Flower care

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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