Friday, 11 December 2015

Poinsettia...a Christmas Flower

One of the most popular symbols of the Holiday season at Christmastime, the Poinsettia!  The traditional scarlet red hue is a stand out amongst all the colours & varieties available today. Credit of this widely popular plant goes to Joel Roberts Poinsett, who while visiting Mexico, brought back plants to South Carolina. After introduction of this beautiful plant in 1828, it became popular by the 20th century & known as the Poinsettia; when people learned who brought the plants to America. December 12th, is in fact, National Poinsettia Day, a tribute to Dr. Poinsett upon his passing in 1851. 

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Christmas Amaryllis

Amaryllis is a splendidly beautiful flower with strong colour & big showy blooms. This Christmas Amaryllis certainly heralds the bright & cheery festive holidays for many. The large flowers bloom on a tall, hollow stem in multiples of 2-5 flowers. The story of 'Amaryllis' is brought to us by Greek mythology, she, was a love-struck young woman who pined for the cold-hearted, but handsome Alteo. To win his love, in desperation she used a golden arrow to pierce her heart, & then went daily to visit his cottage, drops of her blood were shed along the way. Alteo became enamored, now Amaryllis' heart was healed, & this favourite holiday bloom got it's name! 

Friday, 4 December 2015

A colourful 'Joe', Rudbeckia Cappuccino!

Need a more colourful reason than choosing the Rudbeckia Cappuccino Joe flower for your next bouquet? The bright burnt orange and yellow colours of these petals just pop with brightness! These flowers are 4" across and will be sure to fill a vase, or blanket a garden with their multiple blooms. When planted in late Spring, they will put on quite a show until late Fall.  Because they self-seed you can have them for years, although each plant lasts only a few seasons; ensuring you can have as many 'Joes' as you like!

Monday, 30 November 2015

Splash Petal Orchid!

Splash Petal Orchids ~ It is easy to become enthralled with this gorgeous flowering orchid. The term 'splash petal' refers to the watercolour edge markings on the petals. As though painted on by a brush, they are strikingly different from other orchids that are of a singular colour. The 'splashing' from the flower's lip onto it's petal is referred to as peloria. The colour range available is endless, including combinations of lavender, green, purple, yellow & orange, forming explosions of colour. All this glorious colour, in these orchids only bloom once per year, but well worth the wait! 

Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Yellow Rose!

Joy ~ Friendship ~ Good Health! Can there be any more positiveness than these messages? They are easily conveyed when yellow roses are the choice of gifting. Yellow roses are so symbolic, they are a traditional way to convey good feelings to a special someone. Yellow, the colour of the sun and warmth lighten up any mood, in a positive way. By the 18th century, roses had achieved a major popularity, but in shades of white or pink. But when this fleeting rose was discovered growing in the Middle East, well, the rest, as they say is history, & a love affair with this flower was born!

Monday, 23 November 2015

Hello Sunshine...mellow yellow Dahlia!

The beautiful Dahlia flower has a message of enduring grace and meaningful blessings. It is also symbolic of creativity, inner strength, & standing strong in your values. Throughout time flowers have been given as expressions of affection, friendship, accomplishment & sympathy. When at times it can be difficult to express words, flowers can speak for us by opening our hearts when given or received. These expressions of love and thoughtfulness, are treasured & for some preserved; which is a lovely reminder to look back upon, time and time again. 

Thursday, 19 November 2015

The Blue Spruce ~ Food & Shelter for Critters...

The Blue Spruce is majestic in colour and size, a beautiful tree in Nature. It is also a haven for the animals of the forest, the boughs providing shelter and the pine cones, a source of food. If you plant the Blue Spruce in your garden, you will see the birds flock to the branches, while the squirrels scurry for the pine seeds. These amazing and beautiful trees are multi-tasking, providing the necessities of life, shelter, food and nest sites for wildlife, big or small. The dense foliage even provides protection from the elements of weather & predators. So if you're looking to bird-watch chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers or see their furry friends, the squirrels; plant a tree or two, you will soon have some cute little best friends forever!

Monday, 16 November 2015

The Spider Lily

The Spider Lily flower is fascinating to gaze upon, with it's long petals & bright yellow stamens, it is one of the Summer's most enchanting bulbs to plant. Also referred to as the hurricane lily (blooming in that season) & even naked ladies (these flowers have no leaves)! This pretty flower bears a resemblance to  the Amaryllis, due to it's trumpet shaped blooms. Plant as a border plant, in partial shade & your trumpet flower will thrive. Their delicate stems & multiple blooms make them attractively welcome in any garden, or fresh floral arrangement!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Succulent Plants

Succulent plants are an easy care for choice for your home. They form a diverse group of plants with thick juicy leaves, stems & roots. Marvelous planted alone, as a companion plant, or in an assortment of plants. Most plants cannot tolerate the dry soil that succulents thrive in. Growing in colours of chartreuse, blue-green, red, pink, white, yellow, or variegated and more. The leaves can have unique shapes of needle like, rounded, spiky, berry like, or ruffled. This could be the plant for your home as they do well in dry humidity and warm surroundings, not unlike most homes. 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Blue Ballerina...Hibiscus!

'Blue Ballerina' Hibiscus has a uniquely different colour, but lovely! Everyone has seen the beautiful shades of red, yellow, orange, and pink, just to name a few. But this lavender-blue shade is in a class of it's own and stands gloriously apart from the others. Gardeners know extra good care, nutrition & soil, over time, increases protein & sugar production in a plant, which produces such a lovely colour as this. Being susceptible to this nutritional reaction, you will see the difference in flower colours. Nature always seems to know what to do with her environment. Another marvelous bloom for us all to enjoy! 

Friday, 6 November 2015

The Japanese Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums, one of the most popular flowers during Autumn with many varieties and the Japanese Mum is no exception. This flower is so exceptional, that Chinese nobility gained permission to plant them in their gardens in the 15th century. Not just seen as a royal symbol, but this flower also represents long life and happiness. The Mum was made famous by Carolus Linnaeus who took the greek work 'chrys' (meaning gold coloured), the original colour of mums & added 'anthemon' (meaning flower). There is even a type of firework which creates a pattern that resembles the long petals of the Chrysanthemum. Quite a history for this dazzling flower, by any standard!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Summer blooms fade, but the Ladybug hangs on...

The once glorious blooms of the Summer have faded in the Fall, while the Ladybugs clung on. There is still some nectar, which provides a food source for Nature's critters. So while it is that time to clean up the garden, leaving some plants behind provides a great source of seeds. Birds will flock, squirrels will scurry to the faded blooms of days gone by. Take a peak out a window, or stroll through nature, a pleasant sight to enjoy the hub of activity!  

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Do you know your Oak ... leaves?

The mighty Oak tree and their Autumn leaves! Oh, there is no doubt Mother Nature used all the crayons in her box, when it came to colouring this Season. The leaves in this photo are from the Red Oak, easily spotted due to their pointed lobes (leaf edge); while the White Oak's lobes are rounded. The veins in the leaf extend all the way to the end of the leaf's points, the White Oak's do not. There is also the Evergreen Oak, their leaves are dark green & shiny all year. Scarlet leaves belong to the Red Oak and the brown leafed variety belong to the White Oak. And ~ oh, those Acorns, a treat for all the squirrrels, darting to and fro with their Winter stash!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Ornamental Cabbage!

Sometimes referred to as Flowering Cabbage, the colour enhanced leaves make these plants an Autumn garden favourite. Edible? ... yes, but not as tasty or tender as their next of kin, the familiar cabbage. The leaves can be quite colourful in hues of pinks, purples and rich greens & are enhanced by cool or cold weather. A flourishing plant that grows well in containers or directly in the garden, and a lovely replacement to the Summer blooms, of days gone by. 

Saturday, 24 October 2015

'Angel's Trumpet' ... like a song in your heart!

Looking for drama in the garden? ... then look no further than Angel's Trumpet. These floral bells are beauty in motion, when the pendulous blooms sway in the wind. Their heavenly scent fills the nighttime air. The mature blooms put on a stunning show in creamy colours of peach, pink, yellow or white. While these swishy blooms are found in many gardens in warm climates, it's time to bring them in (a basement or heated garage), once the first frost approaches.  What could be more glorious than the sight of these gorgeous blooms in the garden? Many gardeners & flower lovers would be sure to agree!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Glowing Autumn Hydrangeas!

The Hydrangea, considered by many as Grandmother's old-time flower are one of the prettiest flowers in the garden. Because the hydrangea originated in the mountains of Japan, they have been referred to as Mountain hydrangeas. These beautiful, large blooms are long lasting and reliable, as fresh cut blooms they can last for up to 2 weeks.  The star-shaped blooms personify femininity & beauty. Although quite pretty, they do not have a fragrance, but some do have a very light scent. Whatever colour you prefer, pink, blue, or white, they really do glow in the garden or home!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Summer Memories & the Indian Blanket Flower

Oh those showy blooms of the Summer that has past. Some of them linger still, as the frost approaches, proving their hardiness. The fuzzy yellow center of these blooms are surrounded by daisy petal shapes, in vibrant colours of yellow & orange. To bring these beauties indoors, once cut, place them in lukewarm water & you will be reminded of Summer for up to 10 days. "Flowers always make people better, happier & more helpful, they are sunshine; food & medicine to the soul." ~ Luther Burbank

Thursday, 15 October 2015

A Daisy, simple, but brilliant!

A Daisy, simple in it's beauty, but a lustrous brilliance in white! The Daisy's meaning reflects purity and innocence. So common a flower, it is found practically everywhere on earth. Did you know there are two flowers in each Daisy? The petals which are usually white, are one flower, while the inner circle of yellow disc petals are the other. A favourite of the Summer season, but also a geat cut flower, lasting up to 2 weeks. Simple floral pleasure enjoyed by gardeners and admirers alike!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Autumn Chrysanthemums!

Autumn ... a time for the most glorious colours in Nature. The Chrysanthemum is no exception, and has been know as Queen of the Autumn garden. Such a colourful selection to choose from, among these blooms, including, orange to red, and yellow to purple, to brighten any garden. These garden gems grow best in a sunny location, with a well draining soil, to get the most bountiful display of your Autumn blooms. A wonderful choice for the garden or to decorate in the home, with potted Mums!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

'The Sunflower is mine, in a way' ~ Van Gogh

'The Sunflower is mine, in a way.' ~ Vincent Van Gogh ~ These words expressed by one of the great masters of art, bring to mind his well known sunflower painting. The words written to his brother, comparing his painting to other flower painters (artists of the day now forgotten). The sunflower painting (of which he made 11) was also painted by others who found it challenging, but worthwhile to paint. So great a piece of art, it has been said that what the Mona Lisa is to Da Vinci, the sunflower is to Van Gogh!

Monday, 5 October 2015

The Peace Lily

With Summer over, it is time to consider indoor plants, with easy to care for Peace Lilies. This flowering plant will even let you know when to water it (when it begins to droop). Besides the beauty of the Peace Lily, it even purifys the air by neutralizing & breaking down toxins in the air. Always remember to deadhead the blooms, thus ensuring energy needed for good growth goes to the remainder of the plant. If you've wondered how this plant got it's name, think of a flag, waving a truce during a battle! 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Madagascar Periwinkle

Madagascar Periwinkle is an ornamental plant that grows to a meter in height. These starry shaped blooms look great as a trailing accent or ground cover. Not only attractive, it is also used in the treatment of cancer, due to it's chemical compounds. A discovery which led to an important breakthrough this century. Continuing to grow during the cooler seasons as well, it would be worthwhile to add to your garden or landscape!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Autumn Crocus!

The Crocus flower is usually associated with Spring, but this garden beauty is the Autumn variety. Making it's appearance in the garden is just delightful, as the Summer blooms decline.  Although a member of the lily family, it can easily be confused with the Spring Crocus. It is favoured by gardeners, as the Autumn Crocus is a wonderful addition to Aster and Chrysanthemum bloomers. A welcome & charming addition to the Fall garden!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Glorious Autumn!

Autumn, that glorious season of golds, reds and orange shades of nature between Summer & Winter. Many plants become dormant during the cooler weather from September through to November. A chill will be in the air, but it is a great time for sweaters, pumpkin pie and the scent of logs burning in the fireplace. 'Listen! the wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!' ~ Humbert Wolfe

Thursday, 24 September 2015

The Sword Lily...Gladiolus!

Gladiolus are impressive blooms that grow on long stalks with sword shaped leaves. They represent faithfulness & honour, and strength of character. Gladiolus can be colourfully bright as in the orange to red shades, but also delicate in shades of pinks, purples, or white to cream. "Glads" as they are also known, are popular for florists; bouquets express the meaning of remembrance. A beautiful flower to behold whether in the garden or as a floral arrangement. 

Monday, 21 September 2015

Begonias, a timeless favourite!

Begonias, a timeless favourite that endure beyond the Summer season, up to the first frost. A beautiful, colourful plant with attractive lush green foliage. Known as bedding or wax begonias, these blooms easily fill garden spaces, especially loving shady areas, or partial sun. Begonias make wonderful, ornamental houseplants, for extra floral flourish in the home too!

Friday, 18 September 2015

'Queen of the Autumn Garden' ~ Dahlia!

The Dahlia goes as far back as the 16th century, where it originated in Mexico. Also known as the 'Valley Flower' as Dahl means valley; although it was named after botanist Anders Dahl. And, to make things more interesting, the Dhalia has also been referred to as the Houdini of the garden because of it's many sizes, shapes & colours. This beauty of the floral world can be as large as 12" across & up to 20' tall when grown as a wild species. Queen of the garden indeed!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Hydrangea Flowers

Flourishing in shade or sun, the Hydrangea offers huge coloured blooms in pink, blue, green & white. The clustered flowers range from lacecap to mophead, blooming from Summer through Fall. If you're seeking blue hydrangea flowers, check your soil's pH (acidity or alkalinity) level and apply aluminum sulfate in spring to lower pH. The change in hydrangea flower colour results from lower pH and higher aluminum content in the soil. A beautiful floral choice for the garden, or as a potted plant for your home decor. (Better Homes & Gardens)

Monday, 14 September 2015

Luna Swirl Hibiscus!

The Luna Swirl Hibiscus has showy blooms as large as dinner plates, and can grow up to 8' tall! These large pink flowers have red centers, with swirls of pink colour on the petals, appearing from mid-Summer until frost. Sunny conditions and moist soil are best for this beauty to thrive. An impressive plant for the garden, or large containers, for thrilling pleasure.  

Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Cosmos Flower

The Cosmos flower has bright petals in colours of pink, yellow, scarlet and two tone, with tall, fern-like stems. There is even a 'Chocolate Cosmos', which smells sweetly of guessed it chocolate! Even if you don't possess a green thumb, not to worry, these plants actually thrive with a little neglect. Full sun is best for this floral beauty, from dawn to dusk. This flower will bloom throughout the Summer months, but only until the first frost. There are plenty of early Autumn days to enjoy this delightful flower!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Bold Pink Geranium!

The Geranium annual, known for their bold colours is easily spotted in the garden. The contrast of the dark green leaves brightly offset their colours of red, pink, orange & white, to name a few. A good choice for planting in full sun in moderate soil that drains well. Remove & pinch off dry leaves & spent flowers to encourage new growth and discourage disease.  Such a vibrant, versatile plant whether grown in the garden or potted containers. Definitely a cheery way to enjoy these blooms all Summer long!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Autumn Colours of Rudbeckia 'Cappuccino'!

The Rudbeckia 'Cappuccino' name brings to mind a cup of Joe, but this perennial beauty is holding on to the last days of Summer.  It's deep, bold colours are a reminder that Autumn is on the way. Lasting only a few seasons in the garden, but they readily self-seed themselves when you allow the seedlings to propagate. These gloriously vibrant plants are sure to be a focal point in any garden!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

'Julia Child' Roses!

The Julia Child Rose, is also known as the 'Absolutely Fabulous' Rose in the U.K. It's deep butter colour brings to mind one of her favourite cooking ingredients...butter! Bred in 2004, in the U.S. by Tom Carruth, Julia chose this floribunda rose as her namesake. This beautiful rose blooms all Summer long in clusters & is popular in gardens everywhere. How timely this rose represents Julia, a larger-than-life personality, just before she left us (1912-2004)!

Friday, 4 September 2015

Tropical Orange Canna Lily

This Canna Lily has a tropical, orange colouring that just says Summer! This plant will add glamour and drama to the garden, with their large glorious blooms & broad banana-like leaves. Alluring to butterflies & hummingbirds, Cannas are vividly colourful in shades of red, pink and orange tones. Plant them in the garden, or container pots for a showy display of colour, you'll be glad you did!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Turtlehead Flower

Turtlehead flowers, is so named for it's turtle head shaped bloom. The upright stems bear blooms of rose/pink, or white colour. They thrive in wet, heavy soil & spread in dense colonies. The turtlehead flower is hardy with minimal maintenance, producing colour in the garden in late Summer. Making themselves right at home in the garden, it is sure to delight gardeners or admirers of this unique wildflower. Even as cut flowers, they will last about a week in a vase, inside the home. Either way, a pretty, delightful bloom to enjoy!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Dhalia, a garden favourite...Spring to Fall!

Dhalia, an early Spring bloomer, keeps blooming straight through to Autumn. Gardeners and competitive growers find this perennial one of the most popular to grow in competitions too. Numerous petals surround the central yellow core, growing in beautiful colours of purple, pink, red, orange, yellow & white. Although the majority of these flowers are not scented, their beauty shines through in the garden among the blooms!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Akila Purple African Daisy!

The Osteospermum aka African Daisy is a member of the sunflower & daisy family. These flowers dazzle in an array of colours, blue, yellow, pink, white and the very popular purple. Some plants have spooned petals or whirls, while others are flat, like daisies. Although many blooms occur in Spring, there is not another round of blooms. A dazzling bedding plant in popular purple strikes just the right note of colour, in any garden. If you fancy purple, this is the one to plant!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Dianthus Flower aka "Pinks"!

This delightful little flower is also known as a Carnation or Sweet William with a very aromatic fragrance. It's 'pink' nickname comes from it's frilled edges, while 'to pink' is a method of decorating an edge by punching or perforating a pattern (as on this flower). With their bright colours & patterns, they easily bring potted plants or borders in the garden to life. Pinks bloom steadily from May to October. No matter the variety or the colour chosen for the garden, these little gems are pretty & sweet!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Bold & Bright, Orange Canna Lily!

Canna Lily, whether dwarf or standard size, they make a bold statement in the garden. Gloriously tall, or the smaller variety, they are amongst the most colourful of perennial flowers. Even their leaves are beautiful, whether they are bronze in colour, or of the green & variegated-vein type. A lengthy blooming period starting in the late Spring, straight through to frost, make them a favourite in the garden! 

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Japanese Anemone Flower

The Japanese Anemone flower, an early Autumn blooming plant is making it's debut in the garden. Usually near the end of August, until early September you will see these delightful blooms dancing in the wind, on their long stems. Their colours of pink, blue or white are a pleasant distraction amongst the golden variety of typical Autumn flowers. Easy to grow, tolerating shade or sun, any garden soil type & adapting well in soil that is less than moist. A delightful floral choice, charming it's way through the garden!

Friday, 21 August 2015

One & the same...Lady Bug, Lady Beetle or Ladybird Beetle!

The Lady Bug or beetle, is one insect you do want around in the garden. Pretty to look at with their hard orange, multi dotted shells, they provide good protection for your plants against aphids. They consume the bad bugs in your garden that would otherwise destroy plants. Lady Bugs are natural enemies to many insects & can consume up to 5,000 aphids in it's lifetime! Just pretty to look at, or to provide a useful purpose in the garden; you can't have too many of these good guys around! 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Summer's not over, Clematis Vine blooms on!

With September fast approaching, Summer may seem to be coming to a close. Though the Clematis Vine in the garden doesn't  know it yet. A revival of blooms have sprung from the Spring planting. These robust plants are spreading their glorious colour and cheer for a second time in the garden. A hardy perennial that will satisfy any gardener or admirer of flowers.  For colour profusion & plant hardiness, this is the one to keep in mind for your next garden planting!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

'White Swan' Echinacea

'White Swan' Echinacea, a nice change from the usual purple variety. It's white daisy-like petals gleam in the Summer sun. These lovely perennials easily attract bees, birds & butterflies to the garden. This tall plant grows blooms 2-3" in size and is beautifully offset by it's dark green petals. Eye-catching, it easily fits into any garden scheme; with winning qualities for the gardener, or admirer of these flowers! 

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Queen of the bridal bouquet, White Roses!

The White Rose, also known as the Bridal rose, conveys the message of true, happy love. This colour has always been known for purity & virtue. Therefore, it stands to reason that it is synonymous with chastity and sincerity. If you're feelings are as pure as white snow & come directly from your heart, use white roses to convey these emotions. Since Queen Victoria's wedding in 1840, it has become a tradition in wedding bouquets.  It is only fitting, that the white rose is known as queen of the bridal bouquet!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Red Heart Hibiscus!

Quietly blooming in the garden, this Red Heart Hibiscus produces large, show-stopping blooms. Also known as the Rose of Sharon, these plants can grow into a shrub or small tree. The Hibiscus plant grows in a wide range of colours, attracting hummingbirds to the garden. Popularly grown as container plants outdoors, then, they can beautify your home in the Winter season indoors. Wherever you grow your Hibiscus, they are a treat to the eye & senses!

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Pink Queen of the Flower World!

The 'Pink Queen' of the flower world is none other than Cleome! This annual has petals arranged in a spiral and can grown up to 60" tall! The delightful petals of the Cleome come in purple, pink or white, which shape the spikey ball shape of the flower head. This plant does well in moderate, well drained soil, but take care not to overfertilize, or you will have floppy tall plants! But for height, or drama in the garden, this is the one to plant!

Monday, 10 August 2015

Queen of the Lilies...Lilium Rubrum!

Such a majestic Lily specimen, the Lilium Rubrum is a variety of flowering plant prized for it's beauty & fragrance!  With petals that curve upward of crimson & white, as large as 6" across! Blooming in late Summer with a long lasting perfumed scent.  Needless to say, an excellent choice for the garden, and especially cut flower arrangements!  Take the time to stop & small the Lilies, you will be glad you did!