Plants to keep the Bee’s happy

We LOVE Bee’s- it’s vitally important we continue to create environments where these super cute pollinators can thrive, mainly because 75% of our food crops rely on insect pollination- yes 75%! We NEED these guys to carry on the good work.  So, what are the best Bee friendly plants for your garden? Excellent question:

 

The Sunflower! We’ve JUST blogged about this summer beauty, check it out for yourself here. They score highly for both nectar and pollen so they’re a perfect garden addition for bees, butterflies and any other insect pollinators.

 

Aster! These bloom in Autumn so perfect for the post summer garden. Also nectar and pollen rich, although this depends on variety. The N5/P5 version has light blue/violet petals and scores the highest for pollinators.

 

Dahlia! Another super summery flower as they bloom from July right through until October. A popular one with Bee’s and it’ll also give you a boost too as it actually represents creativity, change and inner strength- awesome!

 Did you know that Sara is a member of the Flowers From the Farm network and grows a lot of the flowers that she sells in the shop. All three of these flowers are personal favourites in her garden and definitely keep the bees happy.

All three are growing happily but not in bloom as yet. Once they are they will be cut, conditioned and then added to the large array of gorgeous flowers. Leaving some in the garden to keep the bees happy of course.

For more handy tips on bee friendly gardens, where to plant them (sunny but sheltered areas) and what to plant together- checkout the fantastic Florismart magazine here.

You can purchase all of the above here in store and don’t forget to tag us in your bee friendly garden pics! You can find us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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July's Flower of the Month - The Sunflower

A favourite of Vincent Van Gogh himself, these summery beauties are a sight to behold and July is the perfect time to enjoy them!

 

Did you Know:

-          Sunflowers are the ONLY flower with ‘flower’ in their name?

-          They follow the movement of the Sun across the sky from East to West

-          They’re the symbol of Faith, Love and Adoration

-          They have supersonic growing speeds and can reach a height of 8-12 feet within 6 months, although the Guinness World Record books state that the tallest Sunflower ever recorded was 25feet, 5 ½ inches tall- wow!

-          A Sunflower head is actually made up of 1000 to 2000 individual flowers which are joined at the base. So that’s a lot more flower for your money then 😊

-          There are more than 60 varieties of the flower found globally

-          And one more… Sunflower oil is amazing! It’s full of minerals like calcium, iron, Vit A and Vit D

 

These flowers are hugely popular Summer wedding flowers, and they can add a gorgeous pop of sunshine colour to your décor.

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If you’re purchasing Sunflowers to enjoy at home, here’s a few Top Tips to ensure you get the best out of them:

-          Trim the stem diagonally with a sharp knife

-          Use a glass vase filled with approx. 7cm of room temp tap water

-          Don’t forget to add the flower food to the water

-          Keep them in a room with an ideal temp of no more than 20 degrees

-          Keep them out of draughts, direct sunlight and avoid leaving them beside a fruit bowl

-          Sunflowers are thirsty so be sure to keep the vase topped up

 

We stock Sunflowers here in our Longridge based shop (and this month we have a special 10% discount offer for anyone who quotes ‘Team Passion Facebook/Instagram’ when purchasing in store!) We’d also love you to tag and share your Sunflower pics with us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

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Are your house plants making you healthy?

Ok, so we’re HUGE fans of a house plant (comes with the job), but did you know that as well as looking amazing, your house plants could actually be providing you with a whole host of health benefits too? There’s actually been studies and research conducted on this theory and this not only applies at home, but in work spaces, schools and care homes also.

 

Some key facts and figures to mention:

Ø  Indoor plants can reduce staff sick leave (possibly over 60%)

Ø  37% reduction in tension and anxiety when houseplants were introduced into the workplace, as well as promoting wellbeing and performance. 

Ø  Increased productivity when placed on your desk

Ø  Decreased perceptions of pain and discomfort

Ø  Dementia sufferers have also been noted to have better stimulated senses and more positive emotions when indoor plants are present.

 

You can’t argue with science right? So which plants would be best? Let’s see, here’s a few of our favourites:

If you’re wanting to absorb any negative energy, then how about the Climbing Fig? We love this one as the plant can look truly fantastic whether it’s growing from a hanging basket or climbing the wall itself (it’s all in the name). The white edges of the leaves are believed (in China anyway) to be the good green spirit, erasing any negative energy hanging around in the room.  

The Monstera is big, bold and eye catching especially as it’s such a stunning injection of green to your space. This plant will balance energies and boost your mood right up.

IF you’re feeling lucky then that could be down to Devil’s Ivy- don’t let the name fool you as this plant is said to provide good luck and fortune to its owners as well as inspiring creativity thanks to its beautifully patterned leaves

If it’s a sense of calm you’re looking for, then we definitely recommend the Asparagus Fern. Super easy to care for, it’s light, bright and airy bringing calm vibes to your surroundings.

 

Did you know we stock all of the above in our shop? If we don’t have them in stock then we’re able to source them for you with just a few days’ notice. Don’t forget to tag us @flowers_with_passion in your feel good floral pics- we’d love to see them!

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Caring for Flowers

There are a lot of myths and old wives tales about caring for cut flowers.....

Add sugar/lemonade to the vase water

A lot of people believe that sugar is great flower food, but it isn't. The same goes for lemonade. It's only an extra source of bacteria which you want your flowers to stay away from. Just stick with cut flower food provided with your bouquet. This contains every nutrient that your flowers need.

Add bleach

Although bleach stops the growth of bacteria and helps with damaged stems people generally use too much of it. Only a tiny drop is enough but it's best to stay away from bleach. The flower food provided with your bouquet contains enough to help keep any bacteria at bay.

Bash the stems with a hammer

I cringe whenever I hear this one. This is 100% a myth and a definite no no. By bashing the stems you are actually damaging the stem cells which prevents the flowers from absorbing all the nutrients and water. What you should do with all flowers is use a very sharp knife or scissors and cut the stems at a sharp angle thereby increasing the surface area which helps the flower drink.

Place the flowers in the sun

We all love a bit of sun and warmth. Me in particular! Flowers do too but placing them in sun speeds up the opening time of the flowers which shortens their vase life. Flowers kept in the cool last a lot lot longer. My closest friend keeps her flowers in the front hall and they last at least a month. And I've known customers place the flowers outside in the porch over night and bring them in again during the day. Just not recommended if there is frost in the air!

Remove all the leaves/thorns

This is partially true. It's best to remove all leaves that would end up below the water line in a vase. By doing this you will prevent rotting and extra bacteria in the water. But keep the rest of the leaves and thorns on. The leaves will improve the water uptake and make your bouquet look nicer (with the exception of contemporary designs). If you cut off the thorns you create little wounds which will contaminate the vase water.

Add a penny to the vase of water

Copper does have anti-bacterial properties but copper pennies don't dissolve in water. So adding pennies to the water does not have any positive effects on the vase life of the flowers. Because pennies and other coins contain a lot of bacteria it will actually have a negative effect on the vase life.

Flowers With Passion's care tips

1. Our bouquets generally come in a bubble of water in a box. You can keep your bouquet in the presentation box if you wish but we would recommend only for a couple of days. By then the water level could be very low and it will need replacing with clean fresh water.

2. Use the cut flower food provided with your bouquet. Our sachets contain enough for 1 litre of water. Use a clean vase and clean tap water.

3. Remove the flowers from the box and hold over a sink while you remove the bubble of water. You can keep the rest of the packaging if you wish but we would recommend you remove this too to allow the flowers to breath and air to circulate.

4. Re-cut the stems with a sharp knife or sharp pair of scissors. Cut the stems on an angle. By using blunt scissors you will actually be strangling your flowers! This is because you will be blocking their cells and uptake of water will be restricted.

5. Completely change the water every couple of days and add more flower food. If you don't have any spare in your cupboard please call into the shop and we'll give you more. We care about our flowers!

6. Keep the flowers away from the fruit bowl. Ethylene gas is released by fruit, especially bananas, which in turn ages your flowers at a faster rate.

If you follow these easy rules you should be able to enjoy your flowers for a week or two. Sometimes more!

Calla Lily - May's flower of the month

Origin

The Calla used to go by the impressive name of the Ethiopian arum lily. It originates from an area extending from South Africa to Malawi, where it grows in swamps. The areas where it grows are alternately marshy and dry. This means that the Calla is not only beautiful, but also strong.

Colours and shapes of the Calla

The Calla offers plenty of choice when it comes to colour. The flower comes in white, red, yellow, pink, purple, orange, green, black and bi-coloured. The most noticeable aspect of the Calla is the beautifully shaped spathe. This spathe is actually a petal, and emerges serenely and majestically from the stem. It's a kind of wrap that slowly opens up until you can look deep into the heart of the plant. The actual flowers are very small and are located on the elongated spadix in the centre of the spathe.

Care tips

• Hold the flowers by the stem and trim the stems diagonally.

• Place the Callas in a clean vase with clean water.

• Add cut flower food to the water.

• Regularly trim the stems a little, and remove any stems that have become slimy.

• Don't place your flowers in a draught, in direct sunlight or near a source of heat.

• Don't place your flowers near the fruit bowl. Fruit naturally emits ethylene gas, which causes flowers to age rapidly.

Calla symbolism

The Calla has various symbolic meanings. It is considered a flower of purity and sympathy, and represents beauty. The Calla is also considered a lucky flower. This dates from the Greek and Roman period. They associated the flower with festivities and enjoyment, because the shape of the bloom resembles a goblet used for drinking. Although many centuries have passed since then, the Calla has always retained this meaning. 

 

 

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Gerbera - April's flower of the month

We call gerberas our happy flowers. They are bright and cheerful and there are 100s to choose from in a huge array of colours. The smaller headed gerberas we call germini and recently we had some new spider and pompom gerberas for sale in the shop - just stunning.

They are the world's fifth most popular cut flower after roses, carnations, chrysanthemums and tulips. Bees and butterflies love them but they are resistant to deer.

COLOURS AND SHAPES 

When you think of gerberas, you think of colour! The gerbera’s basic colours are white, red, yellow, pink, purple, orange and green. The flower is also available bi-coloured, multicoloured and in various shades derived from the basic colours. The flower’s beautiful heart can be black or green. In other words: there’s plenty of choice when it comes to colour. The shape is always cheerful: single and double flowered, pom-pom and spider shapes. Have you noticed that when a child draws a flower, it’s always in the shape of a gerbera?   

SYMBOLISM

The gerbera has no symbolic meaning but with its colourful and sunny appearance it makes any home or workplace more cheerful and welcoming. Its presence means: you make everything more beautiful!

ORIGIN OF THE GERBERA

The gerbera is an unscented flower which is part of the Asteraceae family. It originates from South Africa, Asia, South America and Tasmania. Some 900 million gerberas a year are produced in the Netherlands with 600 different varieties of colour, shape and size. 

CARING FOR GERBERAS

Gerberas have much stronger stems these days - especially when bought from am independent florist! They used to get a bad press about drooping but here is a very USEFUL TIP:

Don't fill a vase and add gerberas. You will drown them - hence the drooping. They breath through their hairy stems so only put them in a small amount of water with the correct flower food. If you are still having trouble then ask your florist for a special tablet that goes in the water - we call them viagra for gerberas!!!!

  • Trim the stem diagonally with a sharp knife.
  • Use a clean (glass) vase and fill it with approx. 7 cm of tap water at room temperature. Use cut flower food for a mixed bouquet.
  • Ensure the right ambient temperature (max. 20 °C).
  • Do not place gerberas in a draught, in full sun or near central heating.
  • Regularly top the vase up with tap water.
  • Never put cut flowers near a fruit bowl - the ethylene gas which fruit gives off ages the flowers much quicker.

 

https://www.funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk/gerbera

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Freesia - February's flower of the month

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Freesias are known for their scent and that subtle perfume certainly takes me back in time and evokes memories of my parents' house. My father loved freesia and would often have a vase of them on his desk. This nostalgic flower has made a big come back and is a very popular request here at Flowers With Passion. We don't keep them in stock all the time but can get them in with a couple of days notice if you'd like us to include them in a bouquet or you'd like a nice bunch of them in your home. One of our most popular floral gifts on our website is the freesia basket.

http://www.flowerswithpassion.co.uk/shop/freesia-basket

Another is our Scent With Love posy....

http://www.flowerswithpassion.co.uk/shop/scent-with-love

And with Mother's Day fast approaching these make gorgeous gifts especially as the freesia symbolises unconditional love - and not just for your Mum. Traditionally you give your spouse white freesias after seven years of marriage to remind you both of pure, genuine love. The beautiful fragrance of the comb of flowers lends an extra dimension to this. It also symbolise innocence.

COLOURS AND SHAPES

The freesia’s tuber forms small tubers under the soil called beads. These beads grow into a full tuber and ultimately into a comb of flowers which lends extra style to any home - and they even carry on growing merrily in the vase! The freesia comes in white, yellow, orange, red, blue, pink and purple, but can also be bicoloured or multicoloured. Many varieties have a beautiful sweet scent which makes your home even more attractive.  

ORIGIN

The tuberous freesia was ‘discovered’ in South Africa, where they were called ‘Cape lily-of-the-valley’. The flower was given the name ‘Freesia’ in around 1830 by the South African botanist Ecklon, who named it after his friend, the German Dr F. Freese.

Many thanks to our friends at The Flower Council of Holland for some of the above information. Check out more on their website: Funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk

Caring for freesias

  • Select a clean vase and fill it with tap water at room temperature.
  • Add cut flower food to the water for a longer vase life.
  • Cut or trim the stems by 3 to 5 cm with a sharp and clean knife or secateurs.
  • Do not place freesias in a draught, in full sun or near central heating.
  • Regularly top the vase up with tap water.
  • Don’t place freesias near a fruit bowl. Fruit emits ethylene gas which will cause the flowers to age more rapidly.
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Tulips - January's flower of the month

TULIPS

National Tulip Day is on January 21st and there is a special event in Dam Square, Amsterdam.

From Turkish turban to Amsterdam canal-side house

You’d think you can hardly get anything more Dutch, but the tulip is actually pure Iranian, pure Afghan and pure Kazakh. Nomads brought the colourful flowers to Turkey, where manly sultans started wearing a tulip on their turban. That’s how the flower got its name: ‘tulipan’ means ‘turban’.

COLOURS AND SHAPES

The ever-cheerful tulip comes in white, red, yellow, pink, purple, orange, green or with multi-coloured petals. The shapes of the tulip are also a feast for the eye. You can find them with a single or double row of petals, whilst there are also eye-catching fringed and parrot tulips with serrated petals, and there’s the playful lily-flowered tulip. Peony tulips look like peonies, and French tulips are exceptionally tall (unlike the average French mademoiselle) and have very large flowers

SYMBOLISM

If you gave someone a tulip in the sixteenth century, you were giving them a fortune. At that time the flower was incredibly popular and a speculative trade in tulip bulbs developed. You could buy a whole canal-side house in Amsterdam for the price of one tulip bulb in those days. A nice bunch of tulips now costs just a couple of pounds, but the symbolism has gained in value. If you give someone tulips, you’re also giving them a message. Hence red tulips mean passionate love, and with black tulips you’re saying: ‘I love you so much I will sacrifice everything for you.’ So don’t give those to just anybody.

ORIGIN

Tulips can be found growing wild from north Africa and southern Europe across to north-west China. The greatest diversity can be found in three mountain ranges in central Asia: the Pamirs, the Tian Shan and the Hindu Kush. With cold winters, long springs with cold nights and a dry summer, the climate here is ideal for tulips. Tulips need a cold night and a cold winter in order to be able to grow, which is why they can’t be cultivated in a warm climate.

CARING FOR TULIPS

You can enjoy your turban flowers for five to twelve days by following these care tips:

·       Select a clean vase that is tall enough: tulips will continue to grow another few centimetres.

·       Add cut flower food to the water for a longer vase life.

·       Wrap the tulips in the vase in paper or film for an hour first. The tulips will then fill themselves with water and straighten up.

·       Use tap water at room temperature.

·       Trim the stems diagonally with a clean, sharp knife or secateurs.

·       Place the vase in a cool spot out of the sun and away from the fruit bowl.

·       Tulips are heavy drinkers, so top the vase up with tap water regularly.

 

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