Articles for the Month of February 2014

Gerbera daisy – flower of the month of February!

 

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It’s been a long and cold winter here in North America and I need some sun and warmth.

The flower that reminds me of the sun and always makes me very happy is the strikingly beautiful Gerbera daisy.

Gerbera daisies are so perfect they hardly look real. They bloom in nearly every color (except true blues and purples) and produces large flowers on long, thick, sturdy stems. They last for a week or more in the vase, making them a favourite for fresh-flower bouquets.

It is the fifth most used cut flower in the world after rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, and tulip.

Gerbera is a genus of ornamental plants from the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It was named in honour of the German botanist and naturalist Traugott Gerber. The first scientific description of a Gerbera was made by J.D. Hooker in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine in 1889 when he described Gerbera jamesonii, a South African species also known as Transvaal daisy or Barberton Daisy. Gerbera is also commonly known as the African daisy. It has approximately 30 species in the wild, extending to South America, Africa and tropical Asia.

Gerbera daisies mean innocence, purity, and cheerfulness.

This bright, flowering plant is an air purifier very effective at removing trichloroethylene, which you may bring home with your dry cleaning. It’s also good for filtering out the benzene that comes with inks. Add one to your laundry room or bedroom.

Gerbera is also used as a flowering garden plant. Though they’re commonly sold potted as gifts, they can make wonderful additions to any flower garden. Plus, when you grow your own gerbera flowers, you’ll be able to make beautiful cut flower arrangements. In warm areas such as Florida, gerberas grow perennially, but in cooler regions, they should be treated as annuals.

With so many varieties available it’s hard not to love this flower. Bouquets and arrangements made with Gerbera daisies are so cheerful and beautiful.

This is my “happy flower”. What is yours?

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Support the local florist!

One of the biggest events in florist industry had passed and it made me think how all of us can help to support the local florist shop or studio, just around the corner.

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First that comes in my mind is build a good friendship with your local florist. Get to know them closer. Stop by every now and then to chat or just to admire our work. We are nice people and love to communicate. Visit us on-line and leave us a note on Facebook or Twitter. Yes, most shops and studios have social media presence. That’s a fun way to communicate and get to know each other.

Second – shop LOCAL! By that I mean call or visit in person your local florist friend, not the grocery store or Teleflora web-site. Why? (This is rather long explanation; I’ll try to make it “short”)

 -The main line of business for the grocery store is NOT FLOWERS. They offer flowers just for the sake of customer’s convenience. Their prices are extremely low just because they buy huge amount of flowers from the suppliers and get huge discounts. Then the flowers are just placed on the store floor for sale. Nobody takes a proper care for the flowers, maybe just change of water and that’s about it. The result is bad quality, waste of money, unhappy recipient.

 -On-line florist channels, aka Wire-service. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use their service at all, just not all the time. There are a lot of local floral stores that are part of the wire service network and this can be a significant amount of their sales. The way it works is the tricky part. When you order trough a florist web-site (that is part of that network) your order goes in one central hub and then it’s redirected to the nearest to the recipient’s postal code florist. So, if you want the store next to you to get that order and arrange a delivery, just call them directly. Another very important detail is that very often you don’t get the arrangement that you see on-line. Most of the pictures that are on the web-site are Luxe or Deluxe option and are made just to attract the customer.

-There is something else about the Wire-service. Big percentage of the customer’s money is taken by fees, service charges and delivery and the florist it self takes vary minimal amount, just about enough to cover the labour and the supplies. There is almost no profit. This is true and it hurts a lot, especially during the peak season.

If you want to send flowers out of town or country, this is a good choice.

I always suggest though looking on-line for a good florist nearby the recipient’s location and calling directly.

What goes behind the curtain in every floral shop on a regular daily basis? Why we charge what we charge? Most florists receive their flowers, fresh from the supplier on a regular basis; everyday or a few times a week, depending on their location and other factors. Then every single flower is processed and conditioned by hand – clean, dethorn, recut, properly hydrated and kept in their perfect condition. The water is changed daily. It’s the same for every studio or event planning company offering flowers.

And that is just for the flowers. There are vases to be cleaned and shined, store to be kept in good looking and attractive condition. That’s a lot of heavy work. We do it with a smile, excitement and pride. For most of us this is our only line of business and for some of us a live long experience.

That’s why we charge more then the grocery store.

When a customer orders directly – by visiting in person or calling the store, we get paid for our hard and beautiful work. Most of my colleagues are well educated and certified professionals, very talented and creative hard workers.

Next time, when you need flowers for you special occasion, think about where you are going to get them – grocery store, on-line or a local artist. Think about how you can support you fellow neighbour, with the neat little shop just around the corner.

I know you will make a smart choice. Thank you for that!

 

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The legend behind Valentine’s Day.

valentines_day1All across the Globe we are getting ready to celebrate the day of love and romance and I thought it’s a good time to learn more about the legend behind Valentine’s Day and it’s symbols.

Saint Valentine’s Day, also known as Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated on February 14 each year in many countries around the world.

St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies. A popular story of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.

February 14 was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines“). Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.*

Celebrate Love, be loved and give love!

 

Roses are Red
Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Carnations are Sweet
And so are you.

And so are they
That send you this
And when we meet
We’ll have a kiss.

Author Unknown

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P.S. I love handwritten cards, a lovely bouquet of flowers and a deluxe chocolate!

How about you? Share your Valentine’s Day favourite.

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* as published in Wikipedia