Winter is here and the weather has moved from beautiful sunny Autumn days to cold and miserable. Luckily there are plenty of beautiful flowers that flourish in Winter and Ornamental Kale is one of them.
Although it is also known as “Flowering Cabbage” they are not flowers at all. The ruffled florets are actually leaves, intricately layered around a fleshy stem creating a rosette.
Members of the Brassica oleracea family, Ornamental Kale is a cousin to cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi. While Ornamental Kale nutrient dense (full of dietary fibre, Vitamins A, C, K, and B6, iron, magnesium, and calcium) they really are just ornamental. Stick with the regular stuff from the fruit shop for your super food smoothies!
I’m sure some of you have had these flowers in your homes before and I know what you’re thinking. They stink! Like their other Brassica relatives, they can give off that ‘cabbagy ‘ smell. The good news is, it’s relatively easy to keep this stink under control. Most often it is the water the flowers are sitting in that becomes smelly so if you wash your vase and change the water everyday, you won’t get that yucky smell. How easy is that? And if you trim the stems a little bit each time, your flowers will last longer too. Bonus!
Ornamental Kale comes in a smorgasbord of colors, ranging from white, pink and mauve through to deep green and black. And with a long vase life of around 7-10 days there is sure to be one that fits in with your home decor.
Want some? You know you do! Get in touch and I’ll have some delivered straight to your door. Don’t be put off by the stinky rumours about this gorgeous ‘flower’. A little bit of daily vase maintenance and you can enjoy these seasonal beauties for weeks.
I don’t really need to remind anyone that the world is going through it right now, but it’s an absolute must to try and keep a positive mindset in these trying times. Did you know that fresh flowers have the ability to improve both your physical and mental health? You probably had a sneaking suspicion, why else would we gift each other bouquets in times of grief and hardship? There’s nothing quite like that feeling of receiving a bunch of beautiful blooms. But what exactly gives flowers and plants alike this magical power?
Research has shown that the presence of flora in your life has the ability to boost your mood long-term, lowering feelings of depression and anxiety. This has to do with a few things. The power of the colour spectrum is great, with different hues evoking different moods. Green, in particular, is calming to human eyes and conjures feelings of peace and tranquility. This is why having an abundance of plants in your home can create a feeling of comfortability. Not only that, but plants literally help you breathe easier, with popular indoor plants such as Devil’s Ivy, Peace Lilies and Spider Plants having exceptional air purifying qualities. Some flowers have special extra little superpowers like that, for example, the smell of lavender can help you sleep and drinking chamomile tea can calm you down. Pretty miraculous.
It’s psychological! Flowers have the ability to trigger happy chemicals (serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin) in your brain. Looking at a lovely bouquet or a field of wildflowers releases dopamine, because the brain actually links the colour and variety of flora with nutrition, triggering a reward response. Oxytocin, or the “bonding hormone” can be released when somebody gifts you with a fresh posy. Growing your own flowers and tending to your own garden can also foster a feeling of fulfilment and pride and boost happy hormones!
So what have you got to lose? Start filling your home and world with beautiful blooms and lush greenery and enjoy the good vibes!
The glass (vase) is definitely half-full – in fact, it’s bottomless!
Life is seasonal and beautiful- like our flowers! Treat yourself or someone you love to beautiful, fresh, seasonal flowers delivered straight to your home or office, as frequently as you wish.
The Bottomless Vase subscription is an extremely popular gift. Fresh flowers are an affordable luxury, and when they’re delivered directly to your door on a regular basis, the sense of joy and nurture is sublime.
We all know the lift that fresh flowers give, and when the vase is bottomless, that lift is effortless. The initial
bouquet comes in a glass vase, and the arrangements are different each delivery as they are dictated by the local market and seasons; you’ll be surprised and delighted with each delivery. They come ready to go with no assembly required- you simply unwrap them and pop them into the vase. They’re a fabulous way of treating someone you love- and don’t forget the person you should loved the most. Yes, go on, treat yourself!
The bottomless vase is available weekly, fortnightly or monthly with no lock-in. Start when you like, for as long as you like.
It may seem like a fiddly and time-consuming task but once you have mastered the art of wiring and taping flowers with these Basic Wiring Techniques, you will be able to create a multitude of floral pieces.
Wiring adds strength to delicate stems, locks in the moisture so accessory items (like flowercrowns, corsages and boutonnieres) stay fresh longer and allows you to control each component of your floral design.
A little bit of practice is all it takes.
You will need:
Floristry wires come in a variety of thicknesses known as gauge – the higher the gauge number the finer the wire, which must be considered carefully when wiring flowers. Choose a wire, which will support the flower adequately without damaging the flower or stems.
The use of a floral tape is essential for wiring work. Not only does it cover the wire to makes stems look neat and tidy but also it helps prevent moisture loss from each flower. You can use Parafilm, which is a plastic tape, or a paper based tape like EcoPaper (available from florist suppliers and Spotlight). They both come in a variety of colors but green is the most common.
Having the right tool for the job is always a good thing and a good set of Snips (or shears) when it comes to wiring and taping is no exception. Your snips will cut through the florist wire with ease so there’s no need for additional wire cutters.
While Flower snips work similarly to garden secateurs in that they are spring loaded, their blades are thinner and straight with a finer tip.
The Stitch Method 0.5 – 0.7 Gauge Wire
Cut the stem about 1cm from the leaf.
With the underside of the leaf facing you, pierce and thread the wire through either side of the spine.
Bend both sides of the wire down to meet the stem.
Stretch and wind the floral tape over the wire and leaf stem tightly.
(Used for leaves such as Magnolia, Camelia, Ivy and Laurel)
The Hairpin Method 0.5 Gauge Wire
Cut the stem of the flower about 1cm from the head.
Bend a length of wire into a hairpin shape.
Thread both ends through the centre of the flower, piercing either side of the calyx. Keep pulling the wire though so that the curve of the wire is just embedded.
Stretch and wind the floral tape over the wire and flower stem tightly.
(Used for individual delicate florets such as Orchids and Hyacinth)
The Piercing Method 0.5 – 0.7 Gauge Wire
Cut the stem about 1cm from the head
Pierce the flower base with the tip of the wire and thread approximately 1/3 of the wire through it.
Bend both sides of the wire down to meet the stem.
Stretch and wind the floral tape over the wire and leaf stem tightly.
(Used for Roses, Carnations, Lisianthus etc)
Support Wiring 0.7 – 1.0 Gauge Wire
Insert the wire into the base of the flower vertically, just enough so that it is firmly in place.
Run the wire vertically along the stem approximately half way the length.
Stretch and wind the floral tape to cover the end of the wire and again in the middle of the wire to hold securely.
(Used for Roses, Carnations, Gerberas, Peonies, etc to prevent the heads form drooping and stems from breaking)
Cluster Wiring (or Binding) 0.5 – 0.7 Gauge Wire
Cluster 3 -5 short stems approximately 2 cm long together.
Place stems inside a hairpin wire.
Wrap the longer end of wire around the stems and shorter end of the wire, securing them together.
Stretch and wind floral tape of the wire and stems firmly.
(Used to cluster multiple, Delicate stems together, such as Gypsophila, Wax Flowers and some foliages).
Daffodils | 10 Fun Facts and a funny little story.
The humble Daffodil is well known and much loved by just about everyone. Their bright color and cheerful, distinctive form make them irresistible both as a cut flower and in the garden. I just love them. When they start to appear at the markets and then pop up all over the neighborhood in pots and garden beds, I just know that Winter is drawing to a close and Spring will soon be here. And that makes me HAPPY!
Daffodils are also known as ‘Narcissus’ and belong to the Amaryllis family.
Other members of the Amaryllis family are Agapanthus, Clivia, and Allium.
Daffodils grow from bulbs and are native to the fields and woods of Southern Europe and North Africa.
There are over 13,000 different varieties of Daffodil. That’s a lot! Those varieties are divided down into approximately 12 different types, characterised by the size and shape of their petals and corona.
The correct term for a Daffodil’s trumpet or central cone is Corona!
They are available from mid to late Winter and Spring.
As a cut flower, Daffodils have a vase life of approximately 4-6 days.
The sap from their cut stems can damage other flowers in a vase. If using in a mixed flower arrangement, place their stems in a separate vase of water for around an hour before adding them in. Do not re cut their stems.
Daffodil bulbs are poisonous. They contain a substance called Lycorine. This can make people and animals very sick. Rabbits instinctively don’t go near them!
The Daffodil is the national flower of Wales where they grow ‘Narcissus pseudonarcissus’ to produce Galantamine, a chemical used in the treatment of Alzheimers Disease. You can read a bit more about that here.
Daffodils are also a symbol of Hope, Rebirth and Renewal as well as Egoism and Narcissism. Yep, that right. EGOISM AND NARCISSISM!!
There is an ancient Greek myth which tells a story of a young man called Narcissus. He was the son of the River god Kefis and a nymph called Liripe. His exquisite good looks drew a lot of attention and almost every girl in the country was in love with him. He was also quite enamored with himself. So in love was he with his own appearance that nothing else could catch his attention. A young nymph called Echo was madly in love with him, but despite her best efforts, Narcissus never noticed her. So she decided to ask for help from the goddess of revenge Nemesis.
The goddess cursed the young Narcissus and one day, when he was on his way home from a hunt, he saw his own reflection in the water. Of course he fell in love with it and desperately tried to hug his reflection in the water – with no luck. He tried over and over until he finally gave up and lay on the grass where he died from exhaustion.
When they came to bury his body, he was nowhere to be found and in the place where he was lying, there was a bright yellow flower. In his honor, the Greeks named it Narcissus.
Amaranthus, collectively known as Amaranth, is a fabulous flower variety which can be found in abundance at this time of year (Australia December – April)
There are many different varieties but most commonly used in floral arrangments are Hanging (Amaranthus Caudatus) and Pygmy (Amaranthus Hypochondriacus). With their bold colors and texture, they create a dramatic addition to flower arrangements and installations.
The variety pictured here is Amaranthus Caudatus Rosary. This picture was taken at Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France earlier in the year.
Here’s a few fun facts about these gorgeous blooms.
Country of Origin
A tall growing annual herb with long drooping clusters of tiny flowers at the end of each stem. Stems vary in lengths but are approximately 30 – 80cm
Available in green, burgundy-red, pink and purple.
Summer – Autumn
Vase Life Span
Care and Storage
*Remove any foliage from the stems as they yellow and damage
*Trim 2-3cm off each stem
*Place in cool water
*Store between 4 – 8°C
*Florets will not continue to open post harvest so ensure you choose flowers that have around ¾ of the flowers open.
3 months into my little business and I thought it was time for me to get on the blog bandwagon and share a thing or two. Forgive me if I am not overly interesting or succinct, blog writing is not really my strongest point.
I thought I would share with you how The Petal Provedore came to be. Where I have come from and what inspired me to become a florist and a small business owner.
In high school, I couldn’t decide what career path I should take. Should I do a floristry apprenticeship, or should I go to university and study science. Hmmmm, you’d think the answer would be clear on that one. So, of course I went to uni and did a Bachelor of Applied Science. My studies focused on Intellectual Disabilities and I spent the next 20 something years in the disability sector. A profession I loved and I had the privilege of working alongside some fabulous people.
But, as anyone who has worked in a similar industry will understand, I grew weary of it. I needed a change and a creative outlet. A wise husband of mine mentioned that I should revisit the idea from high school of becoming a florist. I thought about it for months, did some research and decided he may be onto something.
I have always loved flowers and plants. I was constantly ‘harvesting’ blooms from my Mum’s garden (no matter how often I was told not to) and making arrangements for my room. I made my own wedding bouquet just because I wanted to. I would spend a fortune on flowers for the house and loved trying out new ways of styling them. I think I have always been a florist at heart, I just went in a different direction for a while.
Fast forward a couple of years and with a Cert 3 in Floristry to hang alongside by Bachelor (thanks Box Hill TAFE), some fabulous experience under my wing and a passion for what I do, I was ready to go.
The decision to be an online store over having a retail premises was easy. Starting a business from scratch is expensive and there is a certain amount of risk involved, especially in retail. I wanted to start small and build up slowly. One day, a retail space will come along that is perfect for me, but for now I am content with my studio. It has everything I need and with so many purchases being made on line these days, an online shop is a necessity anyway.
So, at quarter time (the end of my first 3 months in business), I am thrilled with how everything is coming together. There have been a few moments where I have questioned why I decided to do this, but these moments have been few and far between. I am so happy to be doing what I love every day and I am so appreciative of all my lovely customers, my suppliers, my technical support angel, my photographer and all of my friends and family. Happy Days.