UNEXPECTED DESERT BLOOMS
Usually, the Atacama desert in Chile, the driest location on earth, receives just one half inch of rain every year. Beneath the soil, however lie many millions of dormant seeds just waiting for a sip of water. That water came unexpectedly this year causing the seeds to take root and provide a very unusual backdrop of blooms in a usually barren location. Image credit Mario Ruiz/EFE/Zuma
Most of us love Tulips, and of course you can buy them at Cottonbuds Florists, but did you know that at one point in the past, Tulips were valued more highly than gold in Holland, home of the Tulip. In fact there was a time during World war 2 when food shortages resulted in the Tulip bub being regularly eaten by the Dutch following recipes being published by the Dutch Government. Evidently, the Tulip bulb can be used as a replacement for an onion in recipes, though we think we'll stick to admiring the flower.
WATCH OUT FOR THE FLOWERMOBILE!
keep an eye out for the new Cottonbuds "flowermobile" delivering flowers to clients all over Northampton and the nearby villages. Don't forget to give us a wave!
GIVE THE RIGHT BIRTHDAY FLOWERS
Birthdays give us a great excuse to send a bunch of flowers to someone we care about, but did you know that certain flowers have historically been associated with months of the year, which makes them even more appropriate to include in your gift bouquet
January Birthdays – Choose Carnation
Subtle and pretty. Symbolic of grace, glory and divinity
February Birthdays – Choose Iris
The Greek goddess flower. Symbolic of love, faith and passion
March Birthday – Choose Daffodil
Bright and Cheerful. Symbolic of rejuvenation and hope
April Birthday - Choose Gerbera
Charming and Colourful. Symbolic of Virtue and purity
May Birhday - Choose Lily
Fragrant and Soothing. Symbolic of Beauty and humility
June Birthday – Choose Rose
Beautiful and Popular. Symbolic of Intensity and Passion
July Birthday – Choose Larkspur
Airy and Graceful. Symbolic of Lightness and Humour
August Birthday – Choose Gladiola
Traditional and Staple. Symbolic of Strength and Sincerity
September Birthday – Choose Aster
Abundant and Colourful. Symbolic of Eternal Love and Affection
October Birthday – Choose Marigold
Bright and Spicy. Symbolic of Comfort and Care
November Birthday – Choose Chrysanthemum
Popular and Vibrant. Symbolic of Optimism and Happiness
December Birthday – Choose Holly
Mature and Glossy. Symbolic of Cheer and High spirits
YEAR ROUND POINSETTIA?
MUTED COLOURS FOR YOU WEDDING
Muted colours have become a very popular for wedding flowers. Here are some examples
NIGHT BLOOMING FLOWERS
Some species of plant such as the Cereus Cactus Flower bloom just once a year, and only at night, so they are only rarely spotted. The flowers are generally white, and they are quite often fragrant. Whilst they can be cultivated indoors, they are naturally found in tropical areas.
Interestingly, but as is not uncommon in nature, similar species living together will tend to synchronise and all open together when the time is right,even when just for a single night.
So for virtually the whole year, the cactus plant just sits there looking dull, dried-out and uninteresting, then suddenly, one night, it bursts out with an exquisite bloom which wilts in the first rays of the morning light
FLOWER BOMBING US STYLE
Over in New Yorkthere seems to be a fantastic new trend, flower bombing. Under cover of dark,urban floral guerrillas are beautifying parts of the city with flowerdisplays, bouquets and Roses. Rubbish bins and temporary roadworks, and statues seem afavoured target in an attempt to bring a little floral beauty in tothe lives of NYs residents.
Many of the displaysof Dahlias, Hydrangeas and Sunflowers are quite short lived aspassers by help themselves to bunches and stems, saving them having to buy flowers, but the works arecaptured for ever on Social Media and must surely bring a little joy into the lives of passers by.
Let’s hope we seea bit of this around Northampton.
All pictures courtesy NY Times
You may be surprisedto know how much effort goes into the naming of new varieties offlowers. Many growers are now moving away from the tradition ofgiving flowers girls’ names to move more into line with 21stcentury values.
Considerable thoughtneeds to go into the choice because similar words can have differentmeanings in different countries, and no grower wants to offend thesensibilities of customers by a clumsy choice of name. Pronunciationalso has to be considered; we all know that the Dutch are prolificplant growers, supplying flowers all around the world. However, dutchnames are often quite difficult to pronounce for non-locals, so theywill generally choose names with a wider appeal.
Good names need tobe easy to pronounce, fairly short and memorable,but they also needto avoid names which are in any way protected, or have any unwantedconnotations.
Some Dutch Gerberagrowers have recently opted for using the names of footballers; notthe superstar Beckhams and Ronaldos of this world who have strictimage rights and a well established brand, but the slighty lesscelebrated ones, particularly those from the UK, Spain and Brazil, sothere are plenty to choose from. Keep an eye out for those premierleague footballers appearing in your florist shop soon.
Did you know that Tomato Plants have an inbuilt defence against caterpillars? Tomato plants give off a compound, methyl jasmonate. This compound not only makes the plant's leaves taste foul, but it also has an effect on the caterpillars, causing them to begin attacking each other and turning them into cannibals. The caterpillars then begin to devour each other rather than the plant. It's the stuff of nightmares!
You may remember from RE lessons as a child that that there was a thing called a burning bush mentioned in the book of Exodus. Evidently God called out to Moses from the bush. Well did you know that there is real plant known as a Burning Bush or a Gas Plant that can grow in the UK. During the summer it is covered in a sticky flammable substance of lemony oil which you can set light to, hence the 'burning bush'. Apparently it doesn't harm the plant to do this but gives off a pleasing citrus aroma. Perhaps that was the plant that was referred to in the Old Testament? If you do a search on You Tube, you can see them being lit. We don't actually sell these plants, but we've got lots of others to light up your home.
Study from Newcastleuniversity has revealed that bees are more likely to remember, andtherefore re-visit flowers whose pollen contains caffeine. Obviously,regular visits by bees are beneficial because they improve the chanceof plant pollination.
Unsurprisingly, thecaffeine acts like a mild drug which lures the bees back. Somespecies of plants are natural caffeine producers, like Grapefruits,Mandarins and of course Coffee Plants.
The levels ofcaffeine in these plants is strictly limited, probably due to thefact that too much caffeine would lead to a bitter tasting nectarwhich would deter the bees from visiting again.
FLOWERS CAN BE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH
Most of us like flower bouquets , they can be colourful, beautiful to look at and can smell lovely. But did you know they can be therapeutic as well? Research has shown that patients in hospital require less post-operative medication, and have lower blood pressure when they have flowers in their rooms.
It has also been shown in research that flowers put people in a better mood, improve cognitive ability and make us more creative. As a rule, more pastel shades will make you more relaxed and brighter more vibrant tones will energise you.
You may well find that it’s worth the price of a bunch of flowers to improve your well-being.
ARRANGE YOUR OWN FLOWERS
If you are planning an arrangement that is to feature at the centre of a table, try to avoid stems being longer than about a foot in height. You don’t want your display to hamper the view of those sitting around the table. If on the other hand, your display will sit up against a wall, you only need a 180 degree display, so arrange in a semi circle.
Choosing your vase or container is important. If you choose a ceramic non-transparent container, you will not need to worry too much about the appearance of the stem as they won’t be seen. A trick for keeping your stems upright rather than leaning over is to create a small grid across the top of the vase with some sellotape. You can then place a stem in each of the pockets you create and they will stand up nicely.
If the flowers are coming from your own garden, try cutting them at a time of day when the sun is not fully out as the heat can damage the flowers and remember, you don’t necessarily need more than 4 or 5 stems to create a pleasing display.
Flowers that will thrive in a vase of water include Tulips, Carnations, Daffodils and Hydrangea. The waxier the stem surface, the better they will be
For denser stems, trim at least an inch off the bottom of and split the stem slightly at the bottom to help with water absorption. Also, don’t forget to remove any leaves from stems that will be below water level to avoid rot
You are generally best to put some water in the vase first and top it up after arranging if necessary, adding a small amount of household bleach to the water, this will eliminate bacteria which make the water smell bad and inhibit the take up of water by the stems.
Cutting the stems short can be a good idea, this will bring the head down towards the neck of the container and make the container look full. It will also minimize flower droop.
As regards the order of arrangement, place flowers with the sturdiest stems first as these will help support the others as you arrange.
Good luck with your arranging.
TEN REASONS TO SEND FLOWERS
10) You don’t want to be forgotten, do you?
9) So she’ll forgive that last thing you did wrong
8) Because you don’t want to be replaced by someone who will send her flowers
7) It saves you from having to find an alternative gift
6) Someone else will deliver them so you can keep watching the rugby/football/golf
5) She’ll tell her friends, who’ll like you even more
4) To prove you have a soft side
3) She’s probably been expecting some.
2) It’s great to see her smile
1) You love her, don’t you?
WILTING FLOWERS? TAKE AN ASPIRIN
So, you purchased a lovely bunch of cut flowers from your florist; how can you keep them looking fresh? Believe it or not, an aspirin could be the answer; for the flowers, not for you!
Crush 3 or 4 aspirin tablets (place them in a spoon, and crush with the back of a second spoon) and add to a vase filled with fresh, clear water. The aspirin have an ingredient know as Salicylic Acid which will stop bacteria developing in the vase and should keep the flowers fresher for longer
PS. Don’t try it with Ibuprofen or Paracetamol, it won’t work
THE SYMBOLISM OF WEDDING FLOWERS
TAKE A PLANT TO BED
Inadequate levels of sleep is an identified health problem for people living in the UK. Some of us turn to medication, some to relaxation exercises and others to a new mattress, but the problem persists. The answer may well be plants, accoring to a recent NASA study.
As a whole, having plants around the house can reduce anxiety and stress, improve the air quality, make your home smell nicer, provide headache relief and help with cold prevention.
Here are some plants you may want to consider
Aloe Vera Plant
They are easy tokeep and rated as one of the best at improving air quality, accordingto NASA, as they emit Oxygen overnight ( increased oxygen is know tohelp with insomnia)
Many of us arefamiliar with Lavendar Oil, but less so with keeping your ownLavendar Plant. The lavendar aroma can help skow your heart ratewhich improves your sleep. It’s also been shown to help with babieswho cry.
This is an exoticplant, which, like lavendar has an aroma that helps improve sleeppatterns. At times of stress, just inhale the smell of the Jasmine,and it can help relieve stress
English Ivy Plant
It’s very easy togrow and for air purification, it was rated number one by NASA. Itreduces airborne mould spores by almost 95%, therby helping preventasthma and other allergies.
Snake Plant (Motherin Law’s Tongue)
Again, they are easyto keep and will filter the oxygen to improve the ambience of yourbedroom helping to prevent headaches. Snake plants are also thoughtto help eye-irritation.
So there you are,think about making room in your home for some of these plants andlook forward to some real health and wellbeing improvements
MOTHERS DAY DEDICATION TO MY MUMMY....
Just over 6 years ago I decided that I didn't like my job in the hospitality industry and that it wasn't a career that mixed well with having a family. So having already taken a course in balloon arranging I went back to college one day a week, funded by my lovely mum, and trained to be a florist.
My mum had always wanted a flower shop so was easily convinced that she wanted to buy me one.
We have now been open 6 years and having retired mum now works with me, for love not money, which is probably good as I'm told that I'm not easy to work with!
I don't think I've said it before, so this mothers day I would like to thank my mum for being the most supportive, lovely amazing and very patient mum anyone could ask for xxx
Thanks - Michelle @ cottonbuds florists
VALENTINE'S DAY SOON
1st February 2017
Rings us now to arrange some Valentine's day roses for a loved one
ITS CHRISTMAS. TIME FOR AN AMARYLLIS
19th December 2016
Amaryllis are one of the easiest flowering bulbs to bring to bloom, indoors or out. The amaryllis ( botanical name Hippeastrum) originated in South America. The large flowers are very popular and in demand worldwide. There aremany beautiful varieties including shades of red, white, pink, salmon and orange, along with many striped and multicolored varieties, usually combining shades of pink or red with white.
This video from Dutch Flower Growers , Van Der ende will tell you more about them
GET READY FOR A SPOOKY HALOWEEN!
25th August 2016
You may not know this, but it is quite possible to Spookify your cut flowers ready for Haloween. Research has shown that using a luminous spray similar to that which can be purchased for fabrics and hair, can be used on flowers without damaging them.
Evidently, giving them a light spray does not seem to affect their shelf life or cause them to lose petals. So why not give it a try and add some extra spookiness to your haloween celebration
GIFT PROBLEM SOLVED!
25th August 2016
We all know how difficult it is to think of a suitable gift for our friends and relatives. So, what do you get as an anniversary gift for those who are newly married? We were asked this by a customer recently and came up with a great idea. On a couple's first wedding anniversary, the traditional gift, both in the UK and in the US is paper, so why not a gift of some paper roses. Here are some pictures of what we prepared for our client.
Here is a list of the anniversary gifts (UK) for the first 10 years
8th Salt (??)
ROSES AND THEIR MEANING
21st July 2016
6th July 2016
You may not have noticed it, but the the bouquets awarded to athletes at the 2012 Olympics were all designed with the 2012 Motif in mind. the motif was separated into 4 distinct section, and these were replicated in the bouquets using 4 different varieties of Rose. The rose varieties are Aqua (pink), Illios (yellow), Marie Claire (orange) and Wimbledon (green). Separating the sections were English Lavender, Rosemary, Apple Mint and Wheat.
ANTI AGING FOR FLOWERS2nd June 2016
Evidently, US firm Monsanto is developing technology to extend the lifetime of plants and flowers. Most plants are subject to the effect of the odourless gas ethylene which ages flora.
Monsanto are feeding RNA genetic molecules to the roots of growing plants. Apparently this will reduce the effects of ethylene. If successful, this should bring a huge boost to the floristry and cut-flower industry by reducing wastage
WE'RE FEATURED1st June 2016
We are also featured in ukbridaldirectory.co.uk