedding season!

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Image: Wedding bouquet featuring Helleborus via Brides.com

I love Helleborus as a cut flower, and certainly have a special spot in my heart having used them in a very dear friends wedding some years ago. Each year as the time approaches and I see all the wonderful ingredients we used begin to appear again and I am reminded of their anniversary and the hoot we had in the Southern Highlands, freezing our socks off, working on the outdoor porch making the arrangements.

The only problem with the Helleborus as a cut flower is that their heads tend to droop rather quickly, so they are best used with other flowers or foliage used to prop them up and support them. Some people also find the age old trick of scolding the base of their stems helpful in extending the vase life.

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Image: Cut Helleborus flower blooms via UCANR

To scold flowers; simply cut the base, and place about an inch of the flower stem into boiling water for approx 30 secs, remove the stems and place directly into a vase of cold water.

Alternatively, why not cut off their heads and float them in a bowl of water? That way you get to enjoy all the intricacies of the blooms without watching them droop and decay so quickly, and you know what, anybody can make that vase of flowers look good! You’re welcome 😉

Fwf x

Gorgeous featured image by Marcia Mitchell 

 

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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

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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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Frilly Little Fillies- Caring for your Cyclamens

Cyclamen plants are an oldie but a goodie. Still to this day, customers regularly request them, they never last long in store, because they make a great houseplant and a simple gift idea! But sometimes, sadly, we are giving the poor plants a death sentence when the correct plant care is not understood.

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Cyclamens are classified as a tuber (similar to a potato) from which the flowers and roots grow, and they are valued for their frilly flowers and gorgeous variable leaves.  The tuber may produce roots from the top, sides, or bottom, depending on the species. Generally in most of their species, the leaves appear in Autumn, grow through the Winter, and die in Spring, remaining dormant through Summer.

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Flowering time can be any month of the year, depending on the species. Cyclamen hederifolium and Cyclamen purpurascens bloom in summer and autumn, Cyclamen persicum and coum bloom in winter, and Cyclamen repandum blooms in spring.

The florist’s Cyclamens usually start appearing around or just before Mother’s Day when the temperatures begin to drop. Generally the species that florists sell is Cyclamen Persicum, which is frost tender. They should be kept below 20 °C with night time temperatures preferably between 6.5 °C to 15 °C.

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When cyclamen are not kept at the correct temperature, your plant will die slowly. Cyclamens grow in cool, humid environments in nature, so whilst they are readily available and flourish through the winter months, one of the biggest mistakes people make, is keeping their plant in their heated homes. Heaters keep the environment comfortable for us, but far too hot for your plants whilst also severely dehydrating them. If temperatures are too high, the plant will begin to yellow and the flowers will die, fast. When plants are not kept at the right temperature, you can also cause the plant to become dormant, which looks alot like it has died.

Just as important as correct temperature, is adequate (but not over) watering. Cyclamens can be sensitive to both over and under watering. The easiest way to ascertain whether your plant requires watering is to perform the ‘touch test’- simply placing your fingers onto the soil underneath the leaves and pushing downward to determine how much moisture is in the soil. If the plant soil feels dry, you should water it. It is important that the plant is not left in this dry state for so long that the leeaves and flowers begin to droop.

Cyclamens generally like to be watered from the bottom, to avoid getting the leaves and stems wet, which causes them to rot. Make sure that the plant is able to adequately drain after watering it.

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Once the cyclamen has finished flowering, it will go into a dormant state. In this state, is looks very much like it is dying, as the leaves turn yellow and then fall off. It is just sleeping. If you continue to care for your cyclamen throughout it’s dormant period, it will rebloom in a few months. Stop watering the plant once you notice that the leaves are beginning to die. The plant should be kept in a a cool, dark position, and you should remove any dead foliage. Let it sit for approximately two months. Once you see some leaf growth, you can start to water the plant again, resume normal cyclamen plant care, and bring it out into a brighter position. It should rebloom shortly.

Cyclamens are available in an array of amazing colours, and we have often have them in store, call us on 02 9871 1666 to see if they have come in from market today!

Fwf x

 

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David Jones Flower Show- A florist’s inspiration

Every year I try to get there, and every year, I drool and my mind boggles over the sheer size of the job that has become truly iconic.  The David Jones Flower Show kicks off the first week of Spring and runs for just under two weeks.

After years of being in the Floristry industry, the last thing you want to do is become stale, but there will be times for every creative when the juices don’t flow and the inspiration dries up. Spring is an intensely busy time for most florists. Houses are open for sale, and weddings fill the calendar, so it is a great time to revive your sense and take some inspiration from some of our colleagues who are truly unique and talented. Anyone who works with flowers knows that really we just wander around the perimeter of the David Jones store to reinvigorate ourselves and to sap up some fresh inspiration.

The show is quite the feat, considering that a lot of those flowers are sitting in what essentially transforms to a glass hot box and is subjected to hours of sunlight each day.

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This year Luminescent celebrates 30 years of the David Jones Flower show, and the ingenuity of this years show is that whilst it blooms in the daylight, the beauty of the flowers is showcased in a luminsecent ‘glow’ throughout the night as well. This years show partnered with the season’s key fragrances.

The displays in each window are as unique and intricate as ever, and as a florist I KNOW the hard work that went into conceptualising the show as well as the long hours and sleepless nights it took to bring it all together. Seed Flora is responsible for the wonderful work, and both George Low and Elizabeth Johnson continue to inspire us years after the two began collaborating on the event.

For everyone in life, it is important to stop, and look at things from a fresh perspective and for me, that is exactly what the show represents. I know how to physically put arrangements like this together, but I certainly don’t get the opportunity to do work on a large scale like this anymore with two littlies, but for me, it is awe inspiring to see someone out there creating magic. It is also reassuring to see jobs like this still exist. Retail, we are told is dying; and with that, surely the budget for a job like this, must go too.

It fills my heart with hope to see it still happening 30 years on, and still drawing an amazing crowd. Not sure that was the new light they intended to shed, but still, that is quite Luminescent.

Enjoy the picture show below, but if you get a chance, the show finishes this Sunday, so get in there to get a glimpse yourself.

Fwf x

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Where did the tradition of honouring our mothers come from?

Mother’s Day- How and Where the idea came from….

Mother’s Day as we all know, is a day to take time to honour one’s own mother. Here, in Australia is takes place on the second Sunday of May each year, but its roots stem from the United States where celebrations started taking place during the 20th Century.

The American holiday was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in West Virginia. She began her campaign to make Mother’s Day a recognised holiday in the United States in 1905, after her own mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Her mission was simple: to honor her mother by continuing the work she had started and to set aside a day to honor mothers. She believed mothers were “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”, and let’s face it, she was on to something!

This celebration then spread throughout the world, with the date altered to fit with traditions/celebrations within each country already related to mothering or motherhood. Mothering Day in the UK for example, was a holiday originally celebrated by Catholic and Protestant Christians and falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent. Initially this holiday saw parishioners return to their ‘Mother Church’- the largest church in the local area, or more often, the closest Cathedral. Servants then began being given the day off to attend their mother church also, and as such, it became a special family day, as general work hours often prevented family spending time all together. Children would often gather flowers along the way to place within the church, and, over time they began to give these flowers to their mothers. Eventually this religious day became the secular Mothering Day.

Mother’s Day in Australia takes place in the Autumn months when Chrysanthemums are readily available. The significance of the humble chrysanthemum is not know for sure, however many believe it was simply adopted as the flower of the day due to its name containing the colloquial term of endearment for Mother- mum. Traditionally chrysanthemums were used in bunches to give to your mother, and today with vast importation as well as hybridisation we have a wide variety of different Chrysanthemums that are now used to create spectacular fresh flower arrangements!

  • POMPON – spray type of chrysanthemum; each stem has several flowers.
Pom Pom Chrysanthemums Image: Whole Blossoms

 

  • CUSHION POMPON – flower is of medium length petals without button in the centre.
Image: Amazon

 

 

  • DAISY POMPON – flower with button in the centre.
Daisy Pom Pom Chrysanthemums Image: Danisa Flowers

 

  • NOVELTY POMPON – any chrysanthemum besides white, yellow, pink, and bronze cushions, any novelty colours. All novelty shapes.
Novelty Chrysanthemums Image: Sierra Flower Finder

 

  • SPIDER POMPON: flower with very long outer petals without button in the centre.
Spider Pom Poms Image: Amazon

 

  • DISBUD (one single large flower per stem produced by removing all side buds when plant was young):
Award winning Disbud Chrysanthemum being shown. Image: Chrysanthemums in Aberdeen

 

  • FUJI – synonym of spider, except it is not a spray flower.
Fuji Chrysanthemums are the same as the spider pom poms, although are not spray chrysanthemums. Image: Amazon

So, what do you think of tradition?  Something to stick with, or time to turn it up on it’s head?

Whether you celebrate with her on the day for brunch, send a card in the mail, have chrysanthemums or other fresh flowers delivered, I’m sure Mum will appreciate being remembered this Mother’s Day. However big or small the gesture, remember, a mother is someone who will love you unconditionally, till her last breath……. and really, what can you possibly do to match that?

I suppose we can spend our life trying…..

Fwf x

 

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12 Ways to Christmas ~ DIY Craft for the Festive Season – Part II

Welcome back to our blog and back to this weeks craft corner! We now come to our second part in our series, where we focus on adorning the home with handmade beauty and fun festive crafts. If you missed last weeks post, please take a peek, and try your hand at creating a wooden or paper Christmas tree, a wreath and some our #cuteasabutton Christmas cards.

For those of you who like more rustic and organic decorations, this week we have a unique take on a traditional Christmas wreath, exploring the idea of using tortured willow as your base. We are also looking at unique ways to create mementos of the year like time capsules decorations, adding a festive touch to candles and vases for use over the festive season and lastly, we look at some fun ways to create inexpensive gifts.

Remember we have $200 worth of FLOWERS with Florist With Flowers up for grabs for all you crafty critters! Be inspired by our blog, create a Christmas masterpiece, post it to our facebook wall, or tag us (@floristwithflowers) on Instagram and you will be in the running! The image that receives the most likes in total will win a $200 credit with Florist With Flowers (for delivery within SYDNEY ONLY) so get your friends involved, invite them to like our page, follow us and vote for your creations to increase your chances!!!

What better way to reward your efforts and decorate your home. So, without further ado, lets begin!

 5. Tortured willow ‘Peace’ wreath.

I love this concept because we often carry fresh tortured willow in store, and it is simple and understated. The trick here of course is to use only fresh willow as it is still ‘green’ and malleable so can be manipulated into your chosen shape. Once created, the willow will dry and become brittle so you will not be able to alter the design, but essentially it can be kept forever (or until you want to create something new). The colour of the willow will change over time as it dries: gradually getting darker.

The concept can easily be ‘tizzed up’ with baubles or decorative wire or fairy lights (as below) or kept fairly simple and elegant with a small cluster of pine cones or fresh/artificial flowers in the top centre…..

DIY Christmas decorations
C.R.A.F.T (Creating Really Awesome Free Things) is a great blog which features fantastic D.I.Y projects. This ‘Peace Wreath’ is just one of Jamie’s creations but she is a clever cookie and has many more ideas to share.

Wreaths are ideal for your homes entrance way, but don’t be limited to only hanging these beauties on the door. Equally as effective is a round wreath on a round table. Wreaths can be laid as a centrepiece on your table. Think red/white/green votive candles surrounding the wreath, or a large hurricane vase with pillar candle in the centre.

For those of you who don’t fancy trying your hand at wreath wrangling this year, fear not! Florist with Flowers also have in stock a range of special wreaths this year too, something for everyone surely.

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Gorgeous wreath bases are available at Florist with Flowers.

6. Handmade Decorations

Everyone loves a handmade decoration right? In our house, each year we purchase a special decoration as well as craft one, and this year, I’m giving this ribbon piece a go! Using just a selection of scrap ribbons, a stick and some twine, they are simple and effective!

Ribbon Tree Homemade Christmas Ornaments
Gorgeous decoration made with scraps of ribbon, a twig and some twine. How easy is that? Inspiration courtesy of Fireflies and Mudpies.
Christmas tree, to comply with the need for a piece of ribbon, beads and a needle and thread.
These gorgeous Christmas tree ornaments by Stars Inspirations are simple to create using just a piece of ribbon, a needle and thread and beads.

But don’t stop there, every family has their own story so why not give these designs some thought too and create a piece for your 2014. Was there a new addition to the family? Did someone start school?  Or finish their final exams? Did you lose someone special? Or have an amazing holiday away together collecting seashells along an isolated beach somewhere exotic? The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

large clear ornament the little hat from the hospital ID bracelets  name bead bracelet  how cute!
Create a unique ‘time capsule’ style ornament like this one by Thrifty Crafty Girl that captures the essence of a special event or time in your life.

7. Perfectly Peppermint- Candy Cane Craft

One thing that is synonymous with Christmas for me is those sickly sweet candy canes. I don’t eat them, but I still buy them….

So when I stumbled across these brilliant ideas to craft with them, well, I just had to share!

Below you will find innovative ways to make simple and festive items for your home or for gifts which will cost you less than a cup of coffee! Can you believe that? At about a $1 a bag, this has to be the thriftiest way to create a Christmas piece.

If you like to get busy with your hands and craft your colleagues or neighbours something small, here, we have a wreath, a vase, and a candle concept that may well be the ticket. As the candle burns and the exterior is warmed, the fragrance of peppermint will fill your home. Try experimenting with different colours and flavours if you want to achieve different results.

 

Candy Cane Wreath DIY...I think I would put a snowflake or snowman or something in the middle but this could be cute on an interior door
Simple red and white wreath made with 2 packets of candy canes thanks to Recipes and Me.
Want to decorate a pot? Well, just tape some Candy Canes on, and slap a bow, and say, "Merry Christmas!"
We found this idea on Riley Jo Justesen’s blog and what a quick, easy and effective way to make a centrepiece! I would say you will need about 4 packets of candy canes for this one, but it really will depend on the size vase you choose.

 

Hot glue gun peppermint candles to an unscented or vanilla candle. When the candle is burning, your home will smell like peppermint!
Add festive flair and fragrance to your candles or create gorgeous gifts by hot gluing candy canes or peppermints to the exterior of the candle. We found this fantastic idea thanks to College Lifestyles- Dressed for the holidays series.

8. Give your presence not presents- D.I.Y gift ideas

24 Quick and Cheap DIY Christmas Gifts Ideas [ PropFunds.com ] #gifts #funds #saving... for Kevin!
Check out this feative gift idea for dads, brother in laws, and brothers thanks to Life of a Modern Mom. Brilliant! The gift can be personalised by selecting a brew suitable for the recipient, and the bottles are easily transformed by wrapping a brown pipe cleaner around the top under the cap.
 Maybe because I am a woman, I find men harder to buy or create for. Am I alone? I don’t think so somehow, given that even Target’s new ad focussed on kids getting costumes, mum getting home wares and dad ending up with a hair/beard trimmer. How exciting! Poor buggers!

This concept can be personalised for each recipient by choosing their preferred beverage, and what a cute way to add some Christmas cheer to a simple gift concept.

OMGeeeeee!!!!! I love it!!  This is it, for real ~ this year's Christmas gift for parents! :D
Well if this isn’t the perfect D.I.Y present for grandparents this Christmas then I’ll be damned! Grandkidlets little paw prints all over this frame, with the accompanying picture and date/year. What could be better? No seriously….

Now every grandparent I know loves something from the kiddies, whether it be a bit of craft, or a smiling picture in a frame for the mantle. So this has to be the PERFECT gift idea right? Combining both elements into one design, this is something fun and easy to do with the kids, and grandma and pa will LOVE it.

Ok, so I think that should keep you busy for the next week until our final installment.  We can’t wait to see your willow wreaths, decorations, #candycanecraft and handmade gifts flooding in this week on Facebook and Instagram. Only two weeks to #getyourcrafton and get your entries into to WIN, so don’t delay….GET BUSY!

Til next time, get creating,

Fwf x

 

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