Friday, 31 October 2014

The history of...Orange & Hallowe'en!

One of the strongest colours associated with Hallowe'en is orange!  Next to black, these colours are thought to go back, way back to the celtic festivities and maybe expressions of the fires & candles that were lit to welcome the chilly, black winter that lay ahead.  Through the evolution of time, other colours have worked their way into this festive commercial holiday.  Bring in white, green, red and purple.  There could be white ghouls soaring around, blood of the deepest red oozing from zombies and purple ribbons to adorn witches' hats!

Ruby Red Slippers? NO, Gladiolus!

I'm pretty sure we've all the heard the story of Dorothy & her ruby red slippers!  But what have we here.....the Ruby Red Gladiolus!  In all it's majestic's glory -- it is unparalleled in glory & stature.  So popular, the Toronto Botanical Society declared it The Bulb of The Month!  More of us need to grow these glorious bulbs.  They are reasonable enough to thrill as annuals and modest enough to use in containers.  Splurge on these bulbs, by skipping your favourite tea & scone for a day!

Superstitions & Hallowe'en Critters!

Hallowe'en aka All Saints'Eve or All Hallows' Eve is an annual ritual for kiddies & adults alike on October 31st!  Watch out for tricks or treats, or superstitions:  Not so Good:  If you walk under a ladder you'll have bad luck!  Breaking a mirror will bring you 7 years of bad luck! Step on a crack, break your Mother's back!  Good:  An itchy palm?...money will come your way! Wearing your birthstone will bring you good luck! Cold hands?...WARM HEART! Happy Hallowe'en everyone!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

A 'Bird's Eye View' @ Niagara Falls, Canada, eh!

To lay one's eyes on this majestic sight is something to behold, even this seagull thinks so!  Here are some facts of these famous waters:  "The average fall from Lake Erie to the beginning of the upper Niagara Rapids in only 9 ft. ~ The deepest section in the Niagara River is just below the Falls. It is so deep it equals the height of the Falls above, 170 ft. ~ At Grand Island, the Niagara River divides into the west channel, known as the Canadian or Chippawa Channel, and the east channel, known as the American or Tonawanda Channel." ~ (www.niagaraparks.com)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Medical bills be gone, with Echinacea!

A) Take echinacea for 2 weeks, then stop when you have been exposed to a contagious virus or feel a cold coming on.  B) Is you life affected by life changes or stress (negative or positive), take echinacea for about 2 weeks. C) If you immune system is being challanged by a new job? job stress? school stress? take echinacea for 2 weeks.  A sure way to help your medical bills disappear -- by feeding your immune system each day with echinacea!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Germinis...aka Mini Gerberas!

Smaller blooms than the classis Gerbera, these 'Minis' are just as dazzling in colour and style!  Mini Gerbera Daisies are easy to work into smaller vases & arrangements.  In Chinese culture, the peach colour became interchangeable with longevity & long life.  This is due to the legend that a Goddess's garden intrigued 8 people to a peach tree there which had borne fruit after 3,000 years.   Each of the Gods became immortal after consumjption of the peach fruit!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Hibiscus & Chakras!

The 1st and 2nd chakras are energized by the essence of the hibiscus flower.  It heals reproductive ailments, including infertility obstacles, undoing stoppages in the lower back & spine.  Pent up creative forces are released within the womb area and simply allows one to 'dance' again in life.  Passion and sensuality are stimulated by the hibiscus essence.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

La Rosa Sposa...The Bridal Rose!

White:  Immaculateness, chastity, pureness, impeccability.  The white rose was used as a symbol for true love in early culture.  It is a traditional wedding flower, also known as the Bridal Rose.  They have been associated with new beginnings and marriages.  They have also been made a indication of remembrance through their quiet, peaceful beauty.                 

Sunscreen for leaves?...kinda!

"Why do tree leaves turn red in fall?  In the fall, the leaves of some trees turn yellow, orange or red.  The bright colors are wonderful to behold.  But do they have some hidden purpose? Nature is very efficient, and doesn't just do something for no reason.  As the leaves of the tree begin to change, nutrients are shuttled into the roots for reuse in the spring.  Bill Hoch (Plant Physiologist, UW) suspected that some trees produce red pigments as a kind of sunscreen, protecting leaves from sunlight while the tree stores nutrients." (www.earthsky.org)

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Lilies: Expression of Sympathy

Freedom is not free.  In honour of a fallen soldier:  "I did my duty, I paid the supreme price, I  pray you remember, my sacrifice, my life was short, I did my best, god grant me peace, in my eternal rest." Author Unknown

Monday, 20 October 2014

Heavy headed Sunflower!

American natives, sunflowers are grown for beauty as well as harvested for seed.  An annual plant, sunflowers have big, daisylike flower faces of bright yellow petals (and occasionally red) and brown centers that ripen into heavy heads filled with seeds.  Some sunflowers grow to over 16 feet in height!  Most sunflowers are remarkably tough and easy to grow as long as the soiil is not waterlogged.  They make excellent cut flowers and many are attractive to bees and birds.  (www.almanac.com)

Tulipomania aka Tulip Craze!

Tulips are very popular to an extent that during the 17th century, most of Europe particularly Holland, was gripped in a craze for Tulips that as a result, many had to even sell off their fortunes.  It was popularly known as the tulipomania!! (www.theflowerexpert.com)

Spell it right...FUCHSIA!

The fuchsia flower is a beautiful, exotic flower with striking two-tone colors. The fuchsia flower is quite unusual with regard to its shape and the fact that they are really delicate. These beautiful flowers are great just about anywhere in your garden. However, you will find fuchsia growing best in hanging baskets on the patio.  I have read that the colour fuchsia is one of the most misspelled words in the English language, and while the plane name isn't used as frequently, it is also often mispelled.
  • Fushia
  • Fuchia
  • Fushcia
(www.gardeningknowhow.com)

The Poisonous Flamingo (plant)!

Ingestion usually does not occur because chewing quickly causes painful irritation of the mouth and throat. Anthuriums are a blooming plant that have tiny flowers crowded in a spadix, which is sometimes referred to as a "rat's tail" due to its appearance. Flaming lily is readily available at local plant shops and is a popular house plant because of its long lasting flowers.Flamingo lilies also have a long vase life and can stay fresh in a flower vase for up to 14 days. Although capable of flowering year round most plants grown in the home will enter a dormant period between October and February. During periods of dormancy water sparingly and withhold fertilizer. (www.blankies.com)

The red ski boot and Whistler, B.C. eh!

This pic is def worth a thousand words! If you can create a garden in a ski boot, more power to you. I snapped this pic this summer in the great land of Whistler, B.C., Canada, eh!!

Large Black Slug & the greasy wheel -- really!

The large black slug (aka black arion) is a species of large land slug.  The size of the slug varies from 10 to 15 cm.  The slug covers itself in a thick foul-tasting mucus which serves as both protection against predators as well as a measure to keep moist.  It is somewhat difficult to wash off.  Arion ater was used as grease to lubricate wooden axle-trees or carts in Sweden.  This use is documented since at least the 18th century! (www.en.wikipedia.org.)

Zygomorphic Freesia!!!

"Freesia flowers are “zygomorphic” which just means that they grow along one side of the stem, in a single plane. When you look at a flower stalk however, you'll see that the blooms are facing upwards. How does this work? Freesias stems have the unusual habit of turning at right angles just below the bottom flower. This causes the upper portion of the stem to grow almost parallel with the ground. The flowers bloom along the top side of the stalk, facing upwards. This makes them lovely to look down into in a garden setting and ideal for arrangements. If you didn't care much for geometry in high school, here's a painless, fragrant and colorful way to give it another try. Way more fun than Mrs. Ryan's class, trust us!" (www.easytogrowbulbs.com)

"Fairy Dust Invitation...If you have a special garden,"

.....Where flowers and herbs abound--Then take a pinch of fairy dust--And sprinkle it around. --The fairies will take notice, --And at the end of day. --They'll tiptoe out upon the grass,--And dance the night away."  Author Carla J Nelson

Autumn colours everywhere...crazy for Daisy!

"Autumn colours presents masses of flowers with bronze/yellow petals.  When viewed 'en masse', they create an atractive contrast in the landscape.  This is an excellent plant for sourcing cut flowers and for those sunny parts of the garden that tend to have drier soil." (www.oscseeds.com)

Queen of the Autumn garden...Dahlia!

Revered for its beauty, the stunning dahlia flower comes in diverse shapes, sizes and colors. The dahlia blooms for extended periods of time, surpassing most other garden flowers, and many gardening enthusiasts refer to it as the "Queen of the Autumn Garden." The dahlia's allure has a far reach: it is San Francisco's official flower, an official emblem of Mexico, and is considered in Japan to be a sign of good taste.  (www.ehow.com)


Autumn & the "Green Light Lady"

"A final flower...of Summer sun...illuminated the garden...as cooler nights...and a waning moon...lead us into Autumn." Auther unknown.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Baby's Breath & The Rose!

The flower symbolism associated with baby's breath is purity of heart, innocence, and the breath of the Holy Spirit. Baby's breath is white with dense, delicate clusters of flowers. They are native to Europe, but have been naturalized throughout the eastern United States. Baby's breath is often used as ornamental garden plants and as filler in bouquets. (www.livingartsoriginals.com) 

The Virgin Mary and Callas!

The Virgin Mary has been characterized with the Calla Lily throughout history in many works of art and paintings.  That being said, it has been associated with faith, holiness and and purity. Flowering in Spring, the cone-like flowers have also become emblems of rebirth and youth!

Memory & the sweet scent of Mockorange!

With it's heady scent, you'll remember it the whole year through.  The flowers are pure white and star shaped when they bloom every June.  To appreciate it's fragrance, plant along a drive/walk way. Plant in full sun for perfect growth and plentiful blooms!

Pacific Giant Delphiniums!

They are most acclaimed for their distinguishede blue shades of colour.  A staple in the plant world for cottage garden borders.  The very distinguishable Delphinium produces spikes of fanciful blooms in colours blends of purple, violet-blue, pink, sky-blue and white.  So glorious, they are often found in floral arrangements and also make great cut flowers!

Tropical: Plants and Iguanas!

The Iguana lizard is native to the tropics of Mexico, Central America and Polynesia. Looking for non-toxic plants to feed your pet?  As they are strict herbivores, feed plants that are not chemically treated including prickly pear cactus, dandelion, and greens.  

Max is back, eating his 'Greens'!

Fitting greens for cats are grass kits.  For nutritional value & digestion, they need some greens in their diet.  Plant the seeds in the soil, & water; in a few days the grass will begin to sprout. Soon it will be ready to feed your kittycat.  A safe and alternative solution to nibbling on the houseplants!  Whether you cat is an indoors or outdoors pet, nibbling on those greens can be beneficial.  Even if your pet heaves it up, there is nothing to worry about! 

Newbies & the Flaming Red Bromeliad!

Newbie plant enthusiasts take note -- Bromeliads are easy to care for, especially as an indoor plant!   But, don't fall for these easily made mistakes:  Overwatering - took much water = root rot; Use only a container 4-6"wide, any bigger is not suitable; Never use dirt from your garden, instead use soil-less or bromeliad potting mixes, and Rain or distilled water is preferred for watering.  Don't be discouraged by these potential mistakes.  With proper attention to the care of your Bromeliad, it will remain a splendid plant to display.  

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Succulant aka 'Fat Plant'!

These plants have some parts that are more fleshy and thickened than others. This is to preserve water in soil or climate conditions.   With their fascinating and extraordinary appearance, they make excellent ornamental plants! 

Roses & "Anne's House of Dreams".

"The rose is the flower of love--the world has acclaimed it so for centuries.  The pink roses are love hopeful and expectant--the white roses are love dead or forsaken--but the red roses--ah ah, Leslie, what are red roses?" "Love triumphant; said Leslie in a low voice."--Anne's House of Dreams by Lucy Maud Montgomery.  

Forest Secrets!

Wild mushrooms can be found in forests, but beware of non-edible ones!  There are also toxic look-alikes, so better to be safe than sorry when deciding what to forage for. Devastating effects of natural disasters such as wind storms, necessitate the removal of damaged trees.  Trees are then replanted in the ravaged areas.  Think of moss as the green cushions of Mother Nature; different mosses can grow on shrubs, tree branches or trunks. Wherever you find damp, moist places, that is where you are sure to find moss.

Flaming Red Gerbera!

Has your heart ever ached for someone?  The Gerbera Daisy conveys that meaning loud and clear with their flaming red vibrancy!  These blooms are so perfect, they almost don't look real.  No blues or purples here, but every other colour is readily available.  If you love outlandishly large flowers, this bloom is for you...perfect in a floral arrangement or a fresh floral bouquet.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Giving thanks everyday...Poppies & those that serve(d).

Another November 11th will come and go.  My thank you is daily, for there are not enough words to appreciate their selfless sacrifices.  So, we honour servicemen and women, and reserve an extra special day in our hearts...November 11th, marked by the Poppy.  The flower of remembrance is featured in the heroic poem, Flanders Fields by John McCrae.

"Let me tell you about the birds & the bees..."

What? You were expecting the story of life?  These lyrics are by Herbert Newman, and I know you can hum this tune!:
"Let me tell ya 'bout the birds and the bees
And the flowers and the trees
And the moon up above
And a thing called 'Love'
Let me tell ya 'bout the stars in the sky
And a girl and a guy
And the way they could kiss
On a night like this
When I look into your big brown eyes
It's so very plain to see
That it's time you learned about the facts of life
Starting from A to Z
--Chorus--
(Yeah)
When I look into your big brown eyes
It's so very plain to see
That it's time you learned about the facts of life
Starting from a to z
--Chorus-- ."

Fav for me, how about you?

My favourite flower...Sunflower, my favourite colour...yellow, my favourite disposition...sunny!  Enjoy your day!